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DAE´DALA, DAEDALEIA (δαίδαλα, δαιδάλεια), a term applied to the earliest iconic representations of the gods roughly hewn out of wood (ἄγαλμα ξύλου, Paus. 9.3, 2; δαίδαλον = later ξόανον, ib.). From a very early period stones (ἀργὸς λίθος, βαίτυλος) and trees received divine honours. (Lucian, Pseudom. 30; C. Bötticher, d. Baumcultus d. Hellenen; Overbeck, d. Cultusobj. b. d. Gr.). Thus Artemis Soteira at Boiae was a myrtle (Paus. 3.22, 12); the Paphian Aphrodite a conical stone. The effigy of the god, down to the latest times, was placed in a tree (in a cedar at Orchomenos, id. 8.13, 2; Cybele on coins of Myra, Collign. p. 10). The immediate predecessor, however, of the δαίδαλον was a squared beam or flat board, which, like the pillar, was probably draped and decorated (cf. Callim. of Hera at Samos: οὐπω Σμιλικὸν [p. 1.593]ἔργον ἐΰξοον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τεθμῷ | δηναιῷ γλυφάνων ἄξοος ἦσθα σανίς, Euseb. Praep. Ev. 3.8; draped stone on coin of Juliopolis (Gordium), Collignon, p. 13). Carved in shallow relief, with human form, the plank became a δαίδαλον; or later, with head, hands, and feet of marble adjusted, the wood hidden by the drapery, an acrolith (Paus. 3.16, 1). The uncouth character of the most archaic type was shown in the omission or mere indication of all detail (Tzetzes, Chil. 1.538: ἄχειρας, ἄποδας, ἀομμάτους,), and the stiff upright attitude. The more realistic and varied conception of the later ξόανον is ascribed to Daedalos (Paus. 2.4, 5 ; 9.3, 2). He separated the legs, raised the arms, and opened the eyes. Ancient writers, however, are hardly consistent in their judgments of his reputed works. Pausanias recognised high merit (τι ἔνθεον) in a rude art ; a Heracles was so lifelike that the god himself threw a stone at it in the night (Hesych. sub voce πλῆξαι); yet his Delian Aphrodite, with arms, ended in a square block like a hermes (Paus. 9.40, 2); and in Plato's time (Hipp. maj. p. 282 A) Daedalos would appear ridiculous. The author of the χορὸς of Ariadne [Il. 18.590; according to Paus. 9.40, 3, a marble relief (a material not used before 20th Ol.)], of the Cretan Labyrinth, &c., a contemporary of Minos and Theseus, who was rather a mechanician and architect than sculptor, is separated by centuries from the beginning of Greek art (7th or 8th cent.). But Attic legend gradually evolved a quasi-historical Daedalus, patron of turners and sculptors (Daedalids), with whose name an important reform in art was conveniently associated.

Recorded ξόανα: a sitting Hera in pear-wood (Paus. 17.5); a Britomartis at Olus, Crete (id. 9.40, 2), &c.; attributed to Daedalus, ξ. γυμνὸν of Herakles, Corinth (id. 2.4, 5); a Heracles, on the frontier of Messenia and Arcadia (id. 8.35, 2); ξ. τὸ ἀρχαῖον, Thebes (id. 9.11, 9), &c. Cf. Brunn, Gesch. gr. Künstl. pp. 14, 15.

Archaeological evidence: archaic marble Artemis, showing wood technique, Delos (Bullet. Corr. hell. t. iii. pl. 1); archaic agalma of Here, frieze at Phigaleia (Overbeck, Kunstmyth. 2.2, 21; and see under each god, lb.).

Archaic or archaistic terra-cottas and marble idols from graves (ib. p. 25, &c. ; Gerhard, Akad. Abh. pl. lxi.; Daedal. Idolen ; Heuzey, Les Fig. ant. de terre cuite, &c.).

Coins: see above (also Blümner, Technol. u. Termin. d. Gew. u. Künsten, vol. ii. pp. 2, 177, 181; Overbeck, Gesch. d. gr. Plastik,3 ch. 2 ; id. Schriftquellen; Collignon, Myth. Fig. de la Grèce).


hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Homer, Iliad, 18.590
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.40
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.12
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.16
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.22
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.3
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