—Gorgonian /gawr goh"nee euhn/, adj./gawr"geuhn/, n.1. Class. Myth. any of three sister monsters commonly represented as having snakes for hair, wings, brazen claws, and eyes that turned anyone looking into them to stone. Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon, was beheaded by Perseus.2. (l.c.) a mean, ugly, or repulsive woman.[1350-1400; ME < L Gorgon < Gk Gorgó, der. of gorgós dreadful]
* * *According to Hesiod, the three Gorgons were daughters of the sea god Phorcys. Another tradition held that they were created by the earth goddess, Gaea, to aid her sons, the Titans, in their struggle with the gods. Classical art depicts them as winged females with snakes for hair.Gorgon, carved marble mask of the early 6th century BC; in the Acropolis Museum, AthensAlinariArt Resource
* * *monster figure in Greek mythology. Homer spoke of a single Gorgon—a monster of the underworld. The later Greek poet Hesiod increased the number of Gorgons to three—Stheno (the Mighty), Euryale (the Far Springer), and Medusa (the Queen)—and made them the daughters of the sea god Phorcys and of his sister-wife Ceto. The Attic tradition regarded the Gorgon as a monster produced by Gaea, the personification of Earth, to aid her sons against the gods.In early classical art the Gorgons were portrayed as winged female creatures; their hair consisted of snakes, and they were round-faced, flat-nosed, with tongues lolling out and with large projecting teeth. Medusa—who in later art is depicted as beautiful although deadly—was the only one of the three who was mortal; hence, Perseus was able to kill her by cutting off her head. From the blood that ran from her neck sprang Chrysaor and Pegasus, her two offspring by Poseidon. Medusa's severed head had the power of turning all who looked upon it into stone. Carved masks of the hideously grotesque type of the Gorgon's head were used as a protection against the evil eye.
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