Daedalus was a very famous architect, inventor, and craftsman. He built a labyrinth, wings, axe, awl, folding chairs, and many more. He was clever, hence that his name, Daedalus, means clever or ingenious. He has a side of jealousy. He made great improvements in art, especially in sculpting. His sculptures were so realistic, that people believed they can move.
Daedalus was born in Athens and was famous for his artwork and inventions. He had a nephew named Talus, who is also called Perdix or Calos, who worked as an apprentice for him. Talus was very talented and Daedalus got very jealous of his talent. Daedalus didn’t want his nephew to overpower him, so he pushed Talus off the Acropolis. Athena saved Talus and turned him into a Partridge. Due to his crime, Daedalus was banished from Athens and was sent to Crete, where he worked for King Minos.
Daedalus has two sons, one named Icarus, and the other Iapyx. He was the uncle of Perdix (who is also called Calos or Talus). His father was either Metion, Eupalamus, or Palamaon and his mother was either Alcippe, Athena, Iphinoe, or Phrasimede. His father and mother vary depending on the myth. Daedalus is the grandson of Erechtheus, an ancient king.
Daedalus was sent to Crete to work for the Cretan ruler, King Minos due to his crime of killing his nephew, Perdix. King Minos asked Poseidon, the God of the sea, to give him a sacrificial bull, but he decided to keep the bull, because it was so beautiful. This made Poseidon furious and he made Pasiphae, King Minos’ wife, to fall in love with the bull. The bull didn’t approach humans, so Pasiphae asked Daedalus to make her a shell of a realistic cow. She put herself into the shell and made contact with the bull. Pasiphae managed to get pregnant and gave birth to a Minotaur, a creature with a body of a man and a head of a bull. Daedalus made a labyrinth to prison the Minotaur at King Minos’ request. Whoever went into the labyrinth was bound to never come back due to its complexity. Athens lost a battle with Crete; so as a result, Athens sent 12 young tributes yearly, where they were fed to the Minotaur. One year later, Theseus came to Crete as a tribute and was motivated to kill the Minotaur. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and asked Daedalus to help him kill the Minotaur. Daedalus told her to give Theseus a ball of string to help him get out of the maze. Theseus killed the beast and found his way out.
Daedalus and Icarus
King Minos was furious because Daedalus helped Theseus kill the Minotaur. He sent Daedalus and his son, Icarus, to the Labyrinth, where they were prisoned. Daedalus was a well-known inventor and he did not give up any chances to escape. He collected bird feathers and wax from beehives. He eventually had enough supplies to make two pairs of wings. Daedalus planned to escape from Crete by flying. On the day they decided to flee, Daedalus told Icarus not to fly too high or too low because of the sea and the sun. The sun can melt the wax and the waves from the ocean can be dangerous. The wings worked and they flew into the sky. Icarus was very excited that he ignored his father’s warning and went too close to the sun. The sun melted the wax and Icarus fell into the ocean, but Daedalus managed to survive and went to Sicily.
Daedalus went to Sicily, where he had care and protection from King Cocalus. There, he built a temple to honor Apollo. Minos wanted to find Daedalus and searched in many cities for him. In each city he went to, he asked a riddle he knew only Daedalus would know. When King Minos arrived to Kamikos, the city Daedalus lived, he asked King Cocalus the riddle. King Cocalus asked Daedalus in private and they solved the riddle. King Minos knew Daedalus was in King Cocalus’ care and demanded for Daedalus. King Cocalus convinced King Minos to take a bath. While King Minos was taking a bath, the daughters of King Cocalus killed him.
Daedalus was a human being. He did not have any sort of supernatural powers, but he was very smart and was considered a genius. He was known for his sculptures and inventions. Some people believed that his sculptures had the power of movement due to how realistic Daedalus made it. It was said that some people who bought one of his sculptures, put chains on it to prevent it from moving.
- Daedalus built the Holumbethra, which was a swimming bath.
- Daedalus is most famous for creating the Labyrinth, where the Minotaur was kept.
- Daedalus lost his son while trying to flee from Crete by flying.
- Daedalus was forced to live in the Labyrinth after helping Theseus kill the Minotaur.
"Daedalus." Myths Encyclopedia. Advameg, Inc., 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"DAEDALUS." Greek Mythology Index. Myth Index, 2007. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Daedalus." Wikia. Wikia, Inc., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Daedalus." Myth Web. Fleet Gazelle, 1993-2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Daedalus." Greek Mythology Link. Carlos Parada and Maicar Förlag, 1997. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Daedalus (Greek Mythology)." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Daedalus." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
"Myths and Legends." Myths and Legends. E2BN, 2006. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
BY URSULA CHOI