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Ancient Greek and Roman Myths Notes

Perseus

Perseus was son of Zeus andDanae, grandson of Acrisius, who had been foretold that the son of Danae would kill him. After the boy was born Acrisius had Danae and Perseus thrown into the sea in a wooden chest. By the will of Zeus the chest was cast up on the shores of the island of Seriphos, where a fisherman, called Dictus, found them and took in his house. He rose Perseus as his own son. The King of the island Polydectes, brother of Dictus, fall in love with Danae and looked for a chance to get rid of Perseus. Polydectes challenged Perseus to fight the Gorgons. With the help of Athena and Hermes, who first brought him to the sea nymphs to help him get armed, Perseus managed to behead the sleeping Medusa. He put her head in the special pouch bag and started home. The sisters of Medusa awoke, infuriated they looked for the murderer of their sister, but could not spot him. On the way back he saved Andromeda and with her returned to Seriphos. There he found his mother and his adopted father Dictus seeking refuge at the altars of the gods, because Polydectes had tried to rape Danae. Perseus showed Polydectes the head of Medusa and the tyrant was turned into stone. Perseus made Dictus the king of the island and left for Argos with Andromeda. Their he participated in games and when he threw the discus, he hit to death Acrisius, who was present at games as a spectator. Thus the prophecy of the oracle came true.
See: Anton Raphael Mengs. Perseus and Andromeda.
Peter Paul Rubens Perseus Liberating Andromeda, Perseus and Andromeda.
Paolo Veronese. Perseus and Andromeda.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones The Arming of Perseus. One of the nymphs holds out a helmet that makes anyone in it invisible; another offers him the winged sandals of Hermes, and the third holds the pouch fro the head of Gorgon.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones The Escape of Perseus.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones The Baleful Head. belongs to a series of eight depictions on the antique myth of Perseus. Here Perseus is shown presenting the head of Medusa to Andromeda. To avoid danger they gaze its reflection in a pool.
 
 

Ancient Greek and Roman Myths Index

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