P. 274 (with art)

Athens, Acropolis Museum, 601, Attic hydria fragment, Ikaros.


Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 47, 1927, p. 223, fig. 2.

Vlastos Collection, Athens: Attic red-figured chous by Icarus Painter with Ikaros

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

New York, Metropolitan Mseum, 24.97.37, Attic chous by the Ikaros Painter, Ikaros (?).



Metropolitan Museum on line.

Palaiphatos 12 Daidalos and Ikaros – Mythographi Graeci 3 pt. 2, pp. 5-8, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902.

Daedalus and Icarus:  They say that Minos confined Daedalus and Icarus his son for some reason, and that Daedalus made wings for both of them he attached them, and flew off with Icarus. The idea of a flying man is impossible, even one with added wings. So the story was this: Daedalus, while in confinement, let himself down through the window and lowered his son, got in a small boat, and went away. When Minos learned, he sent ships in pursuit. When they perceived themselves being pursued, there being a violent, favorable wind, they seemed to be flying along. Then, sailing with a favorable south wind in the Cretan sea, they overturned. Daedalus safely came to land, but Icarus was killed (whence from him it is called the Icarian Sea). His body, cast ashore by the waves, was buried by his father.  Greek Text

Naples, Museo Nazionale Archeologico, 1767, Apulian krater, Ikaros.



Journal of Hellenic Studies, 47, 1927, p. 229, fig. 5.

Strabo, Geography 14.1.19

Alongside Samos lies the island Icaria, whence was derived the name of the Icarian Sea. This island is named after Icarus the son of Daedalus, who, it is said, having joined his father in flight, both being furnished with wings, flew away from Crete and fell here, having lost control of their course; for, they add, on rising too close to the sun, his wings slipped off, since the wax melted.  Greek Text

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 4.77.5-9

But Daedalus, they say, on learning that Minos had made threats against him because he had fashioned the cow, became fearful of the anger of the king and departed from Crete, Pasiphaê helping him and providing a vessel for his escape. [6] With him fled also his son Icarus and they put in at a certain island which lay in the open sea. But when Icarus was disembarking onto the island in a reckless manner, he fell into the sea and perished, and in memory of him the sea was named the Icarian and the island was called Icaria. Daedalus, however, sailing away from this island, landed in Sicily near the territory over which Cocalus reigned as king, who courteously received Daedalus and because of his genius and his renown made him his close friend.

[7] But certain writers of myths have the following account: Daedalus remained a while longer in Crete, being kept hidden by Pasiphaê, and king Minos, desiring to wreak vengeance upon him and yet being unable to find him, caused all the boats which were on the island to be searched and announced that he would give a great sum of money to the man who should discover Daedalus. [8] Thereupon Daedalus, despairing of making his escape by any boat, fashioned with amazing ingenuity wings which were cleverly designed and marvellously fitted together with wax; and fastening these on his son’s body and his own he spread them out for flight, to the astonishment of all, and made his escape over the open sea which lies near the island of Crete. [9] As for Icarus, because of the ignorance of youth he made his flight too far aloft and fell into the sea when the wax which held the wings together was melted by the sun, whereas Daedalus, by flying close to the sea and repeatedly wetting the wings, made his way in safety, marvellous to relate, to Sicily. Now as for these matters, even though the myth is a tale of marvel, we none the less have thought it best not to leave it unmentioned.  Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 40

When Minos found out the affair he cast Daedalus into prison, but Pasiphae freed him from his chains. And so Daedalus made wings and fitted them to himself and to his son Icarus, and they flew away from that place. Icarus flew too high, and when the wax was melted by the sun, fell into the sea which was named Icarian for him.  Latin Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.183-235

But Daedalus abhorred the Isle of Crete
and his long exile on that sea-girt shore,
increased the love of his own native place.
“Though Minos blocks escape by sea and land.”
He said, “The unconfined skies remain
though Minos may be lord of all the world
his sceptre is not regnant of the air,
and by that untried way is our escape.”

This said, he turned his mind to arts unknown
and nature unrevealed. He fashioned quills
and feathers in due order — deftly formed
from small to large, as any rustic pipe
prom straws unequal slants. He bound with thread
the middle feathers, and the lower fixed
with pliant wax; till so, in gentle curves
arranged, he bent them to the shape of birds.

While he was working, his son Icarus,
with smiling countenance and unaware
of danger to himself, perchance would chase
the feathers, ruffled by the shifting breeze,
or soften with his thumb the yellow wax,
and by his playfulness retard the work
his anxious father planned.

But when at last
the father finished it, he poised himself,
and lightly floating in the winnowed air
waved his great feathered wings with bird-like ease.
And, likewise he had fashioned for his son
such wings; before they ventured in the air
he said, “My son, I caution you to keep
the middle way, for if your pinions dip
too low the waters may impede your flight;
and if they soar too high the sun may scorch them.
Fly midway. Gaze not at the boundless sky,
far Ursa Major and Bootes next.
Nor on Orion with his flashing brand,
but follow my safe guidance.”

As he spoke
he fitted on his son the plumed wings
with trembling hands, while down his withered cheeks
the tears were falling. Then he gave his son
a last kiss, and upon his gliding wings
assumed a careful lead solicitous.
As when the bird leads forth her tender young,
from high-swung nest to try the yielding air;
so he prevailed on willing Icarus;
encouraged and instructed him in a]l
the fatal art; and as he waved his wings
looked backward on his son.

Beneath their flight,
the fisherman while casting his long rod,
or the tired shepherd leaning on his crook,
or the rough plowman as he raised his eyes,
astonished might observe them on the wing,
and worship them as Gods.

Upon the left
they passed by Samos, Juno’s sacred isle;
Delos and Paros too, were left behind;
and on the right Lebinthus and Calymne,
fruitful in honey. Proud of his success,
the foolish Icarus forsook his guide,
and, bold in vanity, began to soar,
rising upon his wings to touch the skies;
but as he neared the scorching sun, its heat
softened the fragrant wax that held his plumes;
and heat increasing melted the soft wax—
he waved his naked arms instead of wings,
with no more feathers to sustain his flight.
And as he called upon his father’s name
his voice was smothered in the dark blue sea,
now called Icarian from the dead boy’s name.

The unlucky father, not a father, called,
“Where are you, Icarus?” and “Where are you?
In what place shall I seek you, Icarus?”
He called again; and then he saw the wings
of his dear Icarus, floating on the waves;
and he began to rail and curse his art.

He found the body on an island shore,
now called Icaria, and at once prepared
to bury the unfortunate remains.  Latin Text

Apollodoros, Epitome 1.12-13

On being apprized of the flight of Theseus and his company, Minos shut up the guilty Daedalus in the labyrinth, along with his son Icarus, who had been borne to Daedalus by Naucrate, a female slave of Minos. But Daedalus constructed wings for himself and his son, and enjoined his son, when he took to flight, neither to fly high, lest the glue should melt in the sun and the wings should drop off, nor to fly near the sea, lest the pinions should be detached by the damp. [13] But the infatuated Icarus, disregarding his father’s injunctions, soared ever higher, till, the glue melting, he fell into the sea called after him Icarian, and perished. But Daedalus made his way safely to Camicus in Sicily.  Greek Text

Kleidemos 323F17 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker pt. 3 B, p. 56, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Xenophon, Memorabilia 4.2.33

have you not heard how Daedalus was seized by Minos because of his wisdom, and was forced to be his slave, and was robbed of his country and his liberty, and essaying to escape with his son, lost the boy and could not save himself, but was carried off to the barbarians and again lived as a slave there?”  Greek Text

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023

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