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Headword: Medousa
Adler number: mu,406
Translated headword: Medusa
Vetting Status: high
She [who was] also called Gorgon.
Perseus, the son of Danae and Pekos,[1] having learned all the mystic apparitions and wanting to establish for himself his own kingdom, despised that of the Medes. And going through a great expanse of land he saw a virgin maiden, hideous and ugly, and turning aside [to speak] to her, he asked "what is your name?" And she said, "Medusa." And cutting off her head he despatched her[2] as he had been taught, and he hung it up, amazing and destroying all who saw it. The head he called Gorgon, because of its sheer force. And from there he went into a country that was ruled by Cepheus and he found in the temple a virgin maiden called Andromeda, whom he married; and he founded a city into a village,[3] called Amandra, and he set up a stone [depicting] the Gorgon hanging. This [city] changed it name to Ikonion[4] because it was a representation [a)peiko/nisma] of the Gorgon. He also made war on the Isaurians and the Cilicians and founded a city that he named Tarsus. Its previous name had been Andrasus; but told by an oracle to found a city to mark victories, in the place where after the victory he hurt the flat [tarso/s] of his foot in dismounting from his horse, he called it Tarsus. After conquering the Medes too, he changed the name of the country and called it Persia. He taught the terrible initiation connected with the Gorgon to some of the Persians, whom he called magi. At this time too a ball of fire was brought down out of heaven, and from this Perseus took fire and gave it to those of his tribe to guard and to revere, as something brought down out of heaven. He made war on Cepheus, but because he was old and could not see, the head did not work, and thinking it to be useless, Perseus turned it toward himself and beheld it and perished. Later his son Merros burned it.
Greek Original:
Medousa: hê kai Gorgonê klêtheisa. Perseus, ho Danaês kai Pêkou huios, didachtheis pasas tas mustikas phantasias, idian boulomenos heautôi katastêsai basileian katephronêse tês tôn Mêdôn: kai dia pollês erchomenos gês eide parthenon korên auchmêran te kai duseidê, kai apoblepsas eis autên erôtai, tis kaleitai: hê de eipe, Medousa, kai apotemôn autês tên kephalên etelesen autên hôs edidachthê, kai ebastaze, kataplêttôn pantas kai anairôn tous horôntas: hên tina kephalên ekalese Gorgonên, dia tên oxutêta tês energeias. ekeithen de elthôn eis chôran basileuomenên hupo Kêpheôs heuren en tôi hierôi parthenon korên, tên legomenên Andromedan, hên egême: kai ktizei polin eis kômên, legomenên Amandran, stêsas kai stêlên bastazousan tên Gorgonên. hautê meteklêthê Ikonion, dia to apeikonisma tês Gorgonês. epolemêse de kai Isaurois kai Kilixi kai ktizei polin, hên ekalese Tarson, toprin legomenên Andrason. chrêmatistheis de, hoti meta tên nikên en hôi topôi apobas apo tou hippou ton tarson tou podos apothêtai, ekei huper tôn nikêtêriôn ktisai polin, tautên oun ekalese Tarson. nikêsas de kai tous Mêdous êmeipse to onoma tês chôras kai ekalesen autên Persida. edidaxe de kai tên musaran teletên tên epi têi Gorgonêi tinas tôn Persôn, hous ekalese magous. kath' hous chronous kai sphaira puros katênechthê ek tou ouranou, ex hês elabe pur ho Perseus kai paredôke tois tou ethnous phu- lattein kai timan, hôs ek tou ouranou katenechthen. sumbalôn de polemon tôi Kêphei, tou de dia to gêras mê blepontos kai tês kephalês mê energousês, dokôn autên anôphelê einai, epistrepsas pros heauton ho Perseus kai tautên theasamenos apothnêskei. tautên husteron ekausen ho huios autou Merros.
OCD(4) pp.622-3, s.v. Gorgo/Medusa. The present entry's material has parallels in late-antique historiography.
cf. generally gamma 390 and pi 1372.
[1] Zeus: see pi 1500.
[2] The Vossianus manuscript omits the words "he despatched her", e)te/lesen au)th\n.
[3] So the transmitted text, corrupt. The two nouns need to be reversed.
[4] iota 271.
Keywords: aetiology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; military affairs; mythology; religion; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 16 July 2000@21:23:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes, bibliography, keywords) on 25 May 2001@03:49:09.
Catharine Roth (betacode details) on 4 December 2003@00:39:31.
David Whitehead (restorative cosmetics; more keywords) on 4 December 2003@03:29:38.
David Whitehead on 14 May 2013@04:12:05.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@08:11:05.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 13 January 2019@01:10:56.


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