Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Medusa Essay -- History Historical Medusa Papers Goddess
Medusa Medusa means "sovereign female wisdom." In Sanskrit it's Medha. Medusa was originally a Libyan Goddess, worshiped by The Amazons as their Serpent-Goddess. She was considered the destroyer aspect of the Great Triple Goddess also called Neith, Anath, Athene or Ath-enna in North Africa and Athana in 1400. BC Minoan Crete. She can also be connected to Africa where she had a hidden, dangerous face, and her hair was represented as resembling dread locks. Libyan Amazons believed that no one could possibly lift her veil, and that to look upon her face was to glimpse one's own death as she saw yours. She was imported into Greece as one of the Gorgons, daughters of Phorcys and his sister Ceto. She was the oldest and only mortal of three sisters; the other two being Stheno, and Euryale. They were symbols of terror, their faces were so terrifying that anyone who looked directly at them turned to stone. The Gorgons had another three sisters, the Graeae(Aged Ones) personification of old age; their hair was gray from birth; they had only one tooth, and one eye, which they were forced to share among themselves. They were the only ones who knew the way to the Gorgons. Various myths exist to explaining the terrifying aspect of Medusa. The most famous and widely know is the one related to Athena. "She had once been a maiden whose hair was her chief glory, but as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva, the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her ringlets into hissing serpents. She became a monster of so frightful an aspect that no living thing could behold her without being turned into stone"(Gayley 208). Jean Lang describes this transformation as follows: "Every lock of her golden hair had been chan... ... grows hard in contact with air, and what in the sea was flexible becomes stone out of the water"(Morford and Lenardon, 416). Medusa is mentioned and various ancient sources like Ovid Metamorphoses, also in the Homeric Hymns like The Theogony for example. Bibliography: Hesiod Homeric Hymns Epic Cycle Homerica. Trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1995. Ovid Metamorphoses. Trans. A.D. Melville. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. Rosenberg, Donna. World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. Illinois: NTC Publishing Group, 1995. Lang, Jean. A Book of Myths. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack, Ltd, 1914. Gayley, Charles Mills. The Classic Myths: In English Literature and in Art. Boston: The Athenzum Press, 1911. Morford, Mark P.O. and Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology: Fifth Edition. Longman: Publishers USA, 1995.