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12 votes
Accepted

What kind of snakes were the Gorgons' hair made of?

Most sources I know of simply use some form of "ὄφις" (snake) when describing Medusa or her sisters. That's not particularly helpful in identifying the species of the snakes. One source that uses a ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
11 votes

Why does looking at Medusa with a mirror work?

I think the "in-world" world answer would definitely be based on physics, specifically optics and reflectivity. Our modern conception is quite different than of the ancient. The modern ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.2k
10 votes

Could all three Gorgons turn people to stone, or just Medusa?

Only Medusa. Medusa was the only mortal of the three sisters, and the only beautiful one. Poseidon raped her in one of Athena's temples. The other gods demanded that Medusa be punished for "defiling" ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Could all three Gorgons turn people to stone, or just Medusa?

All three. None of the oldest sources seem to confirm or deny, since Medousa's sisters don't really do much in the most famous myths. But some later authors made it explicit. From Nonnus's Dionysiaca, ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 1,368
6 votes

What is the significance of Medusa having hands of bronze?

Source of the material is: http://ritchieslatin.blogspot.com/2011_03_20_archive.html Think "brazen", and the idea of Medusa's hands as deadly weapon. This is a fairly common metaphor in ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Was King Polydectes the last petrified by Medusa?

Ariadne and the Battle of the Brothers In one source, Perseus is supposed to have used Medusa's power at least once after Seriphos. In the last third of the second-last book of his epic, the ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
5 votes
Accepted

Does the cap of Hades keep one's accessories hidden?

In Homer's Illiad, in the conflict between Athena and Ares, Athena puts on the cap and becomes completely invisible to Ares. Then Pallas Athene grasped the lash and the reins, and against Ares first ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
4 votes

Does the cap of Hades keep one's accessories hidden?

One can perhaps approach it from a perspective of the history of science and think about how the people at the time would have understood the physics of seeing and light. You ask the very good ...
uUnwY's user avatar
  • 241
4 votes

How did Athena keep from being turned into stone by her shield?

Athena probably wouldn't have been turned to stone from Medusa's head since Athena was the one who cursed Medusa to look like that in the first place using her own power. Like if someone tried to use ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 49
4 votes
Accepted

Who is "she who slew the Gorgon" in Euripides?

According to the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, it seems that yes, it means Athena, and yes, it's a version of the "gorgon" myth distinct from Medusa and Perseus. The Attic tradition, reproduced in ...
Tim Pederick's user avatar
3 votes

What is the historical origin of Medusa?

Pausanias has a euhemeristic explanation about the myth in Description of Greece: Not far from the building in the market-place of Argos is a mound of earth, in which they say lies the head of ...
Rodia's user avatar
  • 2,317
3 votes
Accepted

What is the historical origin of Medusa?

The Gorgoneion is a likely origin for the priestess masks. The practice of these amulets as aspects of the Mother Goddess dates back to the Neolithic Age. The oldest Gorgon mask is from Greek Sesklo ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
3 votes

How are Vetalas similar to Medusa?

I'm afraid the source you mentioned is on a TV show called Lost Girl. The best source for finding relevant info on the Vetala is the Kathasaritsagara especially book 12 And especially the story (...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
2 votes

What is the significance of Medusa having hands of bronze?

In addition to @DukeZhou 's excellent answer, this description is already found in the original Greek text of Hesiod's "Shield of Heracles" 223-4: εἶχον δὲ αἱ Γοργόνες κεφαλὰς μὲν ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
2 votes

Could you look at Medusa's head through a distorted surface?

So to answer this, the first thing I can remind you is... Gremlins 2, just listen when then are punning about the rules concerning the Mogwai... same here XD. Now by itself, we find the first ...
Gibet's user avatar
  • 3,511
2 votes

Why does Athena not hold Poseidon responsible for desecrating her temple with Medusa?

Poseidon was a god, and Athena was a goddess. She was not powerful enough to punish Poseidon. He is a elder god, which makes him second only to Zeus.
maxasela's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes

Why was Medusa the only mortal of the Gorgons?

Unfortunately, the actual answer is... there is no answer. The reason being, it is like all myths that have been adapted, changed, added to, corrupted and retold over a long period of time - the story ...
Kroshaw's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

Was King Polydectes the last petrified by Medusa?

I've found at least one case while reading Petrifaction in mythology and fiction in Wikipedia. Iodame, a priestess at the temple of Athena Itonia, daughter of Itonus and granddaughter of Amphictyon, ...
Rodia's user avatar
  • 2,317
1 vote

What kind of snakes were the Gorgons' hair made of?

I did some research and the only poisonous snake in Greece which is also conveniently a viper is called the Ohia snake (Vipera ammodytes). Although when comparing that species to the 2 most famous ...
Zoey's user avatar
  • 11

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