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Daedalus

Daedalus (from the Greek daidallein, to work artistically) is the name of a half mythological half historical man who was the most ancient Greek sculptor, architect, and mechanician, and the father of Cretan art. He is supposed to have lived in the 13th century B.C., and to have been contemporary with Theseus and Minos. Originally of Athens, he is said to have killed his nephew who was a rival artist, and to have been exiled and to have taken refuge in Crete, where he constructed the labyrinth for Minos. Shut in this labyrinth with his son Icarus, he made wings and the two escaped, but Icarus flew too near the sun and melted the wax which fastened his wings, and, falling, was drowned in the sea which afterwards bore his name. Some have explained this wing story by saying that Daedalus invented sails by means of which he outstripped Minos's rowing-boats. Daedalus is said to have reached Cumae and to have gone to Sicily, where he built a fortress for the king. What Orpheus was to poetry, says one writer, and Linus to music, such was Daedalus to mechanics.

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