If you carefully study the myths and legends of the ancient Greeks, it becomes clear that there were several gorgons, but after millennia, from memory we can reproduce the name only one of them - Medusa.
Medusa of the gorgon. The myth of the origin
The very first mentions in the literature aboutThe snakehead creatures date back to the eighth century BC. In the Odyssey, Homer writes about Medusa, a monster from the underworld, and in Theogony, Hesiod recounts three gorgon sisters. In general, there are several options for how the gorgons appeared and who they were originally.
The first version of the appearance, which was adhered toEuripides are titanic. It says that the mother of the gorgon was Gaia, the goddess of the earth and the progenitor of the Titans. If so, the gorgon Medusa and her sisters could initially be monsters.
The second version can be called "poseidonic". She describes in his "Metamorphoses" Ovid.
The most beautiful of the sisters was the Gorgon Medusa. She so fascinated with the beauty of the god Poseidon, that he forcibly took possession of Medusa in the temple dedicated to Athena. The goddess became furious when she learned of the desecration of her sanctuary, and turned the sea maid into a gorgon - a monster covered with thick scales, with hydra and snakes flying on their heads instead of hair, with yellow teeth sticking out of their mouths. Sfeno and Euryale decided to share the fate of his sister and also become monsters. And perhaps it was not in the temple, just the powerful Athena envied the beautiful appearance of Medusa and jealous of the sea god.
Medusa gorgona - the only one of the sisters wasmortal, and only she could turn her eyes to people in stone statues. According to some other myths, all three gorgons had the terrible gift of turning people and animals into stone, and also freezing water. When the young Perseus accidentally dropped the phrase that he could kill the gorgon Medusa, Athena caught him at the word. She taught the hero how to defeat the gorgon and not turn into stone, and handed the young man his shield, polished like a mirror. The hero fulfilled his promise and brought the goddess's head to Medusa, and also returned the shield on which the image of the gorgon was imprinted.
The ancient Greeks believed that the Medusa of the gorgon, or rather its severed head - is an excellent guarding artifact, protecting from evil and "evil eye". Thus appeared and spread amulets-gorgonejons.
Images of Medusa were applied to weapons, armor,medallions, coins and facades of buildings not only in Greece, but also in Ancient Rome, Byzantium and Scythia. At first the gorgon was painted terribly terrible, like a real monster, but eventually Medusa was portrayed as a beautiful, though horrifying woman with wriggling snakes on her head.</ p>