From Academic Kids

Ariadne ("utterly pure," from a Cretan-Greek form for arihagne) was a fertility goddess of Crete. Her name is merely an epithet, for she was originally the "Mistress of the Labyrinth", both a prison with the dreaded Minotaur at its center and a winding dance-ground. She was especially worshipped on Naxos, Delos, Cyprus, and in Athens. (The Romans called their comparable goddess Libera and their poets associated her with Minoan-Greek Ariadne.)

In later Greek mythology, Ariadne's divine origins were submerged and she became known as the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who conquered Athens after his son was murdered there. The Athenians were required to sacrifice seven young men and seven maidens each year to the Minotaur. One year, the sacrificial party included Theseus, a young man who volunteered to come and kill the Minotaur. Ariadne fell in love at the first sight of him, and helped him by giving him a magic sword and a ball of thread so that he could find his way out the Minotaur's labyrinth. She ran away with Theseus after he achieved his goal, and according to Homer was punished by Artemis with death, but in Hesiod and most others accounts, he left her sleeping on Naxos, and Dionysus wedded her. With Dionysus, she was the mother of Oenopion.

She remained faithful to Dionysus, but was later killed by Perseus at Argos (or in other myths hangs herself from a tree, like Erigone and the hanging Artemis, a Mesopotamian theme). Dionysos however descends into Hades and brings her and his mother Semele back. They then join the gods in Olympus.

According to some scholars there were two Ariadnes, the first was the wife of Dionysus who was slain by Perseus, and later recovered by the god from Hades, while the second, who lived two generations later was the love of Theseus. Little evidence exists for this however.

Ariadne is associated with the constellation Corona, put their in her honour by Dionysus.

Speculative Associations

Some scholars think she is identifiable with the weaving goddess Arachne, due to her thread and winding associations, and the fact both hang themselves. There have also been speculative links made to the spinning goddess of the Celts Arianrhod, and even the witch goddess Aradia. These latter two are highly controversial.

Ariadne is also the name of a play by A.A. Milne. Ariadne auf Naxos furnished the subject for an opera by Richard Strauss.

The rocket Ariane is named after Ariadne.

Ariadne is lastly the name of a young indie rock band in Trenton, New Jersey.

The name they use comes from two places: Greek mythology's tale of Ariadne's thread and a band called Saetia. de:Ariadne es:Ariadna fr:Ariane (mythologie) it:Arianna (mitologia) nl:Ariadne ja:アリアドネ pl:Ariadna pt:Ariadne ru:Ариадна sl:Ariadna sv:Ariadne


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