Pegasus is a very famous mythical creature in Greek mythology. It is represented by a white horse equipped with 2 large wings, allowing it to fly. If Pegasus is also known in ancient mythology, it is quite simply because he had an admirable adventure, achieving many feats.
Although Pegasus is well known to all, the course of his birth is not enough. This is a story that involves gods and goddesses such as Poseidon and Athena, but not just that. There are also warriors such as Perseus, and even many other known mortals such as Medusa, Danae… How it happened exactly, we detail that in our article.
First of all, who are Pegasus’ parents?
The father of Pegasus is neither more nor less than the god of the sea poseidon and his mother is there deadly jellyfish. Although being in a relationship, and even married with the lovely Amphitrite, Poseidon did not prevent himself from having romantic adventures with other beautiful women. One of those conquests is Medusa, the only deadly Gorgon. The latter can be described as a lovely woman with long hair and shiny eyes.
However, in order to seduce the latter, the god of the waters was forced to transform. According to some authors, it turned into horse and according to others in bird. Either way, he manages to seduce Medusa and leads her to the temple of the goddess of wisdom. Athena. Once there, the 2 mate and Medusa becomes pregnant with the famous Pegasus.
While some authors indicate that Poseidon would have raped Medusa, others on the other hand mention a consenting relationship between the god of the waters and the mortal Medusa. Anyway, the goddess of wisdom did not appreciate the act committed in the temple dedicated to her and got very angry.
The wrath of Athena and the transformation of the gorgon Medusa
As we said above, Athena was very angry after learning what happened in her temple. She thus wished to attribute a punishment to the couple. However, not being able to directly attack the god of the sea Poseidon, Athena will pour out her anger on the Gorgon Medusa. How? ‘Or’ What ? By transforming her into a real monster.
Indeed, the beautiful pretty woman was transformed into a awful creature, a winged monster with huge fangs and claws on its fingers, its pretty hair has turned into hundreds of snakes. Moreover, Medusa had become able to turn a man to stone with just one look.
Perseus, the death of Medusa and the birth of Pegasus
The birth of Pegasus is also linked to a participation of Perseus, a demigod and the king of Tirynthe. It is about the son of the beautiful Danaé, with whom the king Polydectès (or Polydecte) would have marriage plans. However, Perseus is totally against any probable union between the latter and his mother. In order to carry out his plan and marry Danae, Polydectès will organize a ruse in order to drive Perseus away.
Indeed, Polydectès announces his engagement with another woman to the son of his sweetheart. The latter very happy then offers to make an exceptional gift to Polydectès. This one calls for a truly exceptional gift, the head of the only deadly Gorgon, Medusa. Perseus agrees and then gives himself the mission of killing Medusa.
However, our hero is aware that his mission will be easier said than done. However, he will be able to benefit from the ultimate help of the goddess of wisdom Athena and that of Hermes, the son of Zeus. They give him several tools that will be useful to him to carry out his mission. This is a helmet of Hades (able to make it invisible), of a sharp billhook, a polished shield serving as a mirror, and winged sandals (used to fly).
The day Perseus decides to take the plunge, Medusa is asleep with the other 2 Gorgons. Perseus flies above them (using the winged sandals) while keeping an eye on them using the polished shield. Once near Medusa, he slices the latter’s throat using the billhook and beheads her. After waking up, the 2 Gorgons present on the scene can no longer catch up with Perseus. Indeed, having used the helmet of Hades, he is invisible.
The blood of the Gorgon is scattered on the ground and we see 2 creatures coming out of the latter: Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor : the winged horse is born.
Where does Pegasus come from?
The origin of Pegasus depends on the authors. Indeed, some authors give it an Asian origin while others a European origin. Also, many people think that Pegasus is just an imagination and never existed.
Pegasus would have an Asian origin
According to some authors including the historian Marc André Wagner, Pegasus would have an Asian origin. Indeed, the winged horses would have appeared in Asia in the XIXe century BC Thus, Pegasus cannot therefore come from Europe as argued by other authors such as Edouard Will.
Pegasus would be born after a fight in a ship
According to some ancient theories, the origin of Pegasus would be closely linked to a fight in a ship that opposed Bellerophon and Chimarros. The story is completely different from this perspective. Indeed, Bellerophon made it his mission to kill Chimarros, the captain of the ship, which was causing harm to the Lycians.
However, according to this theory, Medusa always intervenes in the birth of Pegasus since his head would represent the commander. However, Poseidon would have nothing to do with the birth of a winged horse. In addition, there is no intervention of Athena, no curse and Perseus does not intervene either.
The winged horse would be just an imagination
For some theories, Pegasus would be no more than a imaginary creature and therefore would never have existed. Indeed, this creature would come from the forces of nature. These forces, which are storms and rivers, remind us of horse racing.
In short, even if several theories exist on the birth of Pegasus, the best known and the most used in the works is that which involves Poseidon and Astonished as being the parents of the winged horse.