Tuesday, August 30, 2011

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -7

Medusa: In Greek mythology, the best known of three Gorgons whose gaze turned people to stone. The hero Perseus killed her with the aid of Athena. While fighting Medusa he avoided her stare by looking only at her reflection in his polished shield. From the blood of the slain Medusa sprang the winged horse Pegasus.

Minotaur: Monster in Greek mythology with human body and a bull’s head. It was born to Pasiphae, the queen of Crete, after she mated with a scared bull. King Minos ordered Daedalus to construct the Labyrinth in which to keep the monster, and every year seven young men and seven maidens were sent from Athens to be its prey. To stop the slaughter, Theseus volunteered to fight the Minotaur. As he went through the maze he unwound a ball of thread and, after killing the Minotaur, used the thread to find his way out.

Phoenix: A mythical bird that lived in Arabia and burned itself to death every 500 years. The roots of this story first appeared in Greek literature, in an account of Egypt given by Herodotus around 430 BC. When the phoenix was nearing death, it built a nest of sweet spices and sang while the sun ignited it. A worm arose from the ashes and grew into the new phoenix. A Phoenix can also be a person or thing that has been restored to a new existence from destruction, down fall or ruin.

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