The sister of Daedalus, and mother of Talos, or according to others, the sister's son of Daedalus, figures in the mythological period of Greek art, as the inventor of various implements, chiefly for working in wood.
Perdix is sometimes confounded with Talos or Calos, and it is best to regard the various legends respecting Perdix, Talos, and Calos, as referring to one and the same person, namely, according to the mythographers, a nephew of Daedalus. The inventions ascribed to him are: the saw, the idea of which is said to have been suggested to him by the back-bone of a fish, or the teeth of a serpent; the chisel; the compasses; the potter's wheel.
His skill excited the jealousy of Daedalus, who threw him headlong from the temple of Athena on the Acropolis, but the goddess caught him in his fall, and changed him into the bird which was named after him, perdix, the partridge.
Partridges belong to the family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes. The gray partridge of Europe is classified as Perdix perdix.
- Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library iv, 76, and Wesseling's note.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 39, 244.
- Ovid. Metamorphoses viii, 241.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 21.6, 26.5.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 15.9.
- Seneca. Epistulae, 90.
- Servius on Virgil's Aeneid vi, 14, Georgics i, 143.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
- Suidas, s.v. Πέρδικος ἱερόν.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.