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Gorgon.

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Arcane
432581.  Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:01 pm Reply with quote

The world Gorgon comes from either gorgo or gorgos (terrible or loud roaring). A Gorgon was a powerful female monster with sharp fangs, anyone attempting to look at her was turned into stone. The fangs and hair, being snakelike, are probably because of the serpent concept which was at the core of the Greek oracles.

In early religious concepts she was actually a protective deity and therefore her image was put on items (such as wine jars, temples, soldiers shields and equipment and also as amulets) for protective purposes.

There were three Gorgons, the most famous of course being Medusa, who was mortal, and her sisters Stheno and Eurale who were immortal. Medusa had been a beautiful young woman whose hair was her pride and joy. Because Poseidon loved her in the temple of Athena, Athena became so jealous that she turned Medusa's hair into snakes and made her face so ugly that anyone who looked at her was instantly turned into stone. Blood taken from the right side of a Gorgon could return life to the dead, if taken from the left was an instantly fatal poison. There are various myths about Medusa including Perseus and how he killed her and Atlas.

Gorgons were sometimes shown as having gold wings, brazen claws, the tusks of boars but more often had the skin of a serpent and fangs. Lionesses and sphinxes are also associated with Gorgons.

source Wiki and Northstar Gallery.


Last edited by Arcane on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
bobwilson
432585.  Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:06 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
There are various myths about Medusa


Myths? Surely well-documented anecdotes.

 
Arcane
432590.  Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:25 pm Reply with quote

Depends on what strength of home made liquor you've been drinking I guess!

 
Davini994
432619.  Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:19 pm Reply with quote

 
Dr. Know
432634.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:52 am Reply with quote

Perhaps the gorgons beings protective deities stems from the snakes, which were a symbol of Ascelpius, the God of Healing.

 
Starfish13
432647.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:09 am Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:


Look Ma, a fwaggle in the radish patch!

 
Celebaelin
432758.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:33 am Reply with quote

dr. know wrote:
Perhaps the gorgons beings protective deities stems from the snakes, which were a symbol of Ascelpius, the God of Healing.

I doubt it but I'll have a look.

 
Dr. Know
432764.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:44 am Reply with quote

Well it's a theory. Snakes wer eused to represent alot of things in ancient Greece. Asclepius is just one of them.

 
Celebaelin
432793.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:31 am Reply with quote

An informed, but slanted (feminist emphasis) view of Medusa here attributes Medusa's protective aspect to her role as

Quote:
...Guardian of the Thresholds and the Mediatrix between the Realms of heaven, earth and the underworld.

which seems fair enough. Without being more thorough I am a little cautious about that site but it seems at first glance to be mainly correct, or perhaps based on an interpretation which I am not party to; the cited references do seem to betray a bias (hmmm, maybe that should read 'viewpoint') in interpretation.

Compare Alicia Le Van's

Quote:
Her mother Metis the shape shifter was said to be the original mother as well as the wisest and greatest of all the gods. To Athenians, she was raped and swallowed by Zeus. Thus Zeus gained his power over the other gods by consuming her ancient lineage along with her immense wisdom. [He used her shape shifting ability primarily to seduce/rape females]. Metis's wisdom was so great that it impregnated Zeus's head and from it sprang the new Athena.

Betraying her ancient lineage, traitor Athena became the dutiful daughter who retained only her virginal, fertile aspect. She was the municipal goddess of Zeus's intelligence, in service of the male-solar ego, making men into heroes who dominate women and nature, and representing the patriarchal values, roles and ideals of Athens.

