The Story of Medusa 🐍

So Mr Kichan told me to publish something that I like in WordPress and welp, i’m a big mythology geek. So today, i’ll be telling my version of the Greek myth Medusa.

Art by Irrenhorrors on Devianart

”In the middle is the Gorgon Medusa, an enormous monster about whom snaky locks twist their hissing mouths; her eyes stare malevolently, and under the base of her chin the tail-ends of serpents have tied knots.”

– Virgilius Maro

Who is She? 🐍

Medusa means “guardian” or “protectress”. She is a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone.

Medusa.
Art by unknown.

How she was cursed 🐍

Medusa was known as the most beautiful mortal who lived in Athens. She was born with a beautiful face. Ovid especially praised the glory of her hair, “the most beautiful of her charms.”

She worked as a maiden in Athena’s temple when one day, the great sea god, Poseidon visited the temple. Poseidon seems to have been seduced by Medusa’s charms. For once, he couldn’t resist the temptation and impregnated Medusa in the temple of Athena.

Enraged, the virgin goddess Athena transformed Medusa’s enchanting hair into a coil of serpents for the desecration of her temple, turning the once beautiful mortal into a hideous monster.

Athena cursing Medusa.

The legend of Perseus 🐍

As Perseus was the son of Zeus, he was aided by the gods to hunt down Medusa. Perseus received the Cap of Invisibility from Hades, a pair of winged shoes from Hermes, a reflective bronze shield from Athena and a sword from Hephaestus. With these divine gifts, Perseus sought out Medusa and decapitated her with the bronze shield while she was asleep.

Persus hunting Medusa.
Art by unknown.

When the blood dripped from Medusa’s head onto the plains of Libya, each drop of blood transformed into venomous serpents. Perseus then returned his magical loans and gave Medusa’s head as a votive gift to Athena, who set it on Zeus’ shield (which she carried), as the Gorgoneion.

Athena and her shield
Art by unknown

Medusa’s Children 🐍

For Medusa was pregnant at the time of her death, when Perseus severed her head, her two unborn children, Chrysaor and Pegasus, suddenly sprang from her neck.

The Gorgons were awoken by the noise and did their best to avenge the death of her sister, but they could neither see nor catch Perseus, for he was wearing Hades’ Cap of Invisibility and Hermes’ winged shoes. So, they went back to their secluded abode to mourn Medusa.

Pindar, a great Ancient Greek poet, says that upon hearing their gloomy lament, Athena was so touched that she modeled after it the mournful music of the double pipe, the aulos.

Pegasus. Art by Fortunino Matania.

Thanks for reading!! 🐍

Picture from the show Gods School

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