Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who attacked Athens after his son was murdered there. The Athenians submitted and had to sacrifice 14 youths to the Minotaur in his labyrinth every year. She fell in love with Theseus, a young man who volunteered to come and kill the Minotaur, and helped him by giving him a magic sword and a ball of thread so that he could easily find his way out. She ran away with Theseus after he achieved his goal. But he left her sleeping on the island of Naxos, and Dionysus wedded her himself.
Ariadne was originally a fertility goddess from Crete. She was especially worshipped on Naxos, Delos, Cyprus and in Athens. The Romans honored her as Libera.