Who Was Pegasus?
Pegasus is one of Greek mythology’s most well-known magical creatures. The magnificent winged horse was a favorite topic of Greek artists, and it is still a popular subject of art nowadays. Pegasus is arguably more popular today than the Greek hero who tamed him.
Bellerophon killed the Chimera, but the most famous portion of the narrative is that he did so while riding on Pegasus’ back. Despite the creature’s long-standing appeal, few people are familiar with its genesis tale. The renowned horse was the child of a mighty god and a terrifying monster, as improbable as it may appear.
The myths surrounding Pegasus and his connections to Poseidon and Medusa demonstrate that the horse was capable of more than just flying. Pegasus seemed to be flying across the skies, yet he was essentially rooted in water.
Keep reading if you want to discover more about the famous flying horse! Here is everything you need to know about Pegasus:
The Birth Of Pegasus, The Flying Horse
Pegasus is commonly seen as a noble and majestic creature. His origins, on the other hand, were with a monstrous creature. As per Hesiod, Poseidon and Medusa were the parents of the flying horse.
Perseus, with the help of Athena, decapitated Medusa. He crept up on her while she was sleeping, using Athena’s gleaming shield to look at her reflection rather than her terrifying face. Medusa’s blood flowed across the floor of the cavern where she and her sisters had created their refuge after she was struck by the hero’s sword. When the blood of Medusa spilled, her two children were born.
Chrysaor, her son, would play a significant role in some stories. He was the father of the giant Geryon, whose livestock Heracles stole, but he didn’t appear in any further tales. Pegasus, on the other hand, was far more well-known than his brother. The immortal horse that was formed from Medusa’s blood would go on to become one of mythology’s most iconic monsters.
Check out our recent article: Medusa: The Story Of The Snake-Haired Gorgon!
Pegasus And Bellerophon
One of the most famous of the myths that mention Pegasus is that of Bellerophon. The Corinthian hero was tasked with killing the Chimera after being wrongly convicted of a crime. The famous quest was meant to ensure Bellerophon’s death because the fire-breathing monster was nearly invulnerable. However, the seer Polyidus told him that if he enlisted Pegasus’ help, he could win.
The flying horse, on the other hand, was untamed. Bellerophon prayed to the gods Athena and Poseidon, who were both associated with horses and equestrian inventions, for a bridle to tame Pegasus. Bellerophon discovered Pegasus drinking at the Pirene spring outside of Corinth, as instructed by Polyidus. When the hero attached Athena’s magical bridle to the horse, it obeyed his commands and enabled him to mount.
The Chimera was soon confronted by Pegasus when he flew his first rider. Bellerophon was saved from the monster’s scorching breath by the flying horse’s incredible speed and agility. None of Bellerophon’s arrows could penetrate the monster’s skin. Instead, he persuaded Pegasus to take a risky dive and slam his lead-tipped spear into the Chimer’s throat.
The Chimera died from internal burns after being unable to extinguish its flames. Bellerophon had been able to finish his impossible task thanks to Pegasus’s speed. Bellerophon’s flying horse supported him in a number of subsequent adventures. The hero, striking from a great height, was able to outmaneuver and ambush any foes he encountered.
Don’t forget to check out our recent article: Chimera: A Fire Breathing Monster!
Pegasus’ Role In Bellerophon’s Downfall
Pegasus, on the other hand, would ultimately play a part in Bellerophon’s downfall. The hero grew convinced that he had deserved a seat among the gods after several great battles, and he spurred his horse to soar to Mount Olympus. What occurred to Bellerophon as he wanted to ride Pegasus to Olympus is the subject of various narratives.
According to mythology, Zeus was enraged at the mortal’s audacity and dispatched a gadfly to sting Pegasus in the back. When Pegasus was stung, he tossed and fled like any other horse. Bellerophon was hurled from the creature’s back. He spent the rest of his life crippled and all alone after being injured by the fall.
The hero became suspicious of Olympus as he approached it, believing it was not indeed the home of the gods. He lost his balance and plummeted to his death when he gazed down at the planet’s surface below him, his lack of trust stopping him from ever becoming a god. Pegasus, on the other hand, kept flying. Poseidon’s equine son got it to Olympus and settled into Zeus’ stables.
Pegasus And His Mate
Pegasus is said to have found a mate in the form of Ocyrhoe in certain legends (also identified as Euippe). Ocyrhoe was the offspring of the centaur Chiron, who was turned into a horse by Zeus after she disclosed too much about the future, particularly about her own father’s fate.
Pegasus and Ocyrhoe were thought to have mated, giving birth to Celeris and possibly Melanippe, however, Ocyrhoe was also known as Melanippe. Some say that Pegasus children were the ancestors of a new race of winged horses; however, Celers was not always a winged horse and was frequently characterized as being swift of the hoof.
The Young Muses And Pegasus
Pegasus became connected with the Younger Muses in later mythology, particularly later Greco-Roman mythology. One narrative about Pegasus and the Muses involves the Muses competing in a singing contest with King Pierus’s daughter, the Pierides. The Muses’ song, on the other hand, was so magnificent that the mountain they were standing on, Mount Helicon, swelled with admiration for the performance.
Antoninus Liberalis has suggested that Poseidon commanded Pegasus to gallop across Mount Helicon to ease the mountain’s swelling, and spring was formed where the flying Pegasus landed, which was named Hippocrene. Pegasus’ landing is also claimed to have resulted in the formation of other sacred springs throughout Ancient Greece.
Pegasus’ Association With Water
Pegasus had the appearance of an ordinary land animal and flew through the sky, but he was most closely associated with water, which was startling. Poseidon was the father of the winged horse. He was not only the god of the sea; he was also credited with creating the first land horses.
Poseidon was rumored to be able to transform into a horse. He did so in order to pursue his sister Demeter, and the son born as a result of their union was Arion, an eternal horse. Horses and the sea were frequently associated in primitive civilizations.
In his stories, Pegasus was frequently associated with freshwater, particularly the icy springs that could be found across Greece’s mountains. Pegasus was named after both his birthplace and the springs with which he was acquainted.