Preview

Description

Daedalus was generally thought to be the most brilliant craftsman in Athens until one of his apprentices surpassed him. In a fight spurred by jealousy, Daedalus threw the apprentice off the Acropolis. His crime was discovered and he was banished from Athens. He sought refuge in Crete, where King Minos was delighted to welcome such a famous craftsman. He lived happily there for many years, and during that time, built the Labyrinth of Knossos, in which was placed the fearsome Minotaur – half man, half bull. Upon its completion, Daedalus swore on his life that no man would ever find his way out of it. However evil King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son, Icarus, in the prison so the secret of the Labyrinth is certain. Daedalus escaped and made wings of feathers fastened together with wax for himself and his son. Daedalus cautioned Icarus to go neither too high, not too low, and told him to follow closely. As they sped away over sea and land, fisherman and shepherds gazing upwards mistook them for gods. Icarus eventually disobeyed his father’s instructions and soared up, enjoying the lift of his great sweeping wings. He flew too high, however, and as the sun melted the wax that held his wings, he fell into the sea and drowned. Grief-stricken, Daedalus continued on to Sicily, where he remained in the employ of King Cocalus. King Minos wanted revenge and raised a fleet to search out Daedalus. With him he brought a triton shell, and wherever he went he promised a reward to anyone who could pass a linen thread through it — knowing that only Daedalus would be able to solve the problem. Sure enough, when he landed in Sicily, King Cocalus undertook to have it threaded and handed it over to Daedalus. He attached the thread to an ant and let it crawl through the spiral, coaxing it along with honey. When Cocalus claimed the reward, Minos demanded that Daedalus be handed over. Cocalus would have obliged, but his daughters were so fond of Daedalus, they fed boiling water through a secret pipe into King Minos’ bath, scalding him to death. Daedalus was finally free to continue life without having to keep looking over his shoulder, but constantly mourned his son.