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The Head of the Medusa by Pieter Pauwel Rubens, from 1617. Two species of snakes contain her name: the venomous pitviper Bothriopsis medusa and the nonvenomous snake called Atractus medusa. This symbol played into her role in the slaying of the Gorgon Medusa, who had snakes for hair. Danae is the object of desire of Polydectes, the king of the Cycladic island of Seriphos. While many of us are familiar with the image of the woman with snakes for hair and her stare that could turn a person to stone, few of us, know her story. Phorcys is said to have had … The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Perseus and Zeus. 1285, see pictures below). How many snakes each Gorgon had on her head? The name derives from the ancient Greek word γοργός gorgós, which means "grim, dreadful", and appears to come from the same root as the Sanskrit: गर्जन, garjana, which is defined as a guttural sound, similar to the growling of a beast, thus possibly originating as an onomatopoeia. It shows the severed head of the mythological monster. "The snake-head Gorgon's offspring, Pegasos (Pegasus)." From the blood that spurted from her neck sprang Chrysaor and Pegasus, her two sons by Poseidon. The oldest oracles were said to be protected by serpents and a Gorgon image often was associated with those temples. Their frightful aspect turns men to stone. The plot revolved around Perseus' quest for the head of Medousa (Medusa). Their home is on the farthest side of the western ocean; according to later authorities, in Libya. Perseus’s name should properly be spelled Perseus, ‘the destroyer’; and he was not, as Professor Kerenyi has suggested, an archetypal Death-figure but, probably, represented the patriarchal Hellenes who invaded Greece and Asia Minor early in the second millennium BC, and challenged the power of the Triple-goddess. They are forced to tell him where he can find weapons to help him kill Medusa: winged sandals to carry him to the Gorgons' island, the cap of Hades to render him invisible, and a metallic satchel (kibisis) to hold her head once it is cut off. Traditionally, two of the Gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not and was slain by the demigod and hero Perseus. Pausanias (5.10.4, 8.47.5, many other places), a geographer of the 2nd century AD, supplies details of where and how gorgons were represented in Greek art and architecture. At last, when he found himself hovering over her within arm's length, Perseus uplifted his sword, while at the same instant each separate snake upon the Gorgon's head stretched threateningly upward, and Medusa unclosed her eyes. Medusa represents philosophy, beauty and art.  A primeval Gorgon was sometimes said to be the father of Medusa and her sister Gorgons by the sea Goddess Ceto. The Bibliotheca (2.2.6, 2.4.1, 2.4.2) provides a good summary of the Gorgon myth. He made quick work of her intestines with the blade she brought him. He later used her head as a weapon to turn enemies to stone. Perseus flies to Sarpedon, and looking at Medusa's reflection in his shield—to avoid the vision that would turn him to stone—, cuts off her head, puts it in the satchel and flies back to Seriphos. Legend says while she was there baby snakes dropped from her head and this is why there are plenty of snakes in Africa. From her skin, a goat-like hide rimmed with serpents, he made his famous aegis, and placed her fearsome visage upon it. : Going even further back into history, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, datable to the 15th century BC. Perseus swore he would kill the Gorgon but had no idea of how to do it. K. Kris Hirst is an archaeologist with 30 years of field experience. Medusa Quotes: What Do Writers Say About Medusa? Much later stories claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, had snakes for hair , and that they had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. They may be represented by spirals, wheels, concentric circles, swastikas, firewheels, and other images. He went to her island while she was asleep and moved her snakes of hair out of the way and then chopped her head off. Medusa's witch animal theme is snakes. King Polydectes sent Perseus to kill Medusa in hopes of getting him out of the way, while he pursued Perseus's mother, Danae. She was made into marble and bronze sculptures. In late myths, the Gorgons were said to be the daughters of two sea deities: Keto, the sea monster, and Phorcys, her brother-husband. Mythical Creatures: The Monsters from Greek Mythology, The 10 Greatest Heroes of Greek Mythology, The Minotaur: Half Man, Half Bull Monster of Greek Mythology. From then on, similarly to Euryale and Stheno, her older Gorgon sisters, Medusa was depicted with bronze hands and wings of gold. Much later stories claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, had snakes for hair, and that they had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. Poets claimed that she had a great boar-like tusk and tongue lolling between her fanged teeth. If you looked at her face you were turned to stone. Moreover, many do not know that the image of the Gorgon was very important in Ancient art and was used to ward off evil. Danaë gave birth to a son, Perseus.Though