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Encyclopedia > Daedalus
Daedalus and Icarus, by Charles Paul Landon, 1799 (Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle, Alençon)
Daedalus and Icarus, by Charles Paul Landon, 1799 (Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle, Alençon)

In Greek mythology, Daedalus (Latin, also Hellenized Latin Daedalos, Greek Daidalos (Δαίδαλος) meaning "cunning worker", and Etruscan Taitle) was a most skillful artificer, so skillful that he was said to have invented images. Daedalus had two sons: Icarus and Iapyx. He is first mentioned in Homer as the creator of a wide dancing-ground for Ariadne (Iliad xviii.591). Homer refers to Ariadne by her Cretan title, the "Lady of the Labyrinth" (Iliad xviii.96). The Labyrinth on Crete in which the Minotaur was kept was also created by the artificer Daedalus. The story of the labyrinth is told where Theseus is challenged to kill the Minotaur, finding his way with the help of Ariadne's thread. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Charles Paul Landon (Nonant 1760 – Paris 1826) was a French painter and popular writer on art and artists. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the telling of stories created by the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and their own cult and ritual practices. ... Icarus and Daedalus by Frederic Leighton In Greek mythology, Icarus (Latin, Greek – Íkaros, Etruscan – Vicare, German – Ikarus) was son of Daedalus, famous for his death by falling into the sea when he flew too close to the sun, melting the wax holding his artificial wings together. ... In Greek mythology, Iapyx, son of Daedalus or Lycaon, was Aeneas healer during the Trojan War. ... Homer (Greek: , HómÄ“ros) was a legendary early Greek poet and aoidos (rhapsode) traditionally credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Drinking scene with Dionysus and Ariadne on his lap. ... A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ... Bull mask at the Greek pavilion at Expo 88 In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μινόταυρος, Minótauros) was a creature that was part man and part bull. ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Ignoring Homer later writers envisaged the labyrinth as an edifice rather than a single path to the center and out again, and gave it numberless winding passages and turns that opened into one another, seeming to have neither beginning nor end (see labyrinth as opposed to maze). Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, suggests that Daedalus constructed the Labyrinth so cunningly that he himself could barely escape it after he built it.[1] Daedalus built the labyrinth for King Minos, who needed it to imprison his wife's son the Minotaur. The story is told that Poseidon had given a bull to Minos so that he might use it as a sacrifice. Instead, Minos kept it for himself; and in revenge, Poseidon made his wife lust for the bull.[2] For Minos' wife, Pasiphaë, Daedalus also built the wooden cow so she could mate with the bull, for the Greeks imagined the Minoan bull of the sun to be an actual, earthly bull.. A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ... For other uses, see Maze (disambiguation). ... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC – Tomis, now ConstanÅ£a AD 17), a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... // Cover of George Sandyss 1632 edition of Ovids Metamorphosis Englished The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world in terms according to Greek and Roman points of view. ... A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ... Front face of the MINOS far detector. ... Bull mask at the Greek pavilion at Expo 88 In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μινόταυρος, Minótauros) was a creature that was part man and part bull. ... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ... In Greek mythology, Pasiphaë (Eng. ... The worship of the Sacred Bull throughout the ancient world is most familiar in the episode of the idol of the Golden Calf made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus). ...

Athenians transferred Cretan Daedalus as Athenian-born, the grandson of the ancient king Erechtheus, who fled to Crete, having killed his nephew, Perdix. Over time, other stories were told of Daedalus. In the nineteenth century, Thomas Bulfinch combined these into a single synoptic view of material which Andrew Stewart calls a "historically-intractable farrago of "evidence", heavily tinged with Athenian cultural chauvinism" (Stewart). Among these anecdotes, one told that Daedalus was shut up in a tower to prevent his knowledge of the labyrinth from spreading to the public. He could not leave Crete by sea, as the king kept strict watch on all vessels, permitting none to sail without being carefully searched. Since Minos controlled the land and sea routes, Daedalus set to work to fabricate wings for himself and his young son Icarus. He tied feathers together, from smallest to largest so as to form an increasing surface. The larger ones he secured with thread and the smaller with wax, and gave the whole a gentle curvature like the wings of a bird. When the work was finally done, the artist, waving his wings, found himself buoyed upward and hung suspended, poising himself on the beaten air. He next equipped his son in the same manner, and taught him how to fly. When both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low because the sea foam would make the wings wet and they would no longer fly. Thus the father and son flew away. Erechtheus in Greek Mythology was the name of a king of Athens, and a secondary name for two other characters In Homers Iliad the name is applied to the earth-born son of Hephaestus later mostly called Erichthonius by later writers. ... Thomas Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) was an American writer, born in Newton, Massachusetts to a highly-educated but not rich Bostonian merchant family. ... Icarus and Daedalus by Frederic Leighton In Greek mythology, Icarus (Latin, Greek – Íkaros, Etruscan – Vicare, German – Ikarus) was son of Daedalus, famous for his death by falling into the sea when he flew too close to the sun, melting the wax holding his artificial wings together. ...

