The Minotaur was held in a prison known as the Labyrinth at Knossos on Crete. The Greeks believed that King Minos had built this underground chamber for his son, who had been born with either one or two legs missing, depending on which version of the story you read. In any case, the boy would have been too crippled to climb out of this pit and escape his fate as food for his father’s half-bull, half-man pet monster. Minos had vowed that he would sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens every year to his pet monster until he met with his justice at last.
The name “Minotaur” comes from Greek mythology, where it is described as having been born from King Minos’ wife Pasipha Heniadis (daughter of Zeus) after Minos prayed for a son who would be equal to his strength and impetuousness.
There are many different versions of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. In one version, Theseus volunteered to be one of the victims because he wanted to prove himself as a hero. In another version, he was sent into the labyrinth by his father so that his mother could marry King Aigeus of Athens. The myth also tells us that Theseus had two choices: either kill the Minotaur or die trying. In any case, Theseus entered the labyrinth and killed the Minotaur with an axe or a sword, depending on which version you read.