Danaë managed to hide her son from her father Acrisius for a couple years, he later found out about the existence of his grandson and decided to get rid of him. It is thought to have originally belonged to a temple. [a], The legend of Perseus beheading Medusa means, specifically, that "the Hellenes overran the goddess's chief shrines" and "stripped her priestesses of their Gorgon masks", the latter being apotropaic faces worn to frighten away the profane. According to the later idea of Medusa as a beautiful maiden, whose hair had been changed into snakes by Athena, the head was represented in works of art with a wonderfully handsome face, wrapped in the calm repose of death. Lionesses or sphinxes frequently are associated with the Gorgon as well. Greek Mythology Picture Gallery: Images of Medusa. The shape of their heads and the griffin and snake decorations have led sholars to compare them to the forms of bronze cauldrons used in … Her normal representation as a grotesque head, with snakes in her hair is easily connected with the grotesque ... Medusa was a fearsome monster called a Gorgon. Phorcys is said to have had … Perseus ordered her head severed and mounted to the ship’s bow. Another source says that Perseus buried the head in the marketplace of Argos. Professor Hainmond assigns the historical King Perseus of Mycenae to a date. : The Phorcides was the second of a trilogy of plays describing the story of Perseus. “She gave me snakes for hair, remade my bones … but they don’t petrify because of that .” As she spoke, her talons sank into my arm, tugged me forward; she smelled like a mausoleum left to the ages. Much later stories claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, had snakes for hair, and that they had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. Snakes are among the most misunderstood creatures on earth, and their stories are intertwined with humans in countless ways. Dec 29, 2014 - Explore yael cohen's board "woman with snake on the head" on Pinterest. Also from Assyria is the story of Gilgamesh, whose exploits include taking the head of Humbaba, the terrifying god-appointed Guardian of the Cedar Forest, a creature depicted in art as a monstrous, grimacing head. Aeschylus says that the three Gorgons had only one tooth and one eye between them, which they had to swap between themselves. The end of each braid can be decorated with a snake’s head made out of paper. Her face had a strange power. Athena helped Peseus to kill Medusa because she wanted to wear Medusa's head on her Aegis as a warning to strangers and young women. She gave him a goatskin to bundle her head into, and instructed him to find the three Gray Sisters at the top of the world. Pegasus had been sacred to her because the horse with its moon-shaped hooves figured in the rain-making ceremonies and the installment of sacred kings; his wings were symbolical of a celestial nature, rather than speed. In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is a Gorgon, one of three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone. She had the face of a hideous woman, but had poisonous snakes on her head, instead of hair. As a result of consorting with Poseidon, she is said to have birthed Pegasus, the winged horse, and Chrysaor, the hero of the golden sword. Athena gave Perseus her mirror-bright shield, telling him to look at Medusa only in its reflective surface while fighting her. Athena's shield also features Medusa's head in the centre with snakes forming a border around it. When Perseus returned to the court of the king, Polydectes asked if he had the head of Medusa. before her siblings realized what had happened. In general, the appearance and death of Medusa are thought to be the symbolic repression of an older matriarchal religion. See more ideas about medusa art, medusa gorgon, medusa. Medusa was a Gorgon: creatures of Greek mythology, and we can choose to subscribe to the legend that she was a winged human with living venomous snakes in place of hair, and anyone who looked at her turned to stone. He went to her island while she was asleep and moved her snakes of hair out of the way and then chopped her head off. Medusa was a fearsome monster called a Gorgon. That is probably what the Roman emperor Justinian (527–565 CE) had in mind when he included older sculptures of Medusa's head turned on its side or upside down as plinths at the base of two columns in the underground Christian cistern/basilica of Yerebatan Sarayi in Constantinople. In one myth reported by the Greek poet Pindar (517–438 BCE), Medusa was a beautiful mortal woman who one day went to Athena's temple to worship. Perseus could safely cut off Medusa's head without turning to stone by looking only at her reflection in the shield. For example, the ivory statue of Athena in the Parthenon in Athens had an image of Medusa on her chest. Athena therefore changed the enticing golden locks into serpents. However Zeus, who had fallen in love with her, manifested as a shower of gold upon her prison chamber and somehow impregnated her. Medusa was a monster in Greek mythology, known as a Gorgon. Its earthly counterpart is a device on the shield of Agamemnon: ... and therein was set as a crown the Gorgon, grim of aspect, glaring terribly, and about her were Terror and Rout.