Daedalus – the greatest inventor in Ancient Greece

Daedalus was one of the most known and accredited architects in the ancient years. He was actually the impersonator of scientific evolution – the first architect and sculptor, master craftsman and inventor in Ancient Greece. He was the one who invented many devices used today, such as the axe, the saw, the ceramic wheel and the masts of the boats.

According to the myth, Daedalus was the son of Palamaonas and Alkippe. He was infamous in his time due to his craftsmanship, creating sculptures that looked alive, generating great interest because of their beauty. It is said that Hercules himself was confused and capsized a sculpture, considering it to be a living enemy.

Daedalus had a workshop in Athens and many students. Among them, there was Talos, a man of great craftsmanship as well; Athenians actually suggest that Talos invented the saw, not Daedalus. He also invented the compass and Daedalus was afraid that his student would become greater than him, that’s why he killed him, throwing him from the Acropolis.

Talos’ mother hanged herself when found out what happened and the Athenians decided to punish Daedalus, who fled to Crete and asked the Great King Minos to stay in his court. King Minos was delighted to have Daedalus there, and ordered him to build the Palace of Knossos. The myth of Daedalus and Icarus and the tragic death of Icarus is one of the favorite and most popular myths in Greek Mythology.

Daedalus in Sicily

King Minos, Queen Pasiphae and Daedalus
King Minos, Queen Pasiphae and Daedalus

After the death of his son, Daedalus lamented Icarus and flew to Sicily, where he built a Temple dedicated to Apollo, giving the God the wings that helped him to escape from Crete. The Governor of Sicily ordered Daedalus to build the aqueduct of the city called Camicus.

In the meantime King Minos of Crete went in pursuit of the architect; he knew that Daedalus would not reveal himself, therefore he decided to trick him into revealing his whereabouts. Minos visited many cities, asking people to thread a spiral seashell – giving a huge reward.

Nobody managed to do it, until Minos arrived to Camicus. The governor gave the shell to Daedalus, who tied the string to an ant and placed it at one side of the shell. The ant entered the shell and found its way out through the spiral chambers. Minos knew right away that Daedalus was the one who solved the mystery and ordered the Governor to give him Daedalus.

The Governor accepted, asking Minos to have a bath in his courthouse. The Governor ordered his daughters to murder Minos in order to keep Daedalus safe in Sicily.

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