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Daedalus had two sons: Icarus and Iapyx. He is first mentioned by Homer as the creator of a wide dancing-ground for Ariadne. Homer refers to Ariadne by her Cretan title, the "Lady of the Labyrinth." The Labyrinth on Crete in which the Minotaur was kept was also created by the artificer Daedalus. The story of the labyrinth is told where Theseus is challenged to kill the Minotaur, finding his way with the help of Ariadne's thread.
Daedalus built the labyrinth for King Minos, who needed it to imprison his wife's son the Minotaur.
Daedalus was shut up in a tower to prevent his knowledge of the labyrinth from spreading to the public. He could not leave Crete by sea, as the king kept strict watch on all vessels, permitting none to sail without being carefully searched.
Since Minos controlled the land and sea routes, Daedalus set to work to fabricate wings for himself and his young son Icarus. He tied feathers together, from smallest to largest so as to form an increasing surface. The larger ones he secured with thread and the smaller with wax, and gave the whole a gentle curvature like the wings of a bird.
Ready for Flight
When the work was finally done, the artist, waving his wings, found himself buoyed upward and hung suspended, poising himself on the beaten air. He next equipped his son in the same manner, and taught him how to fly.
When both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low because the sea foam would make the wings wet and they would no longer fly. Thus the father and son flew away.
They had passed Samos, Delos, and Lebynthos when the boy began to soar upward as if to reach heaven. The blazing sun softened the wax which held the feathers together and they came off. Icarus fell into the sea.
Loss of Icarus
His father cried, bitterly lamenting his own arts, called the land near the place where Icarus fell into the ocean Icaria in memory of his child.