Son of the gorgon Medusa and Poseidon, God of the sea, Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor were born when Medusa’s blood mixed with the foam of the sea, after she was tricked and beheaded by Perseus. Pegasus was born as a winged horse, since his father Poseidon morphed into the shape of a horse in order to seduce Medusa. When Pegasus was born, a huge thunder with lightning pierced the sky, which established his connections with the forces of the skies.
Pegasus was raised by the Muses at Mount Helicon, where he would later be tamed by goddess Athena. His powerful strides stroke the slopes of the mountains and the marks of his hooves caused springs to turn into flowing fountains of inspiration.
The Corinthian seer Polyeidus advised Belerophon, who was in a quest to defeat the Chimera, about where to find and tame Pegasus. Belerophon slept in Athena’s temple, where the goddess visited and gifted him a golden bridle so he could tame Pegasus and travel to Chimera’s lair. Together with Pegasus, Belerophon threw a spear and a block of lead inside the throat of Chimera, and its fire breath melted the block of lead. As a result, Chimera died asphyxiated.
Victorious, Belerophon became recognized and as his fame grew, so did his arrogance. After defeating Chimera in heroic fashion, Belerophon believed that he deserved a spot in Mount Olympus among the Gods, and then commanded Pegasus to fly him to the peak of Olympus. Angered, Zeus the almighty God, sent a bee to sting Pegasus for him to drop Belerophon back to the ground.
Alone, Pegasus continued his journey to the mount Mount Olympus where he was stabled with Zeus’ other steeds, and was given the task of carrying Zeus’ thunderbolts. Because of his years of faithful service to Zeus, Pegasus was later honored by Zeus and was transformed into a constellation. On the day of the transformation, a single feather fell back to the Earth, near the city of Tarsus.
Pegasus became a legend and a source of inspiration for artists, poets and writers throughout the eras.