Minos a Cretan hero and lawgiver, figures in Greek mythology and legends. There are many writers who speak of two characters of that name, but Homer and Hesiod know of only one Minos, the king of Cnossus, and son and friend of the god Jupiter himself. We are told that Minos secured the throne by promising sacrifices to the gods, and that when he had acquired the power he was cruel and tyrannical; and that after he had subjected the Athenians he treated them mercilessly, and required their boys and virgins as sacrifices to the Minotaur (q.v.). Although these legends and fables are of but little interest, Minos deserves a place here as a benefactor of the race; and, if his existence be not mythical, he must be ranked among the wise men of the earth. To him the celebrated Laws of Minos, which served as a model for the legislation of Lycurgus, are ascribed. He is said to have dealt out justice, and to have so pleased the gods that he became a judge of the souls which entered the infernal regions. Minos has by some writers on antiquity been identified with Manu (or Menu), the great Hindu lawgiver.