Medusa, the Snake Haired Gorgon in Greek Mythology

Video

Kelly Macquire
by
published on 28 June 2022

The mortal Medusa along with her two immortal sisters Stheno and Euryale are known as the Gorgons and were born to the sea god Phorcys and the sea goddess Ceto in Greek mythology. All three of the gorgons (in the Greek sources) had wings, wide mouths, fangs or tusks, serpent hair, and had the ability to turn people to stone with their gaze. Later classical writers like Ovid depict Medusa as a beautiful maiden who was transformed into a woman with snake hair and a look that could kill by Athena (goddess of wisdom and war).

Medusa the snake haired Gorgon is best known for her death at the hands of Perseus. Perseus arrived at the home of the Gorgons whilst they slept, and as he stood over the sleeping creatures, Athena guided Perseus’ hand while he looked into the reflection of a bronze shield so as not to be turned to stone by the gaze of the Gorgons if they awoke, and he cut off the head of Medusa with the adamantine sickle.

The image of Medusa became not only a popular image but also an apotropaic device, meaning that the image was believed to be able to ward off evil.

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— CHAPTERS —
0:00​ Introduction
0:45 Travel to Ancient Greece with us!
1:23 Who is Medusa?
2:50 The Myth of Medusa and Perseus
7:14 The Figure of Medusa in Art
9:25 Outro

— WANT TO KNOW MORE? —
Medusa https://www.worldhistory.org/Medusa/
Perseus https://www.worldhistory.org/Perseus/
Greek Mythology https://www.worldhistory.org/Greek_Mythology/
Pegasus https://www.worldhistory.org/Pegasus/
Athena https://www.worldhistory.org/athena/
A Visual Who's Who of Greek Mythology https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1002/a-visual-whos-who-of-greek-mythology/
Poseidon https://www.worldhistory.org/poseidon/

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— ATTRIBUTIONS —
You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/medusa-the-snake-haired-gorgon-in-greek-mythology-images-and-attributions-10154

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
https://www.ancientlyre.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v?si=emacIH9CRieFNGXRUyJ9
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

— THUMBNAIL IMAGE —
https://flickr.com/photos/carolemage/50799425913/in/photolist-2koYkuV-2mMAjdJ-2g9KFrJ-2iTwxrT-2kp3HSG-2m91Jfq-2m95rbR-QD38vW-mdD9EK-2m96Wz4-dn9Ld3-bbqDpa-8Sc7MG-QFBRqP-DHKLiR-e173mN-nVnz8y-9C4APB-bbqzer-2ewjmmQ-ocH6R9-SH7f8Q-pgqEZQ-bbqABB-pxSPx7-9Fg1Dt-y4dufp-ntg6tS-bMjQSx-2m8WZbm-byqbtu-byq9KA-9C7t2C-9C4yJD-qsnxJ3-bbqBU4-Ejv4Lc-9eGcay-pgpnTP-eDwYrn-bkJGwL-9YRSfS-eabez4-9Fg2Be-KyZgWo-L5yBP5-s4RDL3-ra9xwS-E3STMH-8Tif1t
Carole Raddato
CC BY SA 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/254523?deptids=13&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=gorgon&offset=0&rpp=40&pos=33
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Open Access - https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/open-access
CC0 - https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, June 28). Medusa, the Snake Haired Gorgon in Greek Mythology. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2796/medusa-the-snake-haired-gorgon-in-greek-mythology/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Medusa, the Snake Haired Gorgon in Greek Mythology." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 28, 2022. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2796/medusa-the-snake-haired-gorgon-in-greek-mythology/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Medusa, the Snake Haired Gorgon in Greek Mythology." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 28 Jun 2022. Web. 08 Aug 2022.

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