From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Mythology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is supported by WikiProject Mythology. This project provides a central approach to Mythology-related subjects on Wikipedia. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the WikiProject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Women's History (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Women's History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Women's history and related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

Triple goddess[edit]

once part of the triple goddess, but one who later,

I removed this from the article. There was no "triple goddess" in authentic Greek mythology, at least not in the sense that it is apparently being used here, of a triple cosmic female divinity who was demoted. (Selene/Artemis/Hecate may have been a triple female deity, but there is no real grounds to identify her with Medusa, and the claim that she was once the supreme deity is a twentieth century fantasy.) The "triple goddess" in this sense was the invention of Robert Graves and other twentieth century mythographers. -- IHCOYC 16:17 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

This page doesn't need a disambig as the title is already disambiguated, and topic of the page is made clear in the first three words: In Greek mythology... ··gracefool | 21:54, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I am doing a project on Medusa and i was wondering if she taught any lessons that we could learn from also was she important in Greek Mythology and if so, how? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC) ya vhgkjn fdghdkjhrui

Medusa: Not So Hideous[edit]


I removed the reference in this article to Medusa's appearance as being 'hideous'. Prior to her transformation at the hands of Athena, Medusa was considered a great beauty. Athena's curse changed Medusa to the extent that her tresses were as serpents and her gaze could turn living creatures to stone yet accounts never mention any change in her visage. Her face remained the same. The idea that she was ugly to behold may have been propogated by the 1981 film Clash of the Titans where the animators purposefully gave her a hag/serpent-like appearance to give strength to the idea that she was capable of turning others to stone by a mere look. Ø

The hideous part is well described in most of the myths. The one where she used to be a beautiful and normal human is just one minor version out of several, and even there most version specify that she was indeed hideous (and not just with snake hair) after that. Her typical description is with bloated face, boar tusks, bristly hair everywhere. DreamGuy 23:34, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
Then I'd be interested to read more on this. Can you provide me with any links or sources I can look into? I have to say that even in artwork I've never seen Medusa depicted as anything other than a woman (or severed head as the case may be) with a fairly ordinary face and serpentine hair.
16:14, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC) Ø
Medusa has indeed been portrayed as hideous in ancient art. The book Mythology: Myths, Legends, & Fantasies (Consultant editor Alice Mills), mentions that she has been depicted as "hideously ugly, with a fat tongue protruding from her mouth," and features an example of such a depiction. A couple of the external links listed at the end of the article (, show similar examples.
Thalomarre 01:13, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I concur! Mindman1 00:47, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
The confusion is cleared up by knowing that Medusa is a Gorgon, in fact the only Gorgon with an individual identity. --Wetman 01:06, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Just a trivial point, but Medusa is NOT the only Gorgon with an individual identity. She has two sisters, also Gorgons, named Stheno and Euryale. PatrickLMT (talk) 22:27, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Empty names, introduced in poetry, and favored today by inventors of pseudomyth comix, etc. Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena, provides some well-informed guidance.--Wetman (talk) 05:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

To me i say Medusa isn't That hideous she's just misunderstood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Medusa as a race[edit]

1. Why doesn't this article also mention "medusa" as being a race as well as a specific figure of myth? (Compare Minotaur/Sphinx)

2. Can anyone else confirm my obscure memory of a male medusa being called a medea? 17:22, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Because Medusa isn't a race, it's a name. There wasn't a race of them, and the only collective noun would be Gorgons, which were her sisters. And your obscure memory sounds reminiscent of the Dungeons & Dragons monster the maedar (or something bizarre and silly like that). DreamGuy 19:25, July 17, 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the issue that he/she is addressing is how the name "medusa" is now used in many games, books, etc. to represent all creatures that are half-human and half-snake (or some variation of the "human with snake-like features"). This change would certainly seem of value to the article. Terukiyo 02:48, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I see "lamia" used at least as often to refer to such creatures. Macroidtoe 21:32, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Medea was the wife of Jason of Argonaut fame. She was also purportedly well-versed in magic crafts and used these to aid him in acquiring the golden fleece and later to poison the new bride he planned to replace her with.
Ø 15:27, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
And wikipedia shall provide | Ø 15:27, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Restored Might & Magic reference[edit]

