Character in Greek mythology. His name means "cunning artificer." He was a famous and very talented architect and inventor. Jealous of his nephew Talus who appeared to be as talented as himself, Daedalus killed the young man and was soon exiled from Athens. He fled to Crete to work for the court of King Minos. There, Queen Pasiphae asked him to create an artificial cow so that she could have intercourse with a sacred bull (Cretans worhshipped bulls). He did and she did, and so she gave birth to a son that was half-man half-bull, also known as the Minotaur. Minos, upset at having such a monstrosity for a son, asked Daedalus to design the labyrinth to house the Minotaur. Some time after the labyrinth was built, Minos found out that Daedalus had been partly responsible for the conception of the Minotaur and confined Daedalus and his son Icarus to the labyrinth. Daedalus and Icarus eventually escaped from the labyrinth by making artificial wings out of feathers and wax. Icarus flew too high despite his father's advice, and fell into the sea when the wax holding his wings together melted from the sun's heat. Daedalus, on the other hand, made it to Sicily where he stayed for the rest of his life.
(Source: Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated , University of California Press.)