With Encyclopedia Mythica's

Quote:
According to legend, Metis, the goddess of prudence, was the first love of Zeus. At first she tried in vain to escape his advances, but in the end succumbed to his endeavor, and from their union Athena was conceived. Gaia warned Zeus that Metis would bear a daughter, whose son would overthrow him. On hearing this Zeus swallowed Metis, the reason for this was to continue to carry the child through to the birth himself. Hera (his wife and sister) was outraged and very jealous of her husband's affair, also of his ability to give birth without female participation. To spite Zeus she gave birth to Hephaestus parthenogenetically (without being fertilized) and it was Hephaestus who, when the time came, split open the head of Zeus, from which Athena emerged fully armed.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/z/zeus.html

There does seem to be a certain amount of baby-eating going on but this is not uncommon in Greek myth, indeed Zeus only escaped being eaten by Chronos, his father, because

Quote:
Rhea (who was also his sister) and Gaia her mother, wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes in place of the infant Zeus. Cronus thinking it was the newborn baby swallowed the stone. Meanwhile Rhea had her baby taken to Crete, and there, in a cave on Mount Dicte, the divine goat Amaltheia suckled and raised the infant Zeus.

There's that goat again, the one from the Grail thread who lost a horn (which became the Cornucopia) and became a unicorn. Being eaten was not necessarily the end of the story of course...

Quote:
When Zeus had grown into a young man he returned to his fathers domain, and with the help of Gaia, compelled Cronus to regurgitate the five children he had previously swallowed (in some versions Zeus received help from Metis who gave Cronus an emetic potion, which made him vomit up Zeus' brothers and sisters).

The idea of a deity consuming (subsuming) another should not surprise anyone, the whole concept of Medusa as part of a triple aspected female deity is in itself a familiar one, I suspect it's origins are in the Indian sub-continent and it comes to Greece via the Mesopotamian cultures, or more likely the subsequent Persian empire, but it may have originated in the Tigris-Euphrates valley and travelled in both directions giving us the (admittedly) male Hindu Trimurti as the most obvious modern equivalent, with the possible exception of The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I think Kali would be the equivalent destructor aspect to Medusa in modern belief* but the percieved wholly negative view that Ms Le Van applies does not hold up if you accept that comparison, this can also be seen in the way that Shiva as Destroyer is not wholly negative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Goddess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parvati

* The multiplicity of Hindu deities means that there are more than three aspects or connections, it's all rather complicated I fear; Wiki says this about Kali

Quote:
Kali is represented as the consort of god Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa-Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.

but then says this about Parvati
Quote:
Generally considered a benign goddess, Parvati also has fearful aspects like Durga, Kali, Chandi, and the Mahavidyas as well as benevolent forms like Mahagauri, Shailputri, and Lalita. Sometimes, Parvati is considered as the supreme Divine Mother and all other goddesses are referred to as her incarnations or manifestations.

and so the interconnections continue.

 
Dr. Know
432825.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:13 pm Reply with quote

Kali was a demon, was she not? a manifestation of hatred, or so i've been lead to believe. If so, whats the connection?

 
Ion Zone
432911.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:49 pm Reply with quote

I know she ended up marrying Humfrey...

 
mckeonj
432933.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:14 pm Reply with quote

Gorgonzola, a cheese named for the place in Italy where it was formerly made; has nothing whatever to do with the legendary Gorgon (albeit the aroma could turn one to stone).
My Italian is not good; I suspect that the name might be divided thus: gor-gonzola; and gonzola of being a variant of conzola (consolation).

 
Ameena
432970.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:44 pm Reply with quote

Ha ha, guess who else reads Xanth ;).

 
bobwilson
432973.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quote

I always thought Gorgonzola was a misunderstood instruction issued by a friend of Dreyfuss (during the cheese course of a well-watered meal) in which the situation of that unhappy man was briefly mentioned.

Having heard the inquiry "What is this?", which was intended as an inquiry into the name of the particular brand of cheese being consumed, the hapless but well-meaning friend of the good captain turned to the interlocutor and directed him to "Gorge on Zola" thereby intending to avoid the difficulties that bringing the subject into polite conversation might entail.

But I could be wrong.

 
Dr. Know
432978.  Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:14 pm Reply with quote

Thats the sort of thing you hear on Dictionary Corner :)

 

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