Pegasus, the divine, winged white horse, was the offspring of the god Poseidon and the gorgon Medusa. He was born from Medusa’s blood after she was beheaded by Perseus, arising from her head or from the blood that had seeped into the earth. Because he created the spring of Hippocrene, held sacred by the Muses, he is regarded as a symbol of fame and a source of inspiration for poets.


Pegasus was captured and tamed by the Greek hero Bellerophon, who proved mighty in battle as he rode on him and hurled rocks at his enemies. But when the hero tried to reach Mount Olympus, Zeus threw him off the horse with a thunderbolt, then transformed Pegasus into a constellation high up in the sky among the immortals where he really belonged.

 

Medusa Pegasus Poseidon

Medusa, ca. 1597
Caravaggio
Oil on canvas mounted on wood
Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Pegasus, 1865
Aristodemo Costoli
Boboli Garden, Florence, Italy

Poseidon
National Archaeological
Museum of Athens, Italy


George Dunea, MD, Editor-in-Chief

Divine birth: Aphrodite born from the foam of the sea
Divine birth: Athena, born from her father’s head
Divine birth: Pegasus, born from Medusa’s blood
Divine birth: The birth of Santa Claus
Divine birth: Eve, fashioned from Adam's rib
Divine birth: birth of John the Baptist
Divine birth: The birth of Moses