G is for Gorgons

Jacek Malczewski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
There are three Gorgons in Greek Mythology; Medusa, Sthenno and Euryale. They were described as winged women with broad heads, serpents for hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, tusks, lolling tongues, flared nostrils and sometimes coarse beards.
Medusa was the only mortal Gorgon, and therefore it was her head that King Polydektes commanded Perseus to cut off. He managed to decapitate Medusa with some help from the gods, and from her neck sprang the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Khrysaor.
It is said that they were so ugly, any man who saw their faces was turned to stone.

There are a couple of myths explaining why Medusa was the only mortal Gorgon, my favourite suggesting that she used to be a beautiful maiden who lived in the north where there was no sun. She prayed to Athena, asking for permission to visit the south to see the sun. When Athena refused, Medusa got angry and said that Athena was jealous of her beauty, so Athena punished her by giving her snakes for hair and cursing her so that anyone who saw her turned to stone.

Comments

  1. I like the Gorgon sisters. Such wretched creatures but had such great storied in my opinion.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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  2. Very interesting post. Will always like Greek Mythology

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  3. When I've seen this story portrayed in the past, the authors who have adapted it have always made the woman beautiful. I wonder why they left the ugliness element out?

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  4. Nice to hear about those lesser known Gorgons as well as Medusa.

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  5. I did not know the bit about Pegasus, but I think it shows again those gods are a fickle bunch. Well done, see you late tomorrow I think, for the next letter.

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  6. I never knew there was more than one Gorgon. I thought Madusa was unique :)

    Left and Write

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  7. It's intriguing to visit your site because I knew so little about Greek Mythology before. Thank you for giving us these interesting facts on the Gorgons.

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  8. I've heard of Medusa, but not the others. Very informative post. :)

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  9. I thought Medusa was the only gorgon, and I never knew she was mortal. Guess I learned something today.

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  10. I always found the Gorgons interesting, especially Medusa, mainly because of the Medusa in the old Marvel comics who rocked, great post Laura.

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  11. Pegasus came from Medusa's headless neck? I have never heard that before. That just blew my mind!

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