The Flight of Icarus
I find the most fascinating of ancient writings to be Greek mythology. Writings produced by the early Greeks, in my opinion, even rival modern day literature. Hard to believe considering everything the human race has experienced and endured up to this point. With so many Greek tragedies, my favorite has to be "The Flight of Icarus." Our story begins on the isle of Crete. The earliest known settlers were the Minoans. King Minos ruled this island nation. This Greek tragedy involves an inventor named Daedalus. His homeland was Athens. For a short time, his apprentice was his sister's son Perdix. When Daedalus feared that Perdix would surpass him in talent, he murdered the boy by tossing him from the Acropolis of Athens. He was then tried at the Areopagus and banished from the city. Daedalus fled to Crete, where he began to work at the court of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae, in their magnificent palace of Knossos. There he constructed a wooden cow for the Queen to hide in to satisfy her amorous longings for a white bull sent by Poseidon, which caused her to become pregnant with the Minotaur. The irony is Minos had prayed to Poseidon to send him the white bull, as a sign of approval by the gods for his reign.
Minos promised to sacrifice the bull as an offering, but he coveted it for himself. He assumed that Poseidon would not mind, so he kept it and sacrificed the best specimen from his herd instead. When Poseidon learned about the deceit, he made Minos' wife fall madly in love with the white bull. The offspring of their lovemaking was a monster called the Minotaur.
The creature had the head and tail of a bull on the body of a man. It caused such terror and destruction on Crete that Minos himself summoned Daedalus. He ordered the architect to build a gigantic, intricate labyrinth from which escape would be impossible. The Minotaur was captured and locked in the labyrinth. Every year for nine years, seven youths and maidens came as a tribute from Athens....