Three Gorgon Sisters of Greek Mythology

07/03/2020
     The three Gorgon sisters: Euryale, Medusa and stheno were daughters of the ancient sea deities, Fórcis and his sister, Ceto (Keto), chthonic monsters of an archaic world. Learn more about these creatures.

3 GORGON SISTERS:

     In late Greek mythology, it was said that there were three Gorgons: the three daughters of Fórcis and Ceto. Their names were Medusa (Μέδουσα, "the impetuous"), stheno (Σθεννώ, "the one that oppresses") and Euryale (Εὐρυάλη, "the one that is off"). Like the mother, the gorgons were extremely beautiful and their hair was enviable; however, they were unruly and unscrupulous. This caused the irritation of the other gods, especially Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who was amazed to see that the beauty of the gorgons made them exactly identical to her. The main gorgon, also called Queen Gorgon, is Medusa.

MEDUSA:

     Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden, who worked as a priestess in the temple of Athens, "Desired by many mortal and immortal suitors". 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 broke her vow of chastity that she had taken to become Athena's priestess, she broke her vow by having sex with the "Lord of the Seas", Poseidon, after that, when Medusa returned to the goddess's temple pretending nothing had happened, the enraged goddess transformed the beautiful hair that she was so proud of in snakes and left her face so horrible to behold that the mere sight of him would turn everyone who looked at him in stone. In Ovid's version, Perseus describes Athena's punishment of Medusa as "just" and "deserved".

STHENO:

     Stheno was the most independent and savage of the three gorgons, being the one that most caused death to humans. It was not even surpassed by the feared Medusa, who was given the petrifying look as a protection for not being immortal. Esteno has a great physical and mental strength: he has the ability to concentrate his mental energy in the glance, making it capable of catching the energies close to his surroundings, hypnotizing his aggressors and stopping in the act. His job was to protect various oracles with pythias, snake charmers, which represented strength and not divination. In honor of Esteno and Euríale, sacrifices were made, which consisted of filling the foundations of corners, pillars and temple walls with ritual blood to grant them stability and strength. Stheno blood has the qualities to give life.

EURYALE:

     The best known was Medusa, but there were also two other gorgons: Euryale and Esteno. According to Greek mythology, gorgons had the ability to turn people who looked directly at them into stone. Euriale is the least known and is scarcely commented on in Greek mythology, but it is suspect that she is the brain behind her sisters.

Perseus and Medusa:

     Perseus was the son of the god Jupiter with Danna. Dânae's father and Perseus' grandfather, Acrisio, was warned by the Oracle that his daughter's son (Perseus) would be the instrument of his death. So he put Perseus and his mother Dânae in a chest and threw them into the sea. The chest was found by a fisherman, who took it to Polidectes, the king of the region. The king treated Perseus and his mother very well, and when Perseus had become a man, he gave him the mission to conquer Medusa.
     Medusa had once been a beautiful woman, but she wanted to compete with the goddess Minerva (Athena), who punished her by turning her beautiful hair into snakes. Medusa looked so scary that anyone who looked at her turned to stone. With the help of the goddess Minerva, who gave him a shield, and the god Mercury, who gave him winged shoes, Perseus entered the cave in which Medusa was sleeping, cut off his head and gave it to Minerva.

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