Statue of Perseus. Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Perseus was an ancient Greek hero. His mother was Danae, the daughter of the king of Argos, Acrisius. When a prophecy revealed to Acrisius that his grandson would kill him, he imprisoned his daughter Danae in a bronze underground chamber to keep her chaste.
, however, fooled Acrisius' precautions by entering the prison disguised as a shower of gold. When Acrisius discovered that Danae had given birth to Perseus , he had her and the newborn thrown into the sea in a chest of wood.
Luckily they were rescued by a fisherman of the island of Seriphos. The fisherman was the brother of king of Seriphos, Polydectes. He took the woman and her child to the royal palace where the king offered them hospitality and protection. Perseus grew up on the island
and became a courageous young man.
Polydectes fell in love with Danae, but she rejected his advances. Hoping to overcome her resistance, Polydectes sent Perseus on a dangerous mission to get rid of him. Perseus had to fetch the head of the Gorgon
Medusa. Instead of hair Medusa had serpents on her head and anyone who looked at her
horrific features was turned into stone. Nevertheless, with the help of Athena and
Hermes, Perseus managed to kill Medusa.
On his voyage back to Seriphos, he met
Andromeda in Ethiopia and married her. In Seriphos, he rescued his mother and overthrew Polydectes. When his triumph became known, he was invited to
the city of Larissa to participate to funeral games in honor of the king of that city.
During the games, Perseus threw a discus which accidentally hit his grandfather Acrisius, who was watching the games, unaware of his grandson's presence.
Acrisius died fulfilling the prophecy.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
Pegasus was a winged horse created by the sea god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. The Gorgon Medusa was once a beautiful Lybian princess. Because she was seduced by the sea god Poseidon in the temple consecrated...more
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more
Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more