why was medusa cursed

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The Roman poet Ovid included Medusa in his epic collection of Metamorphoses. Anyone who locked gaze with Medusa was turned into stone. She became so hideous that the mere sight of her could cause a man to turn to stone. Ancient statuary, bronze shields, and vessels have depictions of Medusa. In modern times, her carved image adorns a rock off the coast of the popular Red Beach outside of Matala, Crete. Ovid, one of the era’s most prolific writers, included her in his Metamorphoses. The original tale of Perseus had no instance of physical transformation, and thus no basis for inclusion in Ovid’s work. When Medusa had an affair with the sea god Poseidon, Athena punished her. Athena punished her by turning her from a renowned beauty into the most hideous monster in existence. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. Throughout ancient Greece, there are a number of references to the Medusa myth by ancient Greek writers Hyginus, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Dionysios Skytobrachion, Herodotus, and Roman authors Ovid and Pindar. According to the design house, it was chosen because she represents beauty, art, and philosophy. Medusa’s life was forever changed. Ovid was known to take poetic license in these stories, however. He was generally considered to be the father of Pegasus and Chrysaor, who sprang from the Gorgon’s neck when she was decapitated. As was usually the case in Greco-Roman mythology, her beauty attracted the attention of a god.

Details were added and entire plot points embellished for dramatic effect rather than an adherence to tradition.

According to him, Medusa had been cursed by Athena.

In Medusa’s case, it was Poseidon who was drawn to her. Medusa is one of the more unusual divine figures of ancient Greece mythology. Hers was not the only story of transformation created by Ovid. The idea of the Gorgon having been cursed by Athena allowed the story to fit in among tales of avenging gods and deserved punishments. Most Greeks would have been unfamiliar with Ovid’s version of events and accepted Medusa as a born monster. The transformation of Medusa seems to have been an invention to give the larger tale of Perseus and Andromeda’s love story a place in his collection. What are the Most Famous Greek Mythology Paintings? She is generally considered unmarried, though she did lie with Poseidon. Medusa’s long shining hair was turned to snakes and her features were twisted beyond recognition. On a boast, Perseus sought Medusa out to vanquish her once and for all. Did a Lion-Headed Monster Exist in Greek Mythology. Legend states that Medusa was once a beautiful, avowed priestess of Athena who was cursed for breaking her vow of celibacy.

Medusa is remembered as a horrible monster, but in some later versions of the myth she had not always been so hideous. Many modern readers are unaware of Ovid’s stylistic reasons for changing the details of established stories and of the relatively late date in which he wrote. The image of Medusa was thought to be protective.

She has a broad face, sometimes with tusks, and snakes for hair.

Her supposed crime was an assault by Poseidon in the goddess’s temple. Also, the flag and emblem of Sicily feature her head. Ovid grouped his vast collection of poems by subject and theme, even by geographical location. The story had be be embellished so that one of Greece’s most famous heroes and founding kings could be included in a thematically-appropriate way.

Her "monstrous" form is believed by some scholars to represent a partially-decomposed human skull with teeth beginning to show through the decaying lips. My work has also been published on Buzzfeed and most recently in Time magazine. I have been in love with all things related to Mythology. Privacy, Jason Greek: Who is Jason in Greek Mythology. One of a trio of Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only sister who was not immortal. In fact, Ovid was known for the creative ways in which he addressed well-known tales. The sea god found her in a temple of Athena and assaulted her on the spot.

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