The Golden Honeycomb

The Golden Honeycomb

The Golden Honeycomb

The Golden Honeycomb

Excerpt

Of all the men who have ever lived those most powerful to excite the imagination are the figures looming out of the twilight world where history and legend meet. Precisely because it is uncertain whether they ever really lived at all, they exert the attraction of a mirage or a half-forgotten song. In the earliest historical documents these figures are mentioned as having existed centuries before, in a golden age that was also dark, and their names even for these first recorders already had a legendary ring. They are spoken of now as gods, now as men: they weave an ambiguous path between heaven and earth, myth and fact. They merge with the everlasting archetypes at the depths of the human mind, these early kings and heroes, so as to be almost indistinguishable from them. But were they, in the last analysis, projections or not, real or unreal, the impatient inquirer asks, and the disappointing answer is that the question cannot be put so bluntly. They must be tracked by a more subtle trail, these wraiths that are perhaps real.

Daedalus was such a figure, perhaps the most interesting of them all, for be is said to bave been the first artist who ever lived, if not in the flesh at least in the minds of men. As Orpheus first invented music and poetry, so Daedalus first carved statues and constructed buildings that were beautiful as well as habitable. He was the original, primeval craftsman, the first who redeemed man from bare existence. If inventors are memorable and the arts worthy of esteem, then this discoverer named Daedalus, whose works, Plato says, were tinged with divinity, deserves praise in the highest. The historian who tells us most about him is Diodorus, a . . .

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