Greek mythology always attracts readers because of the thrilling stories surrounding the Olympians as well as the heroic deeds. One of the most intriguing stories is the one about Medusa with solid hair and the ability to petrify anyone who dares to look at her. However, in spite of this fierce, Medusa received sympathy from many people because of the legend that she turned to youkai after being harmed by Poseidon in the temple of the goddess Athena. However, is the truth true? Or is Poseidon just a reluctant victim in the story of Medusa?
Legend of Medusa and the temple of Athena
This story tells that in the olden days Medusa was a girl with a beautiful and beautiful beauty. She is very respectful of goddess Athena. Medusa’s beauty caught the eye of the sea god Poseidon. Although she refused, but the god still determined to pursue and this caused her to run into the temple of the goddess Athena hoping to be protected. Sadly, the goddess ignored her, leaving Medusa to be raped by Poseidon (a version where she responds to Poseidon and the two have made love in the Athena shrine).
Outraged at her behavior that tainted her temple, the goddess Athena punished Medusa instead of Poseidon. The god transforms Medusa into a hideous form with solid hair, bronze hands with nails sharper than a knife. Since then Medusa became a terrible female demon, specializing in harming people, but absolutely not threatening women.
This tragic story about the mistress of Medusa has caused many people to sympathize with the female monster, and at the same time hate and condemn both Athena and Poseidon for the improper behavior of the gods. But the truth is that both Athena and Poseidon were ‘hated’ by the story of an adaptation that the Romans came up with.
Medusa in Greek notes
As for Greek mythology, the two oldest sources of texts commonly used as the source of storytelling are Hesiod’s Theogony (c. 750 – 650 BC) and Homer’s epics Iliad and Odyssey. In it, the origin of Medusa is first mentioned in Theogony with the following description from line 270 to line 280 as follows:
Ancient reliefs carved in Medusa
But to Phorkys next to the blushed Keto gave birth to Graiai, gray from birth, who were immortal gods like humans walking on the earth called Graiai; the name, Pemphredo beautifully dressed, and Enyo encrusted with saffron, and the Gorgons, who surpassed the fame of the Okeanos, in the farthest of darkness, where Hesperides, Stheno, Euryale and Medusa clearly bear sadly hold. The last may die, but they, the other two are immortal and immortal, and together with the other [Medusa] the blue-haired deity lay on the soft grass, and among the spring flowers.
Medusa was born Gorgon, but not as immortal as her two sisters.
The story of Hesiod’s Medusa has been passed down throughout Greece. Several hundred years later, it was recorded by a Roman poet named Ovid and adapted into a story that was almost completely different from the original. Accordingly, the beautiful Medusa became the Gorgon after being raped by Poseidon and unreasonably jealous Athena.
Compared to the story told by Hesiod, the Roman poet Ovid’s story is clearly more dramatic. Therefore, this story was popular with many people, circulated widely on many news channels and caused a serious misunderstanding that this was the story of Medusa. However, in reality, this is just an adaptation of it.