Medusa was the daughter of Phorkys and Keto, the children of Gaia (Earth) and Okeanos (Ocean). She was one of the three sisters known as the Gorgons. The other two sisters were Sthenno and Euryale. Medusa was the only mortal out of the three. She was told to have been one of the most beautiful woman of her time. There are many versions of how this lovely woman turned into a hideous monster, two of these being the most common:
  1. One myth says Medusa lived in the far north and had never seen the sun. She asked permission of Athena to come south. When Athena denied her request, she angrily acused Athena of being jealous of her beauty. Enraged, Athena not only removed her beauty, but even worse, made her so ugly people, especially men, turned to stone just looking at her.
  2. A different story also reports Medusa's beauty was so stunning that many men courted her, yet shockingly she became a priestess in Athena's temple. Her golden hair and her beauty attracted the attention of the sea god, Poseidon. It is unclear as to who seduced whom or if Posiedon raped Medusa; nevertheless, when Athena learned what had happened she became extremely furious and cursed Medusa with snakes for hair, a body of a dragon and a face that turned those who looked at her to stone

One myth describes a Greek hero named Perseus who promised to kill Medusa in order to prove his manhood. He borrowed Hermes' winged sandals and cap of invisibility. He carried a powerful scythe and a mirrored shield. His speed and invisibility allowed him to get close to her. He used the mirror to "see" her without becoming a stone and beheaded her. Story goes one to describe how even though dead, Medusa's head could still turn men into stone and that snakes would rise from just one drop of her blood on the desert sand. Some myths even go on to say that Athena even put medusas head on the front of her warrior shield.
Continuing on from the head of Medusa it is also said that from her head rose the great winged horse, Pegasus, and the hero of the golen sword Chrysaor.


Medusa has grown to be one of the most well known mythological creatures from the ancient times. Begginning with ancient Romans depicting her image on coins or on paintings in there households, she has become one notorious female icon. Medusa's image is one that represents beauty, strength, feminism, fear, and power. Even in modern times Medusa the Gorgon has shown up in countless movies and TV shows. Medusa's legend is guaranteed to live on for another thousands of years.

Medusa Scene From Clash of the Titans 2010


Ann Marie Pichirallo
Hicks Latin II