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43

It was looking directly into Medusa's eyes that would turn a mortal to stone, not the whole of her face. Using the shield as a mirror meant that even if Medusa's gaze fell upon Perseus, it would be at an angle. Not that it mattered in the end, as Perseus was lucky enough to catch Medusa and her sisters sleeping: But the Gorgons had heads twined about with ...


21

Well, according to Ovid, she din't put Medusa's entire head on the shield, just the snakes from her hair: Jupiter’s daughter turned away, and hid her chaste eyes behind her aegis. So that it might not go unpunished, she changed the Gorgon’s hair to foul snakes. And now, to terrify her enemies, numbing them with fear, the goddess wears the snakes, that she ...


17

I don't really consider that a particularly good source. Virgil says that Cacus was Half Human, in the Aeneid, Book VIII: There was a cave here, receding to vast depths, untouched by the sun’s rays, inhabited by the fell shape of Cacus, the half-human, and the ground was always warm with fresh blood, and the heads of men, insolently ...


17

In pseudo-Apollodorus' version, Medusa's sisters sought revenge on Perseus, who escaped them by using the Cap of Hades (which rendered its wearer invisible): So Perseus put the head of Medusa in the wallet (kibisis) and went back again; but the Gorgons started up from their slumber and pursued Perseus: but they could not see him on account of the cap, ...


17

The myths themselves are not going to give a technical explanation of this, so we are setting off on the wrong foot if we are seeking an answer at such a level, which is that of our modern technological mind. An initial observation to make is that the myth does not always include a shield, as Yannis notes in the case of Hesiod's account. We can also turn to ...


16

It was an especially cruel and specific punishment for Medusa as she was known for her beautiful golden hair Medusa's transformation from a beautiful golden haired priestess of Athena to not-so-beautiful Gorgon snake-lady was not instant, is was a gradual and drawn out punishment: She was originally a golden-haired, fair maiden, who, as a priestess of ...


13

I believe there is simply no clear explanation offered for this. Two sources I'm aware of make reference to the mortality of Medusa. They are: Hesiod, Theogony, 276 Gorgons who dwell beyond glorious Ocean in the frontier land towards Night where are the clear-voiced Hesperides, Sthenno, and Euryale, and Medusa who suffered a woeful fate: she was mortal,...


11

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 different word is Nonnus, who describes Medusa's head as "εχιδνοκόμοιο" (Dionysiaca Book 30, 264 ff). Now, this could be translated as "viper hair", but could ...


10

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" the temple (never mind punishing Poseidon for raping her). Athena changed her into a hideous creature with snakes for hair — interpretations vary on whether ...


10

This is a physicist's answer , commenting on the quotes in the checked answer: "by which they flew; and they turned to stone such as beheld them." There is no indication of direct gaze in the eyes in this passage. It seems a passive evil. My impression is that the use of the shield is based on the analogy with seeing the image of the sun in water or the ...


9

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 silvered-glass mirror dates only to about the mid 19th century CE. This modern conception in regard to Perseus is almost certainly influenced by the effects master Ray ...


6

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, from the fourth or fifth century CE. ἢ Περσέος εἶχες ἀγῶνα; ἢ Σθεννοῦς ἴδες ὄμμα λιθώπιδος ἠὲ καὶ αὐτῆς δύσμαχον Εὐρυάλης μυκώμενον ἀνθερεῶνα; ...


5

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 Dionysiaca, the Egyptian writer Nonnus narrates the conclusion of a tour of Greece taken by the wine-god Dionysus. At the time, Dionysus' half-brother Perseus rules ...


4

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 Zeus's thunderbolts against him; I don't think it would work since they are his.


4

There's a discussion of this question on Quora that covers all the points I wanted to raise. Personally, I've always preferred the explanation that Medusa was a priestess in Athena's temple. Defiling it by having sex there would be bad enough, but with Athena's enemy? Athena was already a short-tempered goddess, so Medusa must have known she was in for ...


4

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 Euripides (Ion 1002), regarded the Gorgon as a monster, produced by Gaea to aid her sons the giants against the gods and slain by Athena (the passage is a ...


3

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 the Gorgon Medusa. I omit the miraculous, but give the rational parts of the story about her. After the death of her father, Phorcus, she reigned over those ...


3

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 culture before 6000 BC, but they have been excavated in many places from Etruskia to the Black sea coast.


3

Sorry for referencing wiki, but I don't have better source. I've just remembered this during reading of this question. In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's ...


2

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 becomes incoherent and cannot be reconciled in a manner which would make a sensible narrative. The sisters were a later addition to a myth that had been ...


2

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 depiction of Medusa in the Iliad. Here is the passage with Robert Fagles translation: Over Athena's shoulders slung her shield, all tassels flaring terror—Panic ...


2

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.


2

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, who was turned into stone one night that Athena appeared in front of her. According to Pausanias, in Description of Greece: Iodama, who served the goddess ...


1

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 statues of medusa's head (sculptors: Bernini and Cellini) the snakes do not match the Ohia. The head shape is similar but the scales on the heads of the snakes in ...


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