About Bellerophon of Greek Mythology
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The story of Bellerophon offers a valuable lesson about the relationship between mortals and the gods they honor. Bellerophon is one of the most illustrious heroes in Greek mythology. His mother was Eurynome, who raised him with her husband King Glaucus, but his father was the god Poseidon. Here’s more information about this Greek mythological creature:
Bellerophon’s Claim To Fame
Bellerophon was born in Corinth and is famous for slaying the most fierce monsters, most notably the Chimaera. In Homer’s brilliant work “The Iliad,” the Chimaera was a savage beast with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent.
The Capture Of Pegasus
Glaucus and Poseidon both had an interest in horses, which set Bellerophon on a quest to capture the winged horse Pegasus. After making sacrifices to Athena and Poseidon, he went to a meadow where he found Pegasus grazing. He put the harness on the winged horse and tamed him. Following his success, Bellerophon approached King Pittheus for permission to wed his daughter Aethra. Before the wedding could take place, Bellerophon accidentally killed someone who may have been his brother and was banished from the kingdom.
Bellerophon In Exile
Bellerophon implored Proteus, King of Tiryns to pardon him for his crime and the king granted his request. However, he caught the attention of the king’s wife, Stheneboea. There are two versions of what happened when Bellerophon rejected the queen’s advances. One story is that Stheneboea learned that Bellerophon had wed her sister and rather than have her actions revealed she took her own life. The other version is that to exact revenge on the queen Bellerophon took her for a ride on Pegasus and pushed her to her death.
When the queen attempted to expose Bellerophon to the king, Proteus didn’t wish to offend the gods by publicly condemning him, so he sent Bellerophon with a sealed message to King Lobates who was Stheneboea’s father. The king welcomed Bellerophon into his kingdom. When Lobates read the letter, he was troubled as King Proteus had been. Lobates chose to have Bellerophon prove his worthiness by undertaking several, dangerous tasks.
The Death Of the Chimaera
The first request that Lobates made of Bellerophon was to kill the monster Chimaera. Since Bellerophon was known for his bravery and skill as an archer, he was able to slay the monster with the help of Pegasus, but the task wasn’t easy. The beast proved to be a challenge even with the help of Pegasus. Bellerophon finally took a block of lead and mounted it on his spear. He and Pegasus flew at the monster, and at the last second, launched the spear. The block of lead melted in the Chimaera’s throat when he breathed fire and suffocated it.
After completing many difficult tasks at the orders of Lobates, the king allowed Bellerophon to marry his daughter Philonoe and presented him with half of his kingdom. Bellerophon and Philonoe had four children and were much admired by their subjects.
Bellerophon wasn’t content with his wealth and power. He saw himself as a god and decided that he was worthy to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus to be a part of their realm. Zeus was angered by his arrogance and stung Pegasus. Bellerophon fell from the horse to the earth below.
Bellerophon survived the fall but became crippled. His fate was to wander the earth with no one to help him because of his offense.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston