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Medusa, Pegasus and Bellerophon Myth and Story

Updated on February 19, 2011

Medusa Head

Medusa Head
Medusa Head

Why Medusa was Cursed

Pegasus (or Pegasos) is a beautiful white horse with wings and can fly in Greek mythology. The horse is the symbol of courage, strength and beauty. Pegasus was the son of Medusa (a lovely young maiden) and Poseidon, the god of the sea. Poseidon fell in love with Medusa who was the caretaker of the temple of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and he brought her inside the temple of Athena. Athena was infuriated by this and she took out her anger on Medusa. She cursed Medusa into a Gorgon, a horrible monster with ugly, frightening face and serpents for hair. Not only that, with this curse, anyone who looked at her face would turn to a stone. She was then banished to live in an isolated isle of the Gorgons.

Pegasus Horse

Pegasus Horse
Pegasus Horse

The Birth of Pegasus

One day, king Polydetes fell in love with a beautiful woman named Danae, who already had a young son, Perseus. Both the mother and the son did not like the king, Perseus tried to protect his mother from the king but had little success. Cunning enough, the king would let Danae do as she wished if her son could bring back the head of a Gorgon. With this plan, the king was so confident that Perseus would fail and of course, end up being a stone.

Finally, Perseus agreed to the deal and he started to seek the goddess Athena for advice. Athena gave Perseus two useful tools: the winged shoes of Hermes which he used it to fly to the land of the Gorgons, and a highly polished reflective shield which Perseus used it as a mirror so that he could see Medusa without having to look at her directly. Seeing Medusa’s reflection, Perseus lopped her head off with his sword. Pegasus sprang from the blood of the Medusa. From the isle of the Gorgon, the beautiful white horse flew to Mount Helicon.

Bellerophon Taming Pegasus

Many years later, Pegasus was found by Athena who then presented the horse to the Greek hero Bellerophon. She also gave a golden bridle to Bellerophon in order to tame Pegasus. Bellerophone and Pegasus became thick friends and two of them galloped over seven seas and the mountains. The winged equine could gallop faster than the wind. Together, Bellerophon and Pegasus they conquered Chimera, an animal with the head of a dragon, a lion and a goat which had been terrorizing the city of Lycia. The pair were sent on many other quests after this and they appeared to be invincible.

Pegasus Constellation

However, success made Bellerophon an arrogant person. Not satisfied with what he had, now he wanted to become a god and tried to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus, the place where gods lived. Zeus, the king of gods was not happy with this and he punished the Bellerophon by causing him to fall off the steed. Instead of becoming a god, he became crippled and blind. However, the gods of Mount Olympus welcomed Pegasus. Pegasus was given a special stable and the job of carrying the thunderbolts and other weapons of Zeus. Not only that, Zeus even created a constellation for the winged equine in the night sky of the earth.


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      samuel 6 years ago

      this awesome