I've restored the reference to Might & Magic as this is a valid pop culture reference, particularly as it relates to a very popular title. --Centauri 04:25, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

What is this: "A myth today is that Medusa presents herself in the form of ***, a mutated human, yearning to interact with society that once shunned her"? There is no source listed and what constitutes "a myth today?" I have removed it, since I googled *** and found no reference. I think it may be vandalized (someone calling a friend a Medusa), but I can neither prove, nor disprove this. If someone knows, they can easily add it back.

Indeed, I think someone has been vandalising here. In the same section, the tidbit of her appearing in the Atmosfear series was taken off. I've since re-added it. 06:54, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

"Tidbits" are not encyclopedic. This is not Tidbits about trivial mentions of Medusa and Medusa-like characters in things nobody cares about, this is supposed to be about the mythological character. DreamGuy 13:51, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

TS. If it has anything to do with Medusa, it belongs here. Clearly the heading "Medusa in popular culture" is enough for others to realise that it has nothing to do with her mythology. You could say that Elizabeth Bathory does not deserve a popular culture section, but she deserves it because it's still FACTS about fiction, and not fiction about fiction. If you can understand that... >_> 08:44, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

"If it has anything to do with Medusa it belongs here"? No... See WP:ENC/ DreamGuy 02:49, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Is it worth including the fact that Medusa is a group of outcast, violent soldiers used by the American Government for covert operations with the Bourne Trilogy books? Jason Bourne is the most skilled, intelligent and devoted to the Medusa cause, and takes the name of Delta, as in Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta etc etc. Could this symbolise is darker side to the American army? A side which no American wants the world to know about? Just a thought... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


In the article "Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα Médousa, "guardian, protectress" with a footnote "feminine present participle of medein, "to protect, rule over"" "Protect" might not be good: some clown takes issue with this dictionary definition, which is an element in Medon et al. What needs to be done to edit this awfully basic point to make it foolproof, so to speak? --Wetman 12:52, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


Suggestion: There should be a "in feminism" section, as there's been scholarly discussion on that topic. One example: Laughing with Medusa : classical myth and feminist thought ISBN 019927438X . I'm not familiar with the area or I'd do it myself. Canuckle 15:05, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

"The Laugh of the Medusa"- Hélène Cixous. Very prominent french feminist piece that should definitely be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Merge Proposal[edit]

I proposed a merger to Medusa from Medusa and gorgons in popular culture. The following is text copied from that article's Talk page, so that further discussion can continue here -- This is where the Merge tag directs users to. Also, please see the current AfD discussion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Medusa and gorgons in popular culture Canuckle 21:13, 16 July 2007 (UTC) Begin copied text:

  • I think this topic should be merged with Medusa given how short that article is and how much it would benefit from an exploration of this and other topics (such as feminist theory). You may find a chronological treatment to be easier: in Myth, in Renaiisance, the next time period, Modern (with subsection for film/tv, videogames, etc.) Canuckle 15:43, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
You make a good point; if this article continues to develop in the "cultural impact of Medusa" direction, it would be an appropriate part of the Medusa article, which itself needs development in the art and literary representation sections. This would also reinforce the film references as examples of the character's evolvement etc. rather than stand-alone culture references. TheRhani 16:58, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm adding the merge tags now. Further discussion to be on Talk:Medusa page. Canuckle 21:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

