Icarus and Daedalus

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The Story of Icarus and Daedalus from Ancient Mythology
Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Icarus and Daedalus

Icarus and Daedalus
The short mythical story of Icarus and Daedalus is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Icarus and Daedalus really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancient Roman and Greek gods. Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

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Icarus and Daedalus
The Myth of Icarus and Daedalus

The mythical story of Icarus and Daedalus
by Josephine Preston Peabody

The Myth of Icarus and Daedalus
Among all those mortals who grew so wise that they learned the secrets of the gods, none was more cunning than Daedalus.

He once built, for King Minos of Crete, a wonderful Labyrinth of winding ways so cunningly tangled up and twisted around that, once inside, you could never find your way out again without a magic clue. But the king's favor veered with the wind, and one day he had his master architect imprisoned in a tower. Daedalus managed to escape from his cell; but it seemed impossible to leave the island, since every ship that came or went was well guarded by order of the king.

At length, watching the sea-gulls in the air, the only creatures that were sure of liberty, he thought of a plan for himself and his young son Icarus, who was captive with him.

Little by little, he gathered a store of feathers great and small. He fastened these together with thread, moulded them in with wax, and so fashioned two great wings like those of a bird. When they were done, Daedalus fitted them to his own shoulders, and after one or two efforts, he found that by waving his arms he could winnow the air and cleave it, as a swimmer does the sea. He held himself aloft, wavered this way and that with the wind, and at last, like a great fledgling, he learned to fly.

Without delay, he fell to work on a pair of wings for the boy Icarus, and taught him carefully how to use them, bidding him beware of rash adventures among the stars. "Remember," said the father, "never to fly very low or very high, for the fogs about the earth would weigh you down, but the blaze of the sun will surely melt your feathers apart if you go too near."

For Icarus, these cautions went in at one ear and out by the other. Who could remember to be careful when he was to fly for the first time? Are birds careful? Not they! And not an idea remained in the boy's head but the one joy of escape.

Icarus and Daedalus

Picture of Icarus and Daedalus

The day came, and the fair wind that was to set them free. The father bird put on his wings, and, while the light urged them to be gone, he waited to see that all was well with Icarus, for the two could not fly hand in hand. Up they rose, the boy after his father. The hateful ground of Crete sank beneath them; and the country folk, who caught a glimpse of them when they were high above the tree-tops, took it for a vision of the gods, Apollo, perhaps, with Cupid after him.

At first there was a terror in the joy. The wide vacancy of the air dazed them, a glance downward made their brains reel. But when a great wind filled their wings, and Icarus felt himself sustained, like a halcyon-bird in the hollow of a wave, like a child uplifted by his mother, he forgot everything in the world but joy. He forgot Crete and the other islands that he had passed over: he saw but vaguely that winged thing in the distance before him that was his father Daedalus. He longed for one draught of flight to quench the thirst of his captivity: he stretched out his arms to the sky and made towards the highest heavens.

Alas for him! Warmer and warmer grew the air. Those arms, that had seemed to uphold him, relaxed. His wings wavered, drooped. He fluttered his young hands vainly, he was falling, and in that terror he remembered. The heat of the sun had melted the wax from his wings; the feathers were falling, one by one, like snowflakes; and there was none to help.

He fell like a leaf tossed down the wind, down, down, with one cry that overtook Daedalus far away. When he returned, and sought high and low for the poor boy, he saw nothing but the bird-like feathers afloat on the water, and he knew that Icarus was drowned.

The nearest island he named Icaria, in memory of the child; but he, in heavy grief, went to the temple of Apollo in Sicily, and there hung up his wings as an offering. Never again did he attempt to fly.

The Legend and Myth of Icarus and Daedalus

The Myth of Icarus and Daedalus
The story of Icarus and Daedalus is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.

Picture of Icarus and Daedalus

Icarus and Daedalus - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Icarus and Daedalus, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Icarus and Daedalus, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...

The Myth of Icarus and Daedalus - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Icarus and Daedalus is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Icarus and Daedalus is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.

Satyr

The Magical World of Myth and Legend

The Short Story and Myth of Icarus and Daedalus
The myth about Icarus and Daedalus is featured in the book entitled The story of Icarus and Daedalus is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses - Apollo riding his golden chariot

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses

Icarus and Daedalus

  • Short story of Icarus and Daedalus
  • A Myth Story of the Ancient World
  • The gods, goddesses of the ancient Myth Stories & Legends
  • The monsters and beasts of classical Mythology
  • The story of Icarus and Daedalus by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding
  • A famous Myth Story and fable of the Ancient World for schools and kids
 

 
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