They had passed Samos, Delos and Lebynthos when the boy began to soar upward as if to reach heaven. The blazing sun softened the wax which held the feathers together and they came off. Icarus fell into the sea. His father cried, bitterly lamenting his own arts, called the land near the place where Icarus fell into the ocean Icaria in memory of his child. Daedalus arrived safely in Sicily, in the care of King Cocalus, where he built a temple to Apollo, and hung up his wings, an offering to the god. Image File history File links PBrueghelElderIcarus. ... Image File history File links PBrueghelElderIcarus. ... Landscape With the Fall of Icarus is a famous landscape by Pieter Bruegel. ... Bruegels The Painter and The Connoisseur drawn c. ... Samos (Greek Σάμος) is a Greek island in the Eastern Aegean Sea, located between the island of Chios to the North and the archipelagic complex of the Dodecanese islands to the South and in particular the island of Patmos and off the coast of Turkey, on what was formely known as... The island of Delos, Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann, 1847 The island of Delos (Greek: Δήλος, Dhilos), isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of... Lebynthos is a small uninhabited island located in the east of the Aegean, between Kos and Paros, which is part of the Dodecanese islands. ... For the utopian place see the entry for Étienne Cabet Icaria, also spelled Ikaria (Greek: Ικαρία), locally Nikaria or Nicaria (Νικαριά), previous name: Doliche (Δολίχη), is a Greek island 10 nautical miles (19 km) south-west of Samos. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... In Greek mythology, Cocalus was the King of Sicily. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ...

Minos, meanwhile, searched for Daedalus by travelling from city to city asking a riddle. He presented a spiral seashell and asked for a string to be run through it. When he reached Camicus, King Cocalus, knowing Daedalus would be able to solve the riddle, privately fetched the old man to him. He tied the string to an ant which, lured by a drop of honey at one end, walked through the seashell stringing it all the way through. Minos then knew Daedalus was in the court of King Cocalus and demanded he be handed over. Cocalus managed to convince Minos to take a bath first, where Cocalus' daughters killed Minos.

Daedalus was so proud of his achievements that he could not bear the idea of a rival. His sister had placed her son Perdix under his charge to be taught the mechanical arts. He was an apt scholar and showed striking evidence of ingenuity. Walking on the seashore, he picked up the spine of a fish[3]. Imitating it, he took a piece of iron and notched it on the edge, and thus invented the saw. He put two pieces of iron together, connecting them at one end with a rivet, and sharpening the other ends, and made a pair of compasses. Daedalus was so envious of his nephew's accomplishments that he took an opportunity, when they were together one day on the top of a high tower, to push him off. But Minerva, who favors ingenuity, saw him falling and arrested his fate by changing him into a bird called after his name, the partridge. This bird does not build his nest in the trees, nor take lofty flights, but nestles in the hedges, and mindful of his fall, avoids high places. For this crime, Daedalus was tried and banished. Species Perdix is a genus of partridges with representatives in most of temperate Europe and Asia. ... Head of Minerva by Elihu Vedder, 1896 A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Minerva was a Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom. ... Genera Perdix Alectoris Lerwa Bambusicola Ptilopachus Rollulus Haematortyx Caloperdix Arborophila Xenoperdix Melanoperdix †See also Pheasant, Quail, Grouse Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. ...

Such anecdotal details as these were embroideries upon the reputation of Daedalus as an innovator in many arts. In Pliny's Natural History (7.198) he is credited with inventing carpentry "and with it the saw, axe, plumb-line, drill, glue, and isinglass". Pausanias, in travelling around Greece, attributed to Daedalus numerous archaic wooden cult figures (see xoana) that impressed him: "All the works of this artist, though somewhat uncouth to look at, nevertheless have a touch of the divine in them." [4] . Naturalis Historia Pliny the Elders Natural History is an encyclopedia written by Pliny the Elder. ... Isinglass is a substance obtained from the swimbladders of fish (especially Beluga sturgeon), used mainly for the clarification of wine and beer. ... Pausanias (Greek: ) was a Greek traveller and geographer of the 2nd century A.D., who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. ... A cult figure or cult icon is a person who attracts the attention of a small band of aficionados. ... Xoanon Publishing was founded in 1992 e. ...

Daedalus gave his name, eponymously, to any Greek artificer and to many Greek contraptions that represented dextrous skill. At Plataea there was a festival, the Daedala, in which a temporary wooden altar was fashioned, an effigy was made from an oak-tree and dressed in bridal attire. It was carried in a cart with a woman who acted as bridesmaid. The image was called Daedale and the archaic ritual given an explanation through a myth to the purpose. An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, which has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, discovery or other item. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... In ancient Greece, the Daedala (Greek Δάιδαλα) was a festival celebrating the goddess Hera celebrated among the Boeotians, particularly the Plataeans. ...

In the period of Romanticism, Daedalus came to denote the classic artist, a skilled mature craftsman, while Icarus symbolizes the romantic artist, an undisputed heir of the classic artist, whose impetuous, passionate and rebellious nature, as well as his defiance of formal aesthetic and social conventions, ultimately prove to be self destructive. Romanticism is an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Western Europe. ...

See also

This is a list of article. ...


  1. ^ Penelope Reed Doob, The Idea of the Labyrinth: from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages, p 36, ISBN 0-8014-8000-0
  2. ^ Edith Hamilton, Mythology, p 151, ISBN 0-451-62702-4
  3. ^ Some versions say it is a serpent's jaw that is used as the basis for the saw
  4. ^ Description of Greece 2.4.5. Pausanias listed existing works that were attributed to Daedalus in the second century CE, Description 9.40.3

God of War 2: In the video game God of War 2 Kratos battles Daedalus, Icarus's father for the use of his wings to reach the Sisters of Fate. While it may seem at first that he is battling Icarus he is indeed battling Daedalus, who is trying to go back and save his son's life.


  • Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Daedalus
  • Andrew Stewart, One Hundred Greek Sculptors: Their Careers and Extant Works. Begins with Daedalus.
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  Results from FactBites:
Daedalus (511 words)
The Athenian Daedalus, son of Metion and the grandson of Erechtheus
Daedalus gave her a flaxen thread for Theseus to tie to the door of the Labyrinth as he entered, and by which he could find his way out after killing the monster.
Daedalus buried his son and continued to Sicily, where he came to stay at the court of Cocalus.
  More results at FactBites »



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