The History and Myth of Medusa in Greek Mythology

25/03/2021

     Medusa was, in Greek Mythology, daughter of Fórcis and Ceto and in terms of her Myth and History, Medusa was the Victim of the Goddess Athena and not Villain as is known to many, check.

Medusa in Greek Mythology:

     Medusa means guardian or protector, in Greek Mythology, was a female chthonic monster, one of the three Gorgons. She daughter of Fórcis and Ceto. Whoever looked directly at her would be turned to stone. Unlike his gorgonian sisters: Esteno and Euríale, Medusa was mortal; she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who later used his head as a weapon, until he gave it to the goddess Athena, who placed it on her shield. In Classical Antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared on the object used to chase away the evil known as gorgonion.

"The triple form is not primitive, it is just an example of a general tendency ... that makes each goddess a trinity, which gave us the Hours, Graces, Semnas, and several other triads. It seems immediately obvious that the Gorgons are not really three, but one + two. The two sisters who were not killed are merely existing appendages by custom; the real Gorgon is Medusa. "

Medusa was a Beautiful Woman:

     Her beauty was so great that she came to believe that she was more beautiful than the goddess Athena and to boast about it. One day, she had sex with the "Lord of the Seas", Poseidon. After that, when Medusa returned to the goddess's temple pretending that nothing had happened, the enraged goddess transformed the beautiful hair of which she was so proud of snakes and left her face so horrible to behold that the mere sight of him would transform everyone who looked at him. in stone. In Ovid's version, Perseus describes Athena's punishment of Medusa as "just" and "deserved."

     While the ancient Greek artists, when painting vases and engraving reliefs, imagined Medusa and her sisters as being born with a monstrous shape, sculptors and painters of the 5th century BC started to visualize her as being beautiful, at the same time as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 B.C., Píndaro already spoke of "Medusa with beautiful cheeks."


The Death of Medusa:

     In most versions of the myth, while Medusa was expecting a son from Poseidon, she would have been beheaded by the hero Perseus, who had been given the task of bringing his head as a gift from King Polydetes of Serif. With the help of Athena, Hermes, who provided him with winged sandals, and Hades, who gave him an invisibility helmet, a sword and a mirrored shield, the hero accomplished his mission, killing Gorgon after looking only at his harmless reflection in the shield, thus avoiding being turned into stone. When Perseus separated Medusa's head from his neck, two creatures were born: the winged horse Pegasus and the golden giant Chrysaor.

     According to Ovid, in North-West Africa, Perseus would have flown by Titan Atlas, who held the sky on his shoulders, and turned it into stone. The Red Sea corals were said to have been formed by the blood of Medusa, spilled on seaweed when Perseus laid his head on a stretch of coastline during his brief stay in Ethiopia, where he saved and married Princess Andromeda. The poisonous vipers infesting the Sahara have also been cited as being born of drops spilled from her blood.

     Perseus then flew to Serifus, where his mother was about to be forced to marry King Polydetes, who was turned to stone by looking at Medusa's head. Perseus then gave the head of the Gorgon to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.

The Symbolism of the Gorgon:

     Aegis is the name of the shield of the goddess Athena, which has the Gorgon, and which would originate the Portuguese name of Aegis, which means "shield". The engravings of the Gorgon Medusa that decorated the roofs of the Greek temples were intended to scare away evil spirits. The most famous of these engravings were found on the pediments of the Temple of Artemis (the fourth wonder of the Ancient World) on the island of Ephesus.

     Some of the Athenian wine glasses in the middle of the 6th century BC had the following aspect: around the berm, inside the glass, bunches of grapes were drawn, leaving no doubt that only wine was served in that glass; already near the bottom, black figures of naked boys serving wine to the guests are drawn all over the contour, while on the base of the glass was stamped the Gorgon symbol, that is, whoever drank from these glasses, at the moment when the wine reached a level where it was allowed to see the black figures, the servers naked, meant that the glass needed to be filled; the head of the Gorgon deposited on the bottom would be a humorous message that indicated to the guest to keep the glass of wine always full during the party, otherwise the figure of the Gorgon would be unveiled and would be turned into stone.

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