Gangi and the Minotaur


Effems - CC4.0

The Minotaur depicted in the Gangi coat of arms recalls the ancient origins of this splendid village.
The origins of the city of Gangi are in fact linked to Daedalus, a character from Greek mythology. Daedalus is known for its famous labyrinth in which the Minotaur was found. In fact, it is said that, during his exile, Daedalus arrived in Crete where, thanks to the grandeur of his genius, he became a friend of King Minos. It happened that Minos, who sacrificed a bull to Poseidon every year, decided to keep the most beautiful bull for himself by sacrificing another one to the god and thus unleashing the wrath of Poseidon who made Pasife, Minos' wife, fall in love with the beautiful bull. Daedalus then devised a contraption that looked like a cow, which allowed Pasiphae to satisfy her desire with the bull. From this union was born the mythical Minotaur, with the appearance of a bull up to the shoulders, and of a man in the rest of the body. It was then that Daedalus built a labyrinth where the Minotaur was raised and to which girls and boys were sacrificed.
Daedalus informed of the threat Minos posed to him, due to the construction of the cow, left Crete. According to the myth, he fled with wax wings together with his son Icarus. During the journey the son got too close to the sun and died, while Daedalus flying low and wetting his wings managed to reach Sicily. He arrived in the territory where Cocalo reigned, who received him and who, due to his talent, made him his friend.
Minosse informed of the flight of Daedalus in Sicily, decided to lead an expedition against that island. He decided to send his fiercest soldiers, who, once they arrived in Sicily, tired of their sovereign's harassment, decided to stay there. They therefore settled on the mountain from which the ancient river Engio flowed and founded the city of Engyon, from which the village of Gangi would arise, and in memory of their origins they chose a Minotaur as a symbol of the city who refreshes himself, peaceful and mild, near a source. This image is still present today in the city's coat of arms.

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