In a AHEM certain series AHEM, it states that Theseus did not rely on the string of Princess Ariadne; rather, he used the vision of a mortal who could see through the Mist, a certain force that made mortals not able to see stuff that actually happened, like a monster would appear as a dog or something.

Well, is that authentic? Did he use Ariadne or the magic string?

  • If you want to read an accurate portrayal of greek mythology, then perhaps it doesn't make sense to read Rick Riordan. While I'm sure that he cares about making his books relatively accurate, I doubt that's his biggest concern...
    – user62
    Jan 12, 2016 at 0:19
  • I know, I use other sources, I just picked up that book and thought it was interesting :P
    – bleh
    Jan 12, 2016 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


The string or thread is certainly well supported in Greek and Roman sources. (Emphasis mine, in all cases)

From Plutarch:

When he arrived at Crete, as most of the ancient historians as well as poets tell us, having a clue of thread given him by Ariadne, who had fallen in love with him, and being instructed by her how to use it so as to conduct him through the windings of the labyrinth, he escaped out of it and slew the Minotaur, and sailed back, taking along with him Ariadne and the young Athenian captives.
Theseus (19), Plutarch

From Hyginus:

When Theseus came to Crete, Ariadne, Minos’ daughter, loved him so much that she betrayed her brother and saved the stranger, or she showed Theseus the way out of the Labyrinth. When Theseus had entered and killed the Minotaur, by Ariadne’s advise he got out by unwinding the thread. Ariadne, because she had been loyal to him, he took away, intending to marry her.
Fabulae (42), Hyginus

From Ovid:

But the third tribute more successful prov'd,
Slew the foul monster, and the plague remov'd.
When Theseus, aided by the virgin's art,
Had trac'd the guiding thread thro' ev'ry part,
He took the gentle maid, that set him free,
And, bound for Dias, cut the briny sea.
Metamorphoses, Book 8, Ovid

I am not aware of any sources that tell of Ariadne actually accompanying Theseus through the Labyrinth.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.