100. Minos dies while bathing

Once upon a time, Daedalus escaped from Crete by flying on mechanical wings and implored protection, from King Cocalus of Kamikos in Sicily. Cocalus granted protection and the daughters of Cocalus became the pupils of Daedalus. Meanwhile, King Minos of Crete was unaware that Daedalus was at Kamikos. To search out Daedalus, Minos travelled to every city offering a challenge to string a spiral seashell all the way through. When Minos arrived at Kamikos, the challenge was offered to Cocalus, who gave it to Daedalus for an appropriate solution.

Daedalus tied a thread to an ant, and placed it deep inside the first spiral. The ant wanting to come out of it, walked through all the spirals of the sea-shell, and thereby, the ant stringed the spiral seashell all the way through. The challenge duly met, Cocalus proudly offered the stringed seashell to Minos, who immediately knew that it was the work of Daedalus, and curtly demanded from Cocalus to surrender Daedalus to him.

Cocalus promised to meet all the demands of Minos, and invited him to his palace to stay as his honored guest. Minos agreed and went to the palace of Cocalus. But the daughters of Cocalus were not pleased with Minos. They had noticed how arrogantly Minos had spoken to their father, when he had demanded Daedalus. They even did not want their teacher Daedalus to be taken away from them. Hence, when Minos was having a bath, they poured scalding hot water on him, due to which Minos died.

Cocalus gave the corpse of Minos to the Cretans, explaining that while having a bath, Minos slipped and fell into hot water, where Minos met his end. The Cretans buried the body of Minos with grand ceremonies, and constructed a two-storey tomb. In the storey under the ground, they placed the bones of Minos, and in the storey above the ground, they made a shrine of Aphrodite. After his death, Minos became a judge in Hades.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani