In Greek mythology, Theseus is a legendary hero of Athens. He had many adventures, the best known being the slaying of the mInotaur, a half-man half bull creature, on the island of Crete. To protect Athens from attack by the Cretans, Theseus' father had agreed to send 7 young men and 7 young girls every 7 years (the number of years differs according to the account) as tribute, They were then given to the minotaur. Theseus volunteered to go. Once there, the king told Theseus that to prove he was the son of Poseidon he had to fetch a gold ring he threw into the sea. Theseus dove into the sea and a dolphin took him to the palace of the nymphs (also called Nereids). The nymphs Thetis gives him the ring and a gold crown, which then endears him to the Princess Ariadne, who then helps Theseus dispatch the Minotaur and escape. This 1917 illustration shows Theseus with the nymphs.