End copied text. Canuckle 21:13, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I've remmoved the tag.... the in popular culture was specifically moved out for a very good reason, that that stuff was too big to go on this page. Furthermore, the in popular culture article JUST SURVIVED A VOTE TO DELETE. A merge tag is just an attempt to justify getting rid of the in popular culture article when people wanted it there, with comments on that vote not only to keep it but that the info *cannot* go on the main article. A merge not only would go against the keep votes but also the expressed sentiments of many of the people who voted to delete. Consensus has already been firmly established just days ago, so this is completely improper. DreamGuy 21:33, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm confused by your action. My understanding is the first AfD ended in a Delete but User:TAnthony resurrected the article with a slightly different title. In the second AfD - which I think is still going on as it should run 5 days and it started on the 13th and today's the 16th - I voted to Keep. So I can't be said to be trying to end-run an AfD that ended as Delete. There were at least 2 Merge votes (not counting mine). I wasn't aware that the pop culture was moved out originally - and regardless - the content has been and is changing since that happened. If you want to save the content, I feel you should reinstate the tag. If the closing admin sees a healthy active discussion, they may see merits in keep. Otherwise, it looks like unwanted content excreted out of the main article. Canuckle 22:54, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Golly! how could it look like unwanted content excreted from the article?--Wetman 01:06, 25 July 2007 (UTC)


I added reference to two notable ships that were named after Medusa. For most people, that type of recognition helps demonstrate notability. I don't know if the creature needs that type of help and it might be clutter. Post if you think otherwise. Cheers. Canuckle 20:59, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


I seem to have happened across this page at the same time someone was vandalizing it. I've undone the changes. Is there some sort of procedure for reporting vandals in wikipedia? --Xaraphim (talk) 03:17, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Divine Comedy[edit]

As I understand it, Medusa was the "guardian" of the sixth circle of Hell (or one of them), and quite a few verses in the relevant chapter describe her.

Surely this should be mentioned?Not even Mr. Lister's Koromon survived intact. 03:50, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't we mention in the article that Medusa's gorgon head is the inspiration for the Versace emblem? --Hadseys 10:28, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

She was very beautful  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 14 October 2010 (UTC) 

Different Death[edit]

It says in the article that Medus was beheaded while sleeping. But there is also a popular version of it happening a different way. Perseus walked around only looking into his shield. Because he only saw her reflection he didn't turn to stone and killed her. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Giveittome667 (talkcontribs) 18:50, June 14, 2008

I believe you're thinking of Clash of the Titans, which is noted in Cultural depictions of Medusa and gorgons, but that detail has no place here. — TAnthonyTalk 06:03, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Actualy all the versions I read Perseus used a poilshed sheild given to him by the gods that reflected every thing before it, Medusa's relection was safe to look apon and he used to creep up on medusa and cut her head off. This verson I have read in books that predates "Clash of the Titans" so I think it deserves a mention. Unfortunatly I don't have any links to prove my point at the moment so I need look it up which my take some time.FSAB (talk) 13:13, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
well my latin teacher and all of my friends latin teachers say she was beheaded by perseus whilst awake. It was because he got a shield from Athena and hermes and it was polished so he could see her reflection and did not need to look at her directly. He then cut of her head. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
He had a helmet of invisibility too. She was with her two sisters asleep in a cave. Never heard of him having a stand up fight against her. [1] --Savonneux (talk) 00:02, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Bot-generated content[edit]

A computerised algorithm has generated a version of this page using data obtained from AlgaeBase. You may be able to incorporate elements into the current article. Alternatively, it may be appropriate to create a new page at Medusa (alga). Anybot (contact operator) 23:07, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


i am having trouble because i can't find a picture of medusa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:02, 24 February 2009

As noted in the article, you can find some at the Wikimedia Commons repository. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 11:10, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

97 edits and whattaya got?[edit]

97 edits and whattaya got? Semi-protection would save grown-ups a lot of meaningless labor that they could expend more usefully elsewise.--Wetman (talk) 03:03, 5 April 2009 (UTC)


"Medusa was a gorgon, ..." and later... "She also has two gorgon sisters."