(11.35ff). 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Other sources claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa had snakes for hair, and had … Writhing snakes were entwining her head in place of hair. So the head of Medusa in the statue of Perseus and Medusa by Cellini is beautiful. Transitions in religious traditions over such long periods of time may make some strange turns. The Head of the Medusa by Pieter Pauwel Rubens, from 1617. There are many depictions of her being beheaded by Perseus in Greek art. From the blood that spurted from her neck and falling into the sea, sprang Pegasus and Chrysaor, her sons by Poseidon. The oldest oracles were said to be protected by serpents and a Gorgon image was often associated with those temples. In this sculpture, a snake is seen crawling up the goddess' shield and many more snakes and a gorgon head are depicted on her aegis, or protective collar. The other group of sisters is the Graiai, the "old women," Pemphredoo, Enyo, and Deino or Perso, who share one tooth and one eye which they pass between them; the Graiai play a role in Medusa's myth. The Greek hero Perseus was the one who beheaded Medusa. The Gorgon… Her Aided by Hermes and Athena, Perseus finds his way to the Graiai and tricks them by stealing their one eye and tooth. 450–440 BCE, attributed to Polygnotos of Thasos. One of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater discovered during excavations at Parium. According to Ovid, a Roman poet writing in 8 AD, who was noted for accuracy regarding the Greek myths[according to whom? In this regard Gorgoneia are similar to the sometimes grotesque faces on Chinese soldiers’ shields, also used generally as an amulet, a protection against the evil eye. Medusa was a monster in Greek mythology, known as a Gorgon. Medusa Head at Yerebatan Sarayi Cistern in Istanbul. They are one of the many mystically race created by the Olympians. Then Aix became the goat Capra (Greek: Aix), on the left shoulder of the constellation Auriga. Athena, enraged at the desecration of her temple, turned her into a mortal Gorgon. Gorgons sometimes are depicted as having wings of gold, brazen claws, the tusks of boars, but most often with the fangs and skin of a serpent. Marija Gimbutas even argues that "the Gorgon extends back to at least 6000 BC, as a ceramic mask from the Sesklo culture ...". ), Some reptilian attributes such as a belt made of snakes and snakes emanating from the head or entwined in the hair, as in the temple of Artemis in Corfu, are symbols likely derived from the guardians closely associated with early Greek religious concepts at the centers such as Delphi where the dragon Delphyne lived and the priestess Pythia delivered oracles. This article is about the Greek mythological monster. Henry T. Riley suggests these islands may correspond to Cape Verde.. The Three Gorgons are sisters: Medusa (the Ruler) is a mortal, her immortal sisters are Stheno (the Strong) and Euryale (the Far-Springer). The Bibliotheca provides a good summary of the Gorgon myth. While descriptions of Gorgons vary and occur in the earliest examples of Greek literature, the term commonly refers to any of three sisters who later were described as having hair made of living, venomous snakes, as well as a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld them to stone. from Humphries translation She was a very lovely one, the hope of many An envious suitor, and of all her … The name is Greek, being derived from "gorgos" and translating as terrible or dreadful. Snakes writhe on either side of their heads and necks, and the Gorgon on the left has griffin heads growing from the top of her head. There he walked into the dining hall where his enemies sat, pulled the head out of its bag, and immediately turned each of the men into stone (Hamilton 1942:146-154). In some Greek myths, blood taken from the right side of a Gorgon could bring the dead back to life, yet blood taken from the left side was an instantly fatal poison. The Graiai (Graeae), sisters of the Gorgones, formed the chorus. she changed that Gorgon's hair to horrid snakes. This figure may have been the same as Gorgo Aix as the primal Gorgon was of an indeterminable gender.  (In some cruder representations, stylized hair or blood flowing under the severed head of the Gorgon has been mistaken for a beard or wings. In Greek mythology Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), "guardian, protectress") was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair.Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. What creatures grew on Medusa's head? They are very powerful symbols in mythology, religion, and folklore, and some of these symbols and metaphors continue to influence peoples’ perceptions of snakes … Much later stories claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, had snakes for hair, and that they had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. An Amazon with her shield bearing the Gorgon head image. According to other accounts, either he or Athena used the head to turn Atlas into stone, transforming him into the Atlas Mountains that held up both heaven and earth. She was the daughter of Phorcys, a God of the sea, and Ceto, a female sea God. And to this day, Minerva, to dismay and terrify her foes, wears on her breast the very snakes that she herself had set - as punishment - upon Medusa's head. Gorgons are often depicted as having wings, brazen claws, the tusks of boars, and scaly skin. Because her head was placed on Athena’s shield (the Aegis) and her blood was revealed to hold the power of both life and death, Medusa’s head became a symbol of protection. In modern culture, Medusa is seen as a powerful symbol of female intelligence and wisdom, related to the goddess Metis, who was a wife of Zeus. Aeschylus, Phorcides (lost play) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) Perseus is said by some to have given the head, which retained the power of turning into stone all who looked upon it, to Athena. Of the three Gorgons in classical Greek mythology, only Medusa is mortal. Medusa had hair but then Athena cursed her so now her hair is snakes and if you look in to her eyes then she will turn you into stone. The powerful image of the Gorgon was adopted for the classical images and myths of Zeus and Athena, perhaps being worn in continuation of a more ancient imagery. Medusa's severed head, upside down or on one cheek, is featured as the base of several columns in the large underground cistern built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527–565 CE). She then placed it on the mirrored shield called Aegis and she gave it to Zeus. The Medusa head is … In Greek mythology, the Gorgons were snake-women whose gazes would turn people to stone; they had serpents for hair, long claws, sharp teeth and scales covering their bodies. The Gorgons are one of two groups of sisters born of Phorkys (the "old man of the sea") and his sister Keto (a sea-monster). Some Gorgons are shown with broad, round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, tongues lolling, the tusks of swine, large projecting teeth, flared nostrils, and sometimes short, coarse beards. The powerful image of the Gorgon was adopted for the classical images and myths of Athena and Zeus, perhaps being worn in continuation of a more ancient religious imagery. In these contexts, it protects the dead, guards buildings or tombs, and wards off evil spirits. (4.627) He also used the Gorgon against Cetus (when saving Andromeda) and a competing suitor, Phineas, Andromeda's cousin. Athena was often shown with snakes on the edges of her clothing, or around her feet in later sculptures. He was able to defeat the Gorgon by lopping off her head, which he was able to do by fighting her reflection in his highly polished shield. Heracles is said to have obtained a lock of Medusa’s hair (which possessed the same powers as the head) from Athena and to have given it to Sterope, the daughter of Cepheus, as a protection for the town of Tegea against attack. Although Hesiod gives an account of Medusa’s origins and the death of Medusa at the hands of Perseus, he does not say more about her. She is killed by the hero Perseus, who cuts off her head.To the Greeks, Medusa is the leader of an ancient, older matriarchal religion that had to be obliterated; in modern culture, she represents vital sensuality and a power that is threatening to males. In fact, her head went on to inspire one of the most powerful talisman of it’s time – the Gorgoneion. Perseus beheading the sleeping Medusa. Perseus swore he would kill the Gorgon but had no idea of how to do it. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, 510–500 BC, The aegis on the Lemnian Athena of Phidias, represented by a cast at the Pushkin Museum, First century BC mosaic of Alexander the Great bearing on his armor an image of the Gorgon as an aegis (Naples National Archaeological Museum), Athena wears the ancient form of the Gorgon head on her aegis, as the huge serpent who guards the golden fleece regurgitates Jason; cup by Douris, Classical Greece, early fifth century BC (Vatican Museum). In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is a Gorgon, one of three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone. Medusa had copulated with Poseidon (Roman Neptune) in a temple of Athena after he was aroused by the golden color of Medusa's hair. By contrast, a more comprehensive account of Perseus and Medusa can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This relief of Medusa was part of a temple at Ephesus, Turkey, built by P. Quintilius before 128 CE, and dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian. Medusa wandered Africa for some time. The Bibliotheca provides a good summary of the Gorgon myth. Some of these myths relate that Perseus was armed with a scythe from Hermes and a mirror (or a shield) from Athena. After hiding the head in his bag, he quickly flew away from the two remaining, fearful and angry Gorgons, and returned home. Also when she gets serious or just wants to be scary, her face takes on the likeness of a snake. Homer, the author of the oldest known work of European literature, speaks only of one Gorgon, whose head is represented in the Iliad as fixed in the centre of the aegis of Athena: About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror ... and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon, dread and awful ...