Medusa

In Roman and Greek Mythology; Medusa is one of three terrible Gorgon sisters. She has snakes in her hair and bronze claws on her hands. Anyone who looks directly at Medusa immediately turns to stone.

Medusa began her llfe as a beautiful human, admired for her long, flowing hair. when the sea god Neptune (the Greek god Poseidon) began to fall in love with her, the goddess Minerva (the Greek goddess Athena) became jealous and changed Medusa into a hideous Gorgon, a creature with a head full of snakes. Years later Minerva completed her destruction of Medusa when she helped the young hero Perseus slay the hideous Gorgon.

In order to save his mother, Perseus was ordered by Polydectes, the cruel king of the island Seriphos to kill and behead Medusa. Minerva helped him by giving him her shield as protection.

After days of traveling, Perseus finally spotted Medusa. To avoid being turned to stone, Perseus looked at the monster through her reflection in Minerva's shield. As he moved nearer, he grew more and more horrified by her repulsive appearance. With one sweep of his sword, Perseus severed Medusa's head from her body. Perseus quickly stuffed Medusa's head inside his sack.

When Perseus decapitated the gorgon Medusa, she was already pregnant by the sea god Poseidon who had visited her in the form of a stallion. As her body fell to the ground, the two offspring of this union. Pegasus and the warrior Chrysaor leapt fully developed from her body.

The young hero took flight for the island of Seriphos in the winged sandals given to him by the god Dis (the Greek god Hades). When Perseus arrived on Seriphos, he rescued his mother from Polydectes by turning him to stone with Medusa's still deadly head. He then gave the head to the goddess Minerva, who attached the head to her shield to help her in future battles.