Medusa 1, one of the GORGONS, was beheaded by Perseus 1.
0235: Medusa Rondanini, Phidias 440 BC. Glyptothek, München.
Mortal Medusa 1 is one of the three GORGONS, the others being the immortals Stheno and Euryale 1. The GORGONS were snake-haired, had great tusks like swine's, brazen hands, golden wings, and they turned to stone those who beheld them. Otherwise the GORGONS are said to have been a race of warlike women living in Libya, who were defeated by Perseus 1.
The beauty of Medusa 1
Still others affirm that Medusa 1 was a beautiful woman and the hope of many suitors, and that the most beautiful in her was her magnificent hair. However, fair Medusa 1 was ravished in the temple of Athena by Poseidon, and in order to punish this deed, Athena changed the beautiful locks of Medusa 1 into repugnant snakes.
Perseus 1 kills her
Medusa 1 alone was mortal among the GORGONS, which made it possible for Perseus 1 to come after her head. In order to kill her, he beheld the image of Medusa 1 on a brazen shield, so that he would not be turned into a stone for looking at her, and, his hand guided by Athena, he beheaded her.
When her head was cut off, there sprang from her trunk Pegasus and Chrysaor. Pegasus was a winged horse which opened up a spring on a mountain by striking the rock with its hoof. Bellerophon mounted Pegasus, harnessing him with a bridle with golden cheek-pieces which Athena gave him, when he went to kill the Chimera. Pegasus is said to have leapt forth from the neck of the slain Medusa 1, its mane bespattered with blood. Later, Pegasus flew away, and left the earth and came to heaven, where he brings to Zeus the thunder and lightning.
When Medusa 1 was beheaded, the other GORGONS woke up and pursued Perseus 1, but they could not see him because he was wearing the helmet of Hades. Others tell that Medusa 1 was a queen who reigned in the land around Lake Tritonis in Libya, and that she was assassinated by night when she was encamped with an army against the forces of Perseus 1.
Others with the same name:
Medusa 2 was daughter of King Sthenelus 3 of Mycenae, son of Perseus 1.
Medusa 3 was daughter of King Priam 1.
Medusa 4 was a daughter of King Pelias 1 of Iolcus, the man who sent Jason and the ARGONAUTS to fetch the Golden Fleece in Colchis (Caucasus).