greekmythology

The myth of Medusa in Greek Mythology

medousa The most recent myth of the mythological monster of Medusa and the Mermaids is that of Hesiod, in his work Theogony.
It states that the three sisters, Stheno, Evryali and Medusa, were the children of Forkeas and Cetos.

She had a ghastly face that turned anyone who looked at it to stone, a dragon body and snakes for hair

The three Mermaids of Greek mythology, according to Hesiod, “lived far away, at the end of the night across the Atlantic Ocean, where the Hesperides lived.” Unlike Stheno and Evryali who were immortal, Medusa was mortal.

In addition, Medusa became better known than her two sisters through the story of her death.

In Theogony there is a reference to the moment of Medusa’s death at the hands of Perseus, however there is no extensive reference to her face. On the contrary, in Ovid’s work, “Metamorphoses”, a more complete description is given both of the beheading of the Gorgon by Perseus and of its appearance.

Who was Medousa

head-of-medusaMedusa was daughter of Forkos and Kitos, who were brothers to each other, or Gorgonas and Kitos, again brothers to each other, she had the same face as her sisters: snakes were wrapped around her head, large teeth resembling wild boars protruded from her mouth.

The monster had bronze arms and golden wings, with which he flew, sparkling eyes and a penetrating gaze.
With her gaze she petrified anyone who dared to look at her, even the gods avoided her, except Poseidon, who joined her and left her pregnant.

The birth of her children took place at the time of her death caused by Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae.

The look of Medusa

When Perseus arrived in Ancient Aethiopia, where Kipheas reigned, he found his daughter Andromeda tied up, north of a sea whale, as a punishment of the Nereids to their mother Cassiepeia and Kipheas’s wife, who competed with them in beauty and boasted that she was of all.

The Nereids became angry, and Poseidon, who shared their anger, flooded the country as punishment and sent a whale.

Because Ammon reasoned that the country would be saved from disaster if the daughter of Cassiopeia Andromeda was given to the whale north, Kipheas was forced by the Ethiopians to do so and tied his daughter to a rock.

When Perseus saw her, he fell in love with her and promised Cepheus to kill the whale, on the condition that the king give his consent to this marriage, in case, of course, that Perseus saves her.
The two men exchanged vows that they would abide by the agreement, Perseus confronted the whale, killed it and released Andromeda. But Phineas, the brother of Kipheas, conspired against Perseus, because Kipheas had promised Andromeda his wife.

Perseus learned of the conspiracy and easily got rid of the conspirators by showing them the head of the Mermaid Medusa; at his sight everyone was petrified

Medusa and Perseus

perseus-and-the-head-of-medusaPerseus, without paying attention to these events, started the journey back to Serifos, having fulfilled the wish of Polydectes. But his adventures do not stop here.

Flying with his winged sandals over the plains of Libya, the bloodstains that fell from Medusa’s head turned into poisonous snakes.

Medusa’s power reappeared as soon as Perseus met Titan Atlas. The young man asked him for a place to rest and he refused. So Perseus took out Medusa’s head and Atlas as soon as he saw it turned into a mountain!

On his difficult way to Serifos he met Andromeda, the daughter of the king of Ethiopia Kipheas and Cassiopeia. With Medusa’s head as a weapon, he defeated “Kitos”, a sea monster sent by Poseidon to avenge Cassiopeia, who was proud that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids. In the same way, Andromeda’s uncle fossilized the usurper of the throne of Argos.

In another myth it is said that during the absence of Perseus, Polydectes tried by force to make Danae his wife. Her rigid attitude angered him and he took her by force to the temple of Athena to sacrifice her. At that moment, Perseus arrives. Polydectes, not accepting the performance of the feat, challenges the hero to show him his head. The hero warns his family not to look and takes Medusa’s head out of the bag. Those who looked at it, including Polydectes, petrified at once. Thus the power of the head was confirmed, even dead, and Serifos was filled with stones that looked like people. After that Perseus dedicated his head to Athena, who took it and nailed it in front of her shield.

Medousa by Ovid

 Ovid initially describes Medusa as a beautiful girl with striking hair With her external appearance she attracted the attention of Poseidon, who lusted after her a lot and isolated her inside the sanctuary of Athena.
The goddess sought revenge on Medusa by turning her hair into snakes in order to literally petrify anyone who looked at her in fear.
“Medusa once had many lures to win someone’s love. A relatively large number of lovers fought. Those who had seen her in person had never seen such strong features in such a sweet face. However, what impressed them most was the length of her hair. “Golden curls waved and shone with grace”, Ovid writes in “Metamorphoses”.