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Definition: Medusa (Greek medousa, ‘ruler’, ‘queen’) from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

In classical mythology the chief of the GORGONS, whose face was so terrible that all who saw it were turned to stone. PERSEUS avoided this fate by looking only at her reflection; he was thus able to kill her by striking off her head. From Medusa's spilt blood arose her offspring by POSEIDON, Chrysaor and PEGASUS.

Summary Article: Medusa, in Greek mythology
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(mӘdō'sӘ), in Greek mythology, most famous of the three monstrous Gorgon sisters. She was once a beautiful woman, but she offended Athena, who changed her hair into snakes and made her face so hideous that all who looked at her were turned to stone. When Medusa was with child by Poseidon, Perseus killed her and presented her head to Athena. Chrysaor and Pegasus sprang from her blood when she died. Medusa's head retained its petrifying power even after her death. Because of this power, her image frequently appeared on Greek armor. In some myths Athena used the Medusa head on her aegis.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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