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Pegasus is the winged horse of Greek mythology. The horse is usually white in color, beautiful and is the symbol of strength, inspiration and flight. It was born from the blood of Medusa (a lovely young maiden), when she was slain by Perseus with his magical sword. The God of earth, Poseidon was Pegasus’ father.
Poseidon became infatuated with Medusa, he seduced her into the temple of Athena (goddess of wisdom). Because of this, Athena became infuriated and took her anger out on Medusa. She was so angry that she turned the maiden into a Gorgon, a terrifying female creature with hairs of venomous snakes and whose glance will turn a person to stone.
One day, the King Polydetes fell in love with Danae, a woman who had a young son named Persues. Persues tried to protect her mother who did not want to marry the King but had little success. The king would let his mother do as she wished if Perseus could bring back the head of a Gorgon. Of course, the king was so confident that Persues would fail.
Finally, Persues agreed to the deal and started to seek the goddess Athena for advice. Perseus was given two valuable tools: a highly polished reflective shield and the winged shoes of Hermes. The shoes was used by Perseus to fly to the land of Gorgon. The shield was used as a mirror so that Perseus could see Medusa without directly looking at her. Seeing the reflection of Medusa, Perseus lopped her head off with his sword.
Although strong and mighty, Pegasus could be captured and ridden. The horse was captured by Bellerophon, a man who was known as a great warrior for killing the fire breathing Chimaera (an animal with the head of a goat, a dragon and a lion who had been terrorizing the city of Lycia). He was the grandson of Sisyphus. He was sent on this mission by Proteus because he was not only a great warrior but also because Proteus was afraid that his young wife was becoming infatuated with him. By sending Bellerophone away, Proteus believed he can solve the problem and put an end to the affair before it began.
Bellerophone accepted the mission and he started to seek for advice to the wisest man in Lycia, Polyeidos. The wise man told him to spend the night in the temple of Athena. Athena appeared to him that night and advised him to capture the winged white horse, Pegasus whom she said could be found at the Pierian spring. Bellerophon was given a magic golden bridle so that he would be able to tame the wild horse.
According to the story, it was only with the help of Pegasus that Bellerophon was able to complete his difficult task of killing the Chimaera. This duo were sent on many other quests after this, and of course with an attempt of killing the Bellerophon. However, all attempts failed and the pair appeared to be invicible.
However, knowing that they were unbeatable, Bellerophon became proud and wanted more power. Bellerophon wanted to become a god and tried to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus. Zeus was not happy with this and sent a gadfly to bite Pegasus which caused him to fall to the ground. His attempt failed, and instead of becoming a god, he became blind and crippled.
Pegasus, however, was honored by Zeus. The horse was given a special stable and was allowed to fetch thunderbolts and lightning for Zeus. Pegasus later found a mate, Euippe, and they had two offspring, Melanippe and Celeris. From this family came a new race of winged horse. Although Pegasus was not immortal, Zeus transformed him into a constellation on the last day where we can still see him today.
write by Kenelm