Hades (Aides, Aidoneus or Haides) was the King of the Underworld, the god of death and the dead. He presided over funeral rites and defended the right of the dead to due burial. Hades was also the god of the hidden wealth of the earth, from the fertile soil with nourished the seed-grain, to…
I dig this for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s got great style.
Perhaps more interestingly though, is that it’s a very different tone as far as the direction of aggression. Most people know the Clash of the Titans version where she’s on the hunt for him once he shows up. But let’s face it, Medusa really gets the shaft from destiny overall. She starts out as a priestess in a temple who gets raped by Poseidon and gets cursed for it as if it was all her fault. The result is that she’s basically doomed to live without human contact for eternity. Then she’s hunted down specifically for her head by a demigod whose got all sorts of great toys and backing to get the job done and depicted as some sort of horrible monster for defending her turf from folks out to kill her.
There are some really interesting theories about regarding just what the whole ‘gorgon’ thing was really about from a historical perspective. It’s really quite a tragic tale about the rise of patriarchy and the purge of goddess-centric worshipers. There are also parallels to the Apollo versus Typhon story which is part of the same era. Harsh.
See, even the demystified stories from ancient times are fascinating!
Reblogging for commentary.
I wish there were more nuanced portrayals of Medusa than as just a scary, snake lady.
Not to mention all this shit went down while she was pregnant with twins, the Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor, as a result from the rape. Perseus would mount Pegasus, and use him and Medusa’s head to kill a sea monster, thus winning him a wife, Andromeda. Medusa was cursed by the very goddess she served, Athena, who also gave Perseus the mirrored shield he used to slay her. Raped, betrayed by her god, hunted down like a beast in her own home while she was pregnant, her own children stolen from her and used to glorify and aide her killers and betrayers. And she’s supposed to be the monster?
Athene (Athena) was the great Olympian goddess of wise counsel, war, the defence of towns, heroic endeavour, weaving, pottery and other crafts. She was depicted crowned with a crested helm, armed with shield and spear, and wearing the snake-trimmed aigis cloak wrapped around her breast and arm, adorned with the monstrous head of the Gorgon.
The more famous myths featuring the goddess Athene include:—
- Her birth from the head of Zeus, fully-grown and arrayed in arms;
- Her contest with Poseidon for dominion of Athens in which she produced the first olive tree and he the first horse;
- The War of the Giants in which she buried Enkelados beneath Mount Etna and made her aigis from the skin of Pallas;
- The attempted rape of the goddess by Hephaistos, who spilled his seed upon the earth and produced Erikhthonios, who she then adopted as her own;
- The assisting of Perseus in his quest to slay the Gorgon and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece;
- The assisting of Herakles with his twelve labours;
- The weaving contest with Arakhne who was transformed by the goddess into a spider;
The blinding of Teiresias for viewing her naked in the bath;
- The Judgement of Paris in which she competed with Hera and Aphrodite for the prize of the golden apple;
- The Trojan War where she sided with the Greeks in battle, but attacked their ships with a storm when they failed to punish Oilean Ajax for violating her Trojan shrine.
Artemis was the great Olympian goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of the girl child up to the age of marriage. Her twin brother Apollon was similarly the protector of the boy child. Together the two gods were also…
ERINYES ▹ Ἐρῑνύες❞The Erinyes were three netherworldgoddesses who avenged crimes against the natural order. They were particularly concerned with homicide, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods, and perjury. A victim seeking justice could call down the curse of the Erinys upon the criminal. The most powerful of these was the curse of the parent upon the child—for the Erinyes were born of just such a crime, being sprung from the blood of Ouranos, when he was castrated by his son Kronos.The wrath of the Erinyes manifested itself in a number of ways. The most severe of these was the tormenting madness inflicted upon a patricide or matricide. Murderers might suffer illness or disease; and a nation harbouring such a criminal, could suffer dearth, and with it hunger and disease. The wrath of the Erinyes could only be placated with the rite ritual purification and the completion of some task assigned for atonement.They were depicted as ugly, winged women with hair, arms and waists entwined with poisonous serpents. They wielded whips and were clothed either in the long black robes of mourners, or the short-length skirts and boots of huntress- maidens.❝
HERKYNA, (or Hercyna) was the Naiad Nymph of the stream Herkyna near Lebadeia in Boiotia (central Greece). She was a childhood companion of Persephone, and a goddess of the chthonian shrine of Trophonios.
Favorite Greek Myths - Persephone’s Abduction
Persephone was gathering flowers with the Oceanids along with Artemis and Athena—the Homeric Hymn says—in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. Demeter, when she found her daughter had disappeared, searched for her all over the earth with torches. In most versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Helios, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of her abode. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. Hades indeed complied with the request, but first he tricked her, giving her some pomegranate seeds to eat. Persephone was released by Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, but because she had tasted food in the underworld, she was obliged to spend a third of each year (the winter months) there, and the remaining part of the year with the gods above. [x]
Mirror Box with Head of Athena
early 4th Century BC
These case or box mirrors, constructed just like modern, hinged ladies’ compacts, were very fashionable from the later 5th century into the 4th century. The decoration of the cover was always in repoussé. Frequently there was another disk within this cover with an incised decoration of a mythological figure. The actual mirror is the highly polished top of the bottom half of the box. A loop at the hinge allowed the mirror to be suspended as a wall decoration when not in active use.
Source: Cleveland Museum of Art