Mythology

Bellerophon

Bellerophon was a hero and a well-recognized prince of Greek mythology. He was known as the greatest killer of different monsters who managed to eliminate Chimera. His main heroic deeds were to dominate the famous horse Pegasus and murder the chimera. He lived in Corinth until he was extradited to Tirinth, where the local king cleared him of all possible guilt. He lived for a time in the court of King Preto, when he was king of Argos.

Bellerophon

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Greek mythology

Who was Bellerophon?

Bellerophon belonged to a group of important heroes. He was a legendary hero, brave, cunning and fierce son of Glauco who, was king of Corinth. Capable of conquering the horse Pegasus and destroying and killing the Chimera.

Characteristics of Bellerophon

What does he represents?

Bellerophon represents the Greek gods, but also the religion of Lycia. Through their feat of killing the chimera in the region of Lycia, they used the versions to justify the hero’s dependence. He is considered the civilizer of Lycia, a place where he was also worshipped.

Biography

Bellerophon was the son of Poseidon and Eurynome, wife of Glaucus. He was raised by Glaucus who thought Bellerophon was his own son. Bellerophon was a citizen of Corinth who was exiled because of a murder he had committed. In those days, it was possible to purify from the guilt of crimes, and he was absolved at the proper time by King Proetus from the neighboring Tirinth. The king’s wife, usually identified as Stheneboea, wanted to be with the young hero, and when he refused her requests, she told her husband that it was Bellerophon who had abused her. When Proetus sent Bellerophon to Wolves, the king of Lycia was going with a message that he was going to be killed. That king sent him against some dangerous antagonists, but as he always triumphed, the king finally recognized Bellerophon as more than human and married him with his daughter. He lived in prosperity until he lost the favor of the gods, lost two of his sons, and wandered desolate in the plain of the Aleians. According to history, he was hated by the gods and when on one occasion he wanted to go to Mount Olympus riding Pegasus, the god Zeus stabbed the horse with a sting, which caused Bellerophon to lose his balance and fall into emptiness.

Bellerophon and Pegasus

When Bellerophon was still a child he lived in Corinth, and had longed to ride the magic horse Pegasus, immortal descendant of the god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. Pegasus was born when the hero Perseus cut off Medusa’s head. Like everyone else, Bellerophon had been unable to approach Pegasus. Then he sought the advice of the seer Polyeidus. Considering that both Poseidon and Glaucus were interested in horses, it is not surprising that Bellerophon sought Pegasus. After many failures, he asked the seer Polyeidus for help. Following Polyeidus’ instructions, he spent the night in a temple in Athena where he dreamt that the goddess offered him a magical golden bridle. He woke up and found the bridle he dreamed of in his hands. He then made a sacrifice to Athena and Poseidon and then went to the meadow where Pegasus was grazing and was able to stop and tame the horse without any difficulty. Triumphant in his success, he went to King Pittheus and received permission to marry his daughter Aethra. However, before the marriage, he accidentally killed a man, possibly one of his brothers, and he was exiled.

Bellerophon and chimera

He was offered to kill the chimera monster and he accepted so that, they would not think he was a coward. Before leaving on his mission he decided to consult the seer, who told him that the only way to be victorious would be if he was on the Pegasus horse, so he had to conquer it first. Pegasus was a huge horse with two big wings that could fly through the skies like a bird. Pegasus took him to a high place from where he could see Chimera. The monster was already ready for battle and was looking for a way to attack the horse with his claws equal to those of a lion. Meanwhile, Bellerophon fired his arrows to weaken Chimera. He put a spear in his mouth which had spear on its end. The chimera threw fire from his mouth and when the spear entered and made contact with the spear, it melted and filtered into Chimera’s stomach, leading to death. After the battle, the king thought the things that had been said about him were lies and offered him the hand of his other daughter. After this, he was considered and admired for his great courage.

Death

After the battle, Bellerophon wanted to compare himself to a god and wore his best clothes to go to Olympus. He rode Pegasus and went to the place, but when he arrived, Zeus, who was watching him, was upset to see his arrogance and decided to send a horsefly that bit Pegasus, the horse felt pain and got upset throwing Bellerophon into the void. There are two versions of the death of the hero, one tells that when he fell into the void he died and the other says that he became crippled and blind, and that he became a being who wandered around the world and did not want to have contact with human beings.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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