|Minotaur with an weapon|
Nowhere has the essence of the myth been expressed more succinctly than in the Heroidesattributed to Ovid, where Pasiphaë's daughter complains of the curse of her unrequited love: "The bull's form disguised the god, Pasiphaë, my mother, a victim of the deluded bull, brought forth in travail her reproach and burden Literalist and prurient readings that emphasize the machinery of actual copulation may, perhaps intentionally, obscure the mystic marriage of the god in bull form, a Minoan mythos alien to the Greeks.
The Minotaur is commonly represented in Classical art with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. One of the figurations assumed by the river spirit Achelous in wooing Deianira is as a man with the head of a bull, according to Sophocles' Trachiniai.
From Classical times through the Renaissance, the Minotaur appears at the center of many depictions of the Labyrinth. Ovid's Latin account of the Minotaur, which did not elaborate on which half was bull and which half man, was the most widely available during the Middle Ages, and several later versions show the reverse of the Classical configuration, a man's head and torso on a bull's body, reminiscent of a centaur