Daedalus was a famous character from Greek mythology,
He was a skilful architect and craftsman, who mythology tells us was seen as a figure of wisdom, knowledge and power.
Now as you may have guessed Greek mythology gets a little bit weird. It says that he is the father of both Icarus and Lapyx, as well as the uncle of Perdix.
Now I bet you have never heard of Lapyx, but in both Greek and Roman mythology, he was a favourite of Apollo. Apollo wanted him to have the gift of prophecy, but Lapyx, to prolong the life of his father, followed the tranquil art of healing others.
In “The Aeneid”, a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, it tells the legendary story of Aeneas. Well, Aeneas was a Trojan who fled the fall of Troy, travelled to Italy and was healed by Lapyx during the Trojan War. He then escaped to Italy after the war, founding Apulia.
Apulia is one of the richest archaeological regions in Italy, it was first colonized by Mycenaean Greeks. They called it Apulia after the tribes that lived there at the time.
Again, he is confusing, it’s Greek Mythology again! His sister, Perdix, had placed her son called, it really was, Perdix, under Daedalus’ charge to be taught the skill of mechanical arts.
There was a problem, Daedalus was so proud of his achievements that he could not bear the idea of anyone being cleverer than him. Unfortunately for him, Perdix was a good scholar and a brilliant inventor. For example, on the seashore he saw the spine of a fish, then notched the edge of a piece of iron and invented the saw! He also made a pair of compasses by putting two pieces of iron together, connecting them at one end, and sharpening the other ends.
Now these ideas annoyed Daedalus, so he took him to the top of a tower and pushed him off!
However, he was seen by Athena, who saw Perdix falling and saved him by changing him into a bird, called the partridge. Now Partridges don’t like trees, or even lofty flights but live in hedges, and mindful of his fall, avoids high places. Therefore, Athena decided to leave Daedalus with a partridge shaped scar, to remind him of what he did.
Mythology made him known for:
- The wooden bull for Pasiphaë. This is even weirder, to explain. King Minos offended Poseidon, the sea god, who cursed Pasiphae, Minos’ wife, with a mad passion for a white bull. Daedalus then built a white wooden cow in which she could disguise herself. Pasiphae then, yes, mated with the creature! She gave birth to the fearsome Minotaur, with the body of a man, but the face of a bull.
- Deadalus, then had to build a Labyrinth under King Minos’s palace to keep the Minotaur. It is thought that the Labyrinth had numerous winding passages and turns that opened into one another, seeming to have neither beginning nor end. Ovid, don’t ask, in his Metamorphoses, suggests that Daedalus constructed the Labyrinth so cunningly that he himself could barely escape after he built it.
- The wings he created for himself and his son, Icarus, that they used to escape Crete. It was when Icarus flew too close to the sun so the wax holding his wings together melted and Icarus fell to his death.
We mentioned Pasiphaë earlier, who in Greek mythology was a queen of Crete, and was often referred to as goddess of witchcraft and sorcery. She was the daughter of Helios and the Oceanid nymph, Perse, it just goes on and on, so I won’t explain them. She was forced to fall in love with the Minotaur as a curse because her husband, Minos, failed to sacrifice the bull to Poseidon. Doesn’t it all get very complicated?
Bring this story to life in your classroom
Educational Musicals have created two unique schools’ musicals on these subjects. One about Daedalus & Icarus – Their Flight to Freedom. It is a musical with 12 specific songs that take the show along and in which no child has to learn more than five lines in one go. You can download it today go to https://eml.coolski.co.uk/index.php/product/daedalus-icarus/ where you will hear two of the songs and read two pages of script.
The other is Monster Of The Maze – The Story of Theseus and the Minotaur. Again, it is a musical with 12 specific songs that tells the story of how Theseus goes to Crete, and into the Labyrinth under the palace and kills the Minotaur.
With both shows no child has to learn more than five lines unless they read it from a script. We include an Art Pack that shows how you can make the scenery, costumes and props from recycled materials.
You can download Monster Of The Maze – The Story of Theseus and the Minotaur if you go to https://eml.coolski.co.uk/index.php/product/monster-of-the-maze/
Once you download them you can start rehearsing today.
Let’s make history fun
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