Crete :: Birthplace of Zeus

Crete is the largest island in Greece and has been the backdrop for a number of stories of ancient Greek mythology.

Zeus’ Birth

Zeus, the king of gods and men, was born in a cave in Greece and was raised by a goat, Amalthea. It was also in the nearby islets of Paximadia that the twins Artemis and Apollo were born. When Crete was attacked by a giant lizard, Zeus defended the Greek island and threw a lightning bolt against it, turning the beast to stone and into an island that is now called Dia. On the other hand, the small islands of Lefkai were created after a musical contest between the Sirens and the Muses. The latter, furious that they had lost, pulled all the feathers from the Sirens and threw them into the sea, thus forming those islands. The giant automaton Talos was the guardian of Crete and was killed when Medea pulled a spike that held the ichor, the divine blood, into Talos' body.

King Minos Palace

Finally, it was the place where the palace of King Minos was located, under which Daedalus had built the labyrinth, in order to house the Minotaur, a monster formed from the union of Minos' wife, Pasiphae, and a bull. Daedalus and his son Icarus were kept captive here, but managed to escape by creating wings made of feathers and wax; however, Icarus flew too close to the sun, the wax melted and he fell to his doom. It was here that Theseus was brought in order to kill the Minotaur.

See Also: Zeus, Amalthea, Artemis, Apollo, Sirens, Muses, Talos, Medea, Minos, Daedalus, Minotaur, Pasiphae, Icarus, Theseus