Medusa is the mortal one of the 3 Gorgon sisters and is often called Gorgon Medusa. The mythological Greek hero Perseus performed a service to mankind by ridding the world of her fearsome power. He cut off her head, with the help of gifts from Hades (via the Stygian nymphs), Athena, and Hermes. From Medusa's severed neck sprang the winged-horse Pegasus and Chrysaor.
Origins are unclear. The story of Perseus and Medusa may come from Mesopotamian hero-demon struggles. Medusa may represent an ancient mother-goddess.
For more, see:
- "Perseus' Battle with the Gorgons," by Edward Phinney Jr. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 102, (1971), pp. 445-463
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