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Metamorphoses: Book 8: Daedalus and Perdix Summary & Analysis

While Daedaulus buries Icarus, a partridge chatters nearby. The partridge used to be one of Daedaulus’s pupils, Perdix. While his pupil, Perdix invented the compass. Daedalus was so jealous that he threw Perdix off a mountain. The goddess Pallas saved Perdix’s fall by turning him into the partridge—a bird that never flies high off the ground, remembering its traumatic fall.
Daedalus has demonstrated his belief that he can conquer nature with his inventions. In this story, he shows that he believes no one else can surpass him with their inventions. Perdix’s terrifying fall is commemorated in his new form, showing how a metamorphosis can sometimes illustrate what initiated it.
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