Why "has" not "had"? She is dead for quite a long time already :) (talk) 11:13, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

"Medusa in appearance" section[edit]

I find it funny that in an article describing a mythological creature I find words like "In truth" and "Truthfully". --Mika1h (talk) 00:00, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Medusa's rape and Athena's punish the victim versions[edit]

I understand the versions where Athena willing slept with Poseidon in the goddesses temple but I do not understand the versions where Poseidon raped her in the temple. How could any person think such treatment of a rape victim be "just and well-deserved"?!? Is there an explanation Athena's clearly callous treatment of a victim of a crime she had not control over (especially given her rapist was a freaking god)?--BruceGrubb (talk) 08:41, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

There wasn't any "rape". You've been watching the movies. ( (talk)) —Preceding undated comment added 12:54, 2 October 2010 (UTC).

Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 770 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : "[Medousa] was violated in Minerva's [Athena’s] shrine by the Rector Pelagi (Lord of the Sea) [Poseidon]. Jove’s [Zeus'] daughter turned away and covered with her shield her virgin's eyes. And then for fitting punishment transformed the Gorgo's lovely hair to loathsome snakes." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:02, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the Ovid wouldn't help with this source given there are two sets of stories. One says Medusa was raped where another says it was willing. The point being, Medusa said rape, Athena said willing. Medusa's sisters backed up Medusa's story thus they were also turned. There are two different versions regardless what you may say, but wiki is going with rape because it is the most well known. Sivos909 (talk) 16:58, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

It is not clear that Ovid is saying she was raped. The Latin is Hanc pelagi rector templo vitiasse Minervae dicitur. The verb being vitiasse a form of he verb vitio which means "to make faulty, injure, spoil, mar, taint, corrupt, infect, vitiate, defile". The translation above translates this as "violated" (which even in English doesn't always mean raped). Brookes More translates the line as: "Fame declares the Sovereign of the Sea attained her [Medusa's] love in chaste Minerva's temple." See [2]. Paul August 21:53, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Corrections and comments[edit]

I made minor corrections and redistributed images inside the article. I have a few comments:

1. In the "Death" subsection, Semnai points to Erinyes. I do not see the word "Semnai" anywhere in the article for the Erinyes. I assume Semnai is another name for Erinyes. Is it correct?

2. Medusa by Caravaggio has two different dates (list and image). The dates should converge to one or to a range of years.

3. I removed the photo of the Rondarini Medusa. It was placed in the "Death" subsection. It belongs to the "Medusa in art" section but if placed there, it overloads the bottom of the page of this article.

4. Who first wrote about Medusa? Was it Ovid?

ICE77 (talk) 00:41, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Somebody has screwed up this article[edit]

First paragraph and box to the right don't parse in English. This is the English section. We could start a special language section in wiki, stuff that doesn't make any sense in any known language and send all this rubbish there —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 7 February 2011 (UTC)


I heard Medusa was a revered goddess of some nation opposed to Greece or Rome, who, as far as my understanding goes, was similar in character to the Roman goddess Minerva. I had an impression that she was a Carthaginian goddess, but I am not sure. The Romans or Greeks therefore portrayed her as a monster for political purposes. Does anyone have any information about this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Article lacking origin parts of myths[edit]

Nothing in the article mentioning Athena or Medusa being cursed in some myths. Sad. (talk) 19:27, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

The article has many deficiencies, but you'll have to be more specific if you want any of them addressed. Like, sources? Cynwolfe (talk) 20:25, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Section Removed[edit]

I deleted this passage: "While ancient Greek... behind poetry." because it offers inaccurate information. While Pindar does describe Medusa in this way once, he also describes her as snaked haired and grim See: Pindar, Olympian Ode 13.64, 12.12 ff, 10. Meretrixmalefica (talk) 15:35, 12 July 2014 (UTC)