Daedalus and Icarus

the story of Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus lived during the height of the Minoan civilization and was one of the greatest inventors and builders of the period. The building of the labyrinth and the construction of the wooden cow that enabled Pasiphae to copulate with the bull are attributed to him. When Minos learnt of Daedalus' treachery he imprisoned him in a tower. With all other means of escape seemingly denied to him, Daedalus set to constructing wings for himself and his son, Icarus, so that they could fly out.

Tying feathers together in the shape of the wings of a bird, he secured them at their base with wax. After much experimentation and practice Daedalus felt both he and Icarus were ready to escape. Before setting off he warned Icarus not to fly too high because the heat of the sun would melt the wax. They had made good progress, passing Samos, Delos and Lebynthos and Icarus, impressed by the height and speed, with which he was able to fly, went too high and close to the sun which softened the wax and caused the feathers to fall out.

Icarus plummeted down into the sea and drowned. According to another version of the story, Pasiphae gave Daedalus a boat and helped him to escape from Crete. Apparently the boat was very fast and its sails appeared as wings, giving rise to the idea that Daedalus and Icarus had flown away. Nevertheless, in both versions of the legend, Icarus falls into the sea and drowns and the land near where he fell into the sea was named Icaria..