The new Dorian king invaded Crete with a force of Aeolians and
Pelasgians—the aboriginal inhabitants of Greek and Thracian lands—who
spread over from Epirus to several parts of the northern Aegean area,
including both sides of the Hellespont.
The invasion force fought the Cretan navy and army. Though
formidable on the surface, the navy had already lost the past glory since
the Thera Eruption. Once they landed on the northern coast, the Cretan
army turned out no match for the invading force. King Zeminos died,
leaving his young wife and infant sons. Tectamus became king of Crete.
His son, Asterius, re-married Europa, and adopted her sons since he had no
sons of his own.
Five years later, Tectamus died of high fever. Asterius then
succeeded to his father as king of Crete.
At seventeen Minos married Pasiphae, sister of King Aeetes of
Colchis—a land at the eastern end of the Black Sea. She came from all
the way from Aea, the capital of Colchis, located near the mouth of the
Phasis River. Minos detested the man of the Dorian blood sitting at the
throne because he’d stolen his beloved mother.
Once he turned twenty, therefore, Minos engineered a coup d’etat and
became king, imprisoning his stepfather Asterius in a secret chamber
designed by Daedalus. At the same time, the new king spread the words,
saying that he’d recently captured a mysterious, violent monster called
the Minotaur that bore a bull’s head on a man’s body in the
mazelike prison from which no one, once inside, could ever find his way
Minos proclaimed that, from then on, the Cretan king would call
himself ‘Minos’—an equivalent of
an Egyptian ‘Pharaoh’. Under his
reign, his maritime nation and his allies—the Lelegians—swayed most