Friday, December 19, 2008

Bust of Daedalus

This statue currently resides in Amman, Jordan in an archaeology museum. I instantly was captivated by him, and kept returning to his corner of the museum again and again. He is magnificent. Plus, I actually figured out what the statue was before I read more than the title of the plaque, which made me feel very special indeed. 

Daedalus is the inventor in Greek mythology. He created King Minos' labyrinth, among other things. When the king imprisoned Daedalus and his son, Icarus, they escaped using wings that Daedalus made from feathers and wax. Icarus was warned that the wings were dangerous and that he shouldn't fly too close to the sun lest the wax melt and the wings fall apart. Icarus of course flew too high, the wax melted, and he plummeted into the ocean and died. Tragedy. But then--it is Greek, and they did make tragic endings rather popular.  

This Bust of Daedalus is believed to have originally been a statue including the arms and wings (and the rest of his beard), but they have been missing for centuries. All that remains now is the bust, portraying the straps of his winged invention bound across his chest. 

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