Pegasus, the Winged Horse in Greek Mythology

Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek Mythology, was involved in some of the most intriguing tales of the times.

From his birth to his death, Pegasus remained a mysterious creature capable of everything, symbolizing the divine inspiration or the journey to heaven, since riding him was synonymous to “flying” to the heavens.

Pegasus was represented as a goodhearted, gentle creature, somewhat naive but always eager to help.

For his service and loyalty, Zeus honored him with a special immortality turning Pegasus into a constellation on the last day of his life.


Pegasus, son of Medusa and Poseidon

The myth said that Pegasus was the son of mortal Medusa and Poseidon, god of the sea. Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor were born from the blood of their beheaded mother Medusa, the gorgon tricked and killed by Perseus.

A more detailed version of the myth said that two of them were born when Medusa’s blood mixed with the foam of the sea. The myth says that Pegasus was born as a winged horse because his father Poseidon had the shape of horse when seducing Medusa. When Pegasus was born, a huge thunder with lightning pierced the sky, and that’s how his connections to the forces of skies were established.

But the most common version of the myth about Pegasus says that the goddess Athena tamed the winged horse and gave him to Perseus, who later needed to fly far away to help his lover Andromeda.

Pegasus and the Muses

pegasus-sky-starsBack to the aftermath of Pegasus’s birth. Parentless, he was raised by the Muses at Mount Helicon, where he was taken by goddess Athena. In all of his excitement for being given to those women, Pegasus was striking the side of the mountain with his hooves and his marks caused springs to turn into flowing fountains of inspiration.

Those springs became sacred to the Muses who loved and respected the “flying horse”. But to one of them – Urania, the Muse of Astronomy and Universal Love, Pegasus was particularly important. She saw a heroic future for Pegasus as well as some, possible celestial honor waiting for him. Urania suffered a lot when Bellerophontes, a mythical hero, took Pegasus away.

Hesiod’s story about the Bellerophontes’s “hijack” of Pegasus confirmed that whenever Pegasus struck his hoof a fountain of inspiration burst immediately. One of those sacred springs was the Hippocrene (meaning “horse spring”) on Mt Helicon.

On Mount Olympus

In any case, Pegasus ended up on Mount Olympus, and served Zeus with his thunder and lightning magic powers,  whenever the Supreme God wished for them. And his main caretaker from the youth, the Muse Urania, together with other Muses, welcomed Pegasus’s return in full joy and happiness.

Pegasus lived on Mt Olympus until his last day. Ever since then, he became an inspiration for artists of all kinds, a fantasy for kids who dream of their own Pegasus to reach the mysterious caves and labyrinths of their imagination.

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7 Responses to Pegasus, the Winged Horse in Greek Mythology

  1. CALEB BATES February 24, 2011 at 18:49 #

    Wow thats amazing pegasus is REALLY COOL 😀

  2. bobby April 7, 2011 at 21:40 #

    i love Pegasus, it looks so beautiful

  3. Nicole May 14, 2011 at 20:04 #

    i WISH Pegasus and winged horses were real, that would be really cool!

  4. Philip Hackett December 4, 2012 at 01:50 #

    If you think this is cool, wait until you see how the Pegasus has inspired San Franciscans – we’re going to name our own Walk of the Stars after the Pegasus, with his feathers inscribed with the founding idea fathers and the contemporary inspirators and creative conspirators of The City. Your name could be there as well! (If you move to The City.)

  5. John C. Lake December 4, 2012 at 02:10 #

    I’m just arrived here in San Francisco and the Pegasus has certainly kicked me hard in the backside and gotten my fountain of inspiration flowing – right on Philip! Maybe I will get into the concrete myself?

  6. Moose December 14, 2012 at 21:00 #

    Pegasus’ are my favourite pets. I got one last year for my birthday. My Pegasus is white with glitter eyes and orange wings. The wings are coated with a silver glitter made out of ground up unicorn horn.
    I ride my Pegasus, Megan, to school every day and all the other grade 8’s are soooo jealous. I’m the only one who can pet Megan. If you tried to pet her she would bite your face off.
    I bought Megan a bedazzled saddle for Christmas last year! =) even though it hurts I still ride her.
    Megan’s favourite treats are, Unicorn hair, people fingers and hot sauce.
    I love Megan soooooooo much!

  7. ioana efimov September 14, 2013 at 21:14 #

    Ihave als been a big fan Pegasus! I hink he is super cool

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