Other Names: Gorgon
She was once a beautiful maiden whose hair was her chief glory but as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva (Athena), the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her beautiful ringlets into hissing serpents.
The gorgon Medusa, unlike her sisters, was a mortal. Born beautiful, Medusa was seduced by Poseidon, disguised as a horse, in one of Athena's temples. Athena became incensed and turned Medusa into a fearsome winged creature. Originally, Medusa was depicted as a horse with wings, then a woman with equine hindquarters and wings on her hair. At a later date, portraits of her reveals that her teeth were transformed into the tusks of a wild boar, her black tongue protruded and became too large for her mouth, her hands became brazen claws and her wings were changed into serpents. Her gaze alone turned men to stone.
Medusa 1 alone was mortal among the Gorgons, which made it possible for Perseus to come after her head. In order to kill her, he beheld the image of Medusa 1 on a brazen shield, so that he would not be turned into a stone for looking at her, and, his hand guided by Athena, he beheaded her.
- Carlos Parada, Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology
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