Medusa Facts

Medusa Facts
Medusa is an ancient Greek mythological character known for her ability to turn one into stone if they looked at her (even by accident), and for her head of snakes (instead of hair) and winged human female form. Medusa was a Gorgon - one of three sisters with venomous snakes for hair and the ability to turn people to stone. Medusa and her two sisters Euryale and Stheno, were the children of Phorcys and his sister Ceto. Medusa was rumoured to have once been a beautiful young woman, but Athena became jealous when Poseidon turned his attentions to Medusa. Athena turned Medusa's face into a horrible sight and turned her hair to venomous snakes. Medusa was the only one of the three sisters who was not immortal and in the end Medusa was killed by the hero and demigod Perseus.
Interesting Medusa Facts:
Medusa was originally a priestess of Athena. When she fell in love with Poseidon and married him she went against her vows as a priestess.
Athena punished Medusa by cursing her with the horrid face and poisonous snakes for hair. Medusa left her home and wandered in Africa.
Ancient Greek mythology states that Medusa dropped baby poisonous snakes as she wandered through Africa. This is the reason for the high number of poisonous snakes in Africa according to the myth.
Medusa was eventually killed by Perseus. King Polydectes of Seriphus wanted to marry Perseus' mother Danaë but she had no interest in him. In order to avoid the forced marriage Perseus (son of Zeus and Danaë) agreed to bring the king Medusa's head.
Perseus attacked Medusa with a mirrored shield (from Athena), winged sandals (from Hermes), a sword (from Hephaestus), and invisibility (from Hade).
Perseus was able to see Medusa from the reflection in the mirrored shield, making it possible for him to kill her without looking directly at her.
When Perseus beheaded Medusa, a winged horse (Pegasus), and Chrysaor (a golden young man with a sword) sprang from her body. Medusa had been pregnant by Poseidon when she was beheaded and Pegasus and Chrysaor were the offspring of their relationship.
Perseus took Medusa's head to King Polydectes, who was about to force Danaë into marriage. He turned the king to stone with Medusa's head and then gave the head to Athena.
Athena placed Medusa's head on her shield, called the Aegis.
Medusa's image has been used in modern day culture. The fashion empire Versace uses Medusa as a logo.
Alexander the Great had the image of Medusa on his breastplate.
Leonardo da Vinci painted an oil on canvas painting called Medusa.
Benvenuto Cellini created a bronze sculpture in 1554 named "Perseus with the Head of Medusa".
Hubert Gerhard created a bronze statue in 1590 named "Perseus and Medusa".
A village in the Czech Republic, Dohalice village, has Medusa's image on their municipal coat of arms.
The flag of Sicily has an image of Medusa.
During World War I the French military had a ceremonial uniform belt with Medusa's image on it.
Medusa has been featured in many movies, works of art, cartoons, video games, and books and other literature. She is believed to represent philosophy, beauty, and art, as well as feminism in some regards.


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