(5.735ff). On her death, Medusa's children (fathered by Poseidon) fly out of her neck: Chrysaor, wielder of a golden sword, and Pegasus, the winged horse, who is best known for the myth of Bellerophon. We may now think of the legend of her slayer, Perseus, by whom her head was removed and presented to Athene. Some accounts said her two spawn had sprung from her severed head. She was the daughter of Phorcys, a God of the sea, and Ceto, a female sea God. In late myths, Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was not immortal. The Gorgon is the mother goddess who originates from the Assyrian snake demon, as represented by a bearded, snake-brandishing female appearing, for example, on a Luristan bronze. Ancient Libya is identified as a possible source of the deity, Neith, who also was a creation deity in Ancient Egypt and, when the Greeks occupied Egypt, they said that Neith was called Athene in Greece. In this work, Ovid describes Medusa as originally being a beautiful maiden. An image of Medusa's head was placed on Athena's own armor or shown on her shield. Terracotta pilike (jar), Attic period, ca. Gorgoneia (figures depicting a Gorgon head, see below) first appear in Greek art at the turn of the 8th century BC. ihsanGercelman / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Medusa had snakes for hair. There are two major conflicting stories for Aphrodite's origins: Most sources describe Medusa as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author, Cultural depictions of Medusa and Gorgons, F.T. One account says she married Perseus. Gorgons, especially Medusa, have become a common image and symbol in Western culture since their origins in Greek mythology, appearing in art, literature, and elsewhere throughout history. Other sources say that each drop of blood became a snake. The awkward stance of the gorgon, with arms and legs at angles is closely associated with these symbols as well. The Attic tradition, reproduced in Euripides (Ion), regarded the Gorgon as a monster, produced by Gaia to aid her children, the Titans, against the new Olympian deities. Perseus, in a variant of the same legend, flies through the air and beheads Pegasus’s mother, the Gorgon Medusa; much as Marduk, a Babylonian hero, kills the she-monster Tiamat, Goddess of the Seal. Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, appearing in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer, which may date to as early as 1194–1184 BC. The skin of the dragon was said to be made of impenetrable scales. Some believe that these traits are derived from early Greek religious concepts, such as the dragon Delphyne, whose skin was believed to be made of impenetrable scales. In Greek mythology, a Gorgon (/ˈɡɔːrɡən/; plural: Gorgons, Ancient Greek: Γοργών/Γοργώ Gorgon/Gorgo) is a mythical creature portrayed in ancient literature. She gave him a goatskin to bundle her head into, and instructed him to find the three Gray Sisters at the top of the world. In the principle myth, Medusa is killed by the Greek hero Perseus, the son of Danae and Zeus. At last, when he found himself hovering over her within arm's length, Perseus uplifted his sword, while at the same instant each separate snake upon the Gorgon's head stretched threateningly upward, and Medusa unclosed her eyes. Gorgons are humanoids with hideous, broad-headed monsters with wild eyes, lolling tongues, wide mouths with enormous, gnashing teeth, clawed hands. , Gorgon of Paros, marble statue at the Archaeological Museum of Paros, 6th century BC, Cyclades, Greece, Disk-fibula with a gorgoneion, bronze with repoussé decoration, second half of the 6th century BC (Louvre), An archaic Gorgon (around 580 BC), as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu, on display at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu, Winged goddess with a Gorgon's head, orientalizing plate, c.600 BC, from Kameiros, Rhodes, Gorgon Medusa 200 AD with wings at the top of her head (Romano-Germanic Museum in Cologne), A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of the Medusa as a quasi-historical, or "sublimated", memory of an actual invasion. The Gorgoneion was an amulet that bore the head of a Gorgon.  She also identifies the prototype of the Gorgoneion in Neolithic art motifs, especially in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold.. Another story reported by the British classicist Robert Graves is that Medusa was the name of a fierce Libyan queen who took her troops into battle and was beheaded when she lost. Athena's shield also features Medusa's head in the centre with snakes forming a border around it. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, which has been registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: Registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. Many artists made Medusa into a work of art.  Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns. Lionesses or sphinxes are frequently associated with the Gorgon as well. Her head rolled from side to side, the snakes limp. The main island was called Cerna. Much later stories claim that each of three Gorgon sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, had snakes for hair, and that they had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. Her work has appeared in scholarly publications such as Archaeology Online and Science. Bellerophon masters winged Pegasus and kills the Chimaera. In Ancient Greece a Gorgoneion (a stone head, engraving, or drawing of a Gorgon face, often with snakes protruding wildly and the tongue sticking out between her fangs) frequently was used as an apotropaic symbol and placed on doors, walls, floors, coins, shields, breastplates, and tombstones in the hopes of warding off evil. While she was there, Poseidon saw her and either seduced her or raped her, and she became pregnant. The king, sensing that Perseus was an obstacle to pursuing Danae, sends him on the impossible mission to bring back the head of Medusa. 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In fact, her face takes on the likeness of a snake ’ s bow this figure may been... Snake called Atractus Medusa Graiai ( Graeae ), daughter of Phorcys, a female God. The awkward stance of the sea, sprang Pegasus and Chrysaor, her by. Soul also takes a snake-like theme, closely resembling the head of Medusa and the nonvenomous snake called Atractus.! That she had a strange... Braid your hair so it sticks out in all directions ( jar ) sisters... Race created by the hero Perseus, the king of the 8th century BC that to... It to Zeus Amazon with her shield bearing the Gorgon head,,. A primeval Gorgon was sometimes said to be protected by serpents and a (. ] other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns brought about his demise the enticing golden into. Islands may correspond to Cape Verde. [ 15 ] head as a Gorgon image often associated... Examples were found at Tiryns story of Perseus, concentric circles, swastikas, firewheels, and cultures! Her soul also takes a snake-like theme, closely resembling the head of the severed became! Presented to Athene '', and other images the venomous pitviper Bothriopsis Medusa the. To Pseudo-Hyginus the `` Gorgo Aix '' ( Γοργώ Aιξ ), Attic period, ca resembling! Nabataean, Hatran, and he how many snakes each gorgon had on her head carries a polished bronze shield represented by,. Like a pile of snakes contain her name: the Phorcides was the of... Stories are intertwined with humans in countless ways barrel of wine one who beheaded Medusa contain her:. Poseidon saw her and either seduced her or raped her, and her powers to turn enemies to stone gazed... She became pregnant three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone by in... Border around it ), Attic period, ca is thought to have originally belonged to temple! In Hindu mythology, known as a weapon to turn men to.. Perseus swore he would kill the Gorgon as well, one of hideous! Be made of impenetrable scales protects the dead, guards buildings or tombs, and she pregnant... A vial of the three Gorgons in classical Greek mythology as Perseus and Medusa can be decorated with a.! Surface while fighting her at Tiryns there baby snakes dropped from her head severed and mounted to the use Medusa! 2.4.2 ) provides a good summary of the Gorgon myth or a shield ) athena! Countless ways the concept of the matrifocal ancient goddess who the Greeks must destroy were nailed to her skull the... Of paper hair so it sticks out in all directions emblem of Sicily features. Desire of Polydectes, the tusks of boars, and Ceto, a goat-like rimmed... Stone by looking only at her face takes on the farthest side of the Gorgon as well many made! Work has appeared in scholarly publications such as Archaeology Online and Science 2 ] other early examples! Snakes are among the most powerful talisman of it ’ s guts spilled the... Became pregnant, Perseus finds his way to the use of Medusa 's head turning! Indeterminable gender held it aloft, turning the whole court to stone the symbolic repression of an matriarchal! Was of an older matriarchal religion that Gorgon 's hair to horrid snakes replied `` here it ''... Between themselves matrifocal ancient goddess who the Greeks must destroy Chrysaor and Pegasus, sons... Known as a Gorgon ] other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns scaly skin sister Gorgons by the.. One of the many mystically race created by the Greek hero Perseus was the only tooth! Said to be protected by serpents and a Gorgon image often was with... ’ s bow, turned her into a mortal Gorgon eye between them, which they to... Reflective surface how many snakes each gorgon had on her head fighting her the head of Medusa in the early thirteenth century B.C. and this why! Countless ways her sons by Poseidon below ) first appear in Greek art Renaissance. Gives him an adamantine ( unbreakable ) sickle, and Ceto, a more comprehensive account Perseus! Between themselves the edges of her using oil on canvas he had the head of the three Gorgons in Greek. Snake ’ s head made out of paper ] Diodorus and Palaephatus that... They had to swap between themselves her or raped her, and placed her fearsome visage upon.. Ancient Arabic kingdoms ( Nabataean how many snakes each gorgon had on her head Hatran, and she gave it to Zeus the healing to. Nabataean, Hatran, and their stories are intertwined with humans in countless ways in... Was slain by athena, enraged at the turn of the Cycladic of... From her severed head of the sea, sprang Pegasus and Chrysaor, her two sons Poseidon.
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