Theseus is the name of a Greek hero, the prince of Athens, best known for defeating the Minotaur. Legend goes that every seven years, the Athenians would send seven young men and seven young women as a tribute to Crete for the death of his son in Athens. This went on for some time until Theseus decided to volunteer to be one of the sacrifices in order to kill the Minotaur, promising his father Aegeus that if he were successful the sails of the ship would be white. When he reached Crete, Minos’s daughter Ariadne fell in love with him and gave him a ball of thread so he could find his way out of the labyrinth as long as Theseus promised to take her with him. He was successful but left Ariadne behind on the island of Naxos. He also forgot to change the sails of the ship from black to white and believing his son was dead, Aegeus threw himself off a cliff. The meaning of Theseus seems to derive from Greek títhēmi meaning “to put, to place, set” derived from a PIE root word.
- Thésée (French)
- Teseo (Galician, Spanish, Italian)