In Greek mythology, Asterion (Αστερίων / Ἀστερίων, "ruler of the stars"), called "king" of Crete, was the consort of Europa and stepfather of her sons by Zeus, who had to assume the form of the Cretan bull of the sun to accomplish his role: Minos the just king in Crete, Rhadamanthus, presiding over the Garden of the Hesperides or in the Underworld and Sarpedon, likewise a judge in the Afterlife. When he died, Asterion gave his kingdom to Minos, who promptly "banished" his brothers. His Roman name is Asterius.

According to Karl Kerenyi and other scholars, Asterion, the star at the center of the labyrinth on Cretan coins, was in fact the Minotaur (Kerenyi 1951 p 111).

There is a short tale written by Jorge Luis Borges ("The House of Asterion") about the subject.


  • Karl Kerenyi, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks.

Mythology Images

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License