Daedalus, a descendant of Erechtheus, the ancient Athenian king, was the greatest and most talented sculptor, artist and architect of Athens.
He built magnificent buildings and carved marble beautiful statues that looked like living. Previously, the Greeks depicted people who looked like stuffed dolls with their eyes closed. Daedalus taught them how to carve out of a stone statues depicting people in motion.
Daedalus invented and manufactured many tools for his work (for example, ax and drill). With the help of a stone on a thread, the master taught builders to check the quality of the masonry walls. Daedalus had Tal’s nephew, the son of his sister Perdika, who helped his uncle in his workshop. Tal also had a talent, ingenuity, already at such a young age he came up with
Envied Tal’s talent, Daedalus was afraid that his nephew would soon surpass him, and he planned to kill a young man. When they stood together on the top of the Acropolis, Daedalus knocked Tala down and he crashed. Daedalus was going to secretly bury the body of his nephew, but when he was digging the grave, the Athenians found him, and Areopagus (authority in ancient Athens) condemned the master to death for murder.
Daedalus managed to escape from the sentence to the island of Crete, ruled by King Minos, the son of Zeus and Europe. King of Crete was pleased to get the greatest artist in Greece, and Daedalus, by the order of Minos, created many works of art on the island. The most famous of them was the palace of the Labyrinth, in which there were so many rooms and passages that, having got there, a man could not find a way out.
It was in the Labyrinth that Minos placed the son of his wife Pasiphae and the sacred bull of the god Poseidon Minotaur – a monster with a human body and a bull’s head. Minos ordered Athens every nine years to supply the Minotaur with food for seven boys and girls. The Minotaur was killed by the Athenian hero Theseus, who was helped by the daughter of Minos Ariadne. Until now, the remains of the allegedly Labyrinth Daedalus have been preserved in Crete.
Daedalus lived in Crete for many years and began to miss his native Athens. But Minos did not want to let the master go and kept Daedalus along with his son Icarus on the island, as prisoners. Daedalus thought about escape for a long time, and finally, looking at the sky, he decided that only by air he could escape. Master planned to make himself wings and fly away from Crete. He began to collect feathers of birds, skillfully bind them with strong linen threads and fasten with wax. Soon, four large wings were ready, Daedalus attached them to the back and hands and tried to take off. He succeeded, and Daedalus decided that it was time to flee.
Going downstairs, he told his son that they were leaving Crete. The father warned Icarus about caution: he should not go down to the sea, otherwise the wings will get wet, and climb high, or the sun will melt the wax, and the feathers will fly away. When the father and son wings and took off, the Cretans who saw this flight took them for gods.
In flight, Daedalus often turned, worrying for his son. They flew for quite some time, past the islands of Delos and Paros. Icarus liked to fly, he began to play and go up to the sun. The heat of the light melted the wax that held the feathers, and they flew. Icarus waved his hands, but there was no more wings on them, and the boy fell from a huge height into the sea and died. When Daedalus turned around, his son was not around, only feathers swayed on the waves. Realizing what had happened, he hated his art and cursed the day when he decided to flee from Crete through the air.
According to legend, Ikar’s body was worn for a long time by sea waves. Hercules found the boy’s body, beaten by waves, and buried him. And the sea in which Icarus died, began to be called Ikaria (this is part of the Aegean Sea).
Continuing his flight, Daedalus finally made his way to Sicily, where he found refuge with Tsar Kokal. Minos found the artist in Sicily and demanded that Kokal give him Daedalus. Kokal, at the request of his daughters, who did not want to miss such a master as Daedalus, decided to take Minos in the palace and kill him. When the king of Crete took a bath, Kokal’s daughters poured a boiler of boiling water onto him, and Minos died in terrible agony. Daedalus lived for a long time in Sicily, then moved to his native Athens, where he became the founder of the genus Dedalid, the Athenian artists.
The myth of Daedalus and Icarus is created in ancient Athens, the largest cultural, commercial and industrial center of Greece. This myth shows us that already in ancient times a person dreamed of the sky, looking at birds, so the most outstanding achievement of Daedalus was considered not his works of art, namely wings.