Map of the Aegean Sea. Icarian Sea is shown at its right.
Map of the Aegean Sea. Icarian Sea is shown at its right.

The Icarian Sea (Greek: Ικάριο Πέλαγος, Ikario Pelagos) is a subdivision of the Mediterranean Sea that lies between the Cyclades and Asia Minor. It is described as the part of the Aegean Sea to the south of Chios, to the east of the Eastern Cyclades and west of Anatolia. It contains the islands of Samos, Cos, Patmos, Leros, Fournoi Korseon and Icaria.

It is the place, in myth, into which Icarus made his fatal fall from the sky when he flew too close to the sun during his flight from Crete with his father Daedalus. It is either directly from this legend that it gets its name, or from the island of Icaria. According to legend, it was Helios the sun god who named the sea 'Icarian' after the fallen hero.[1]

Classical references


  1. ^ Mastronarde, Donald J. (2017). Preliminary Studies On the Scholia to Euripides (PDF). Berkeley, California: California Classical Studies. p. 150. ISBN 9781939926104.
  2. ^ Horatii Carmen 1.1
  3. ^ Horace's Ode 4.2:
    Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari,
    Iulle, ceratis ope Daedalea
    nititur pennis vitreo daturus
    nomina ponto.
    [Whoever is eager to rival Pindar, Iullus, is flying with wings waxed with Daedalus' aid, about to give his name to a glassy sea.]

Coordinates: 37°30′N 26°20′E / 37.500°N 26.333°E / 37.500; 26.333