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Close up of Khrysaor at the pediment of Artemis temple in Corfu.jpg
Chrysaor, son of the Gorgon at the pediment of the Temple of Artemis in Corfu
Personal information
ParentsPoseidon and Medusa
ChildrenGeryon and Echidna

In Greek mythology, Chrysaor (Greek: Χρυσάωρ, Chrysáor, gen.: Χρυσάορος, Chrysáoros; English translation: "he who has a golden sword" [from χρυσός, "golden" and ἄορ, "sword"]), was the brother of the winged horse Pegasus, often depicted as a young man, the son of Poseidon and Medusa, born when Perseus decapitated the gorgon.[1]


In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the Gorgons, three monstrous siblings. Medusa, unlike her sisters Stheno and Euryale, was mortal, and was beheaded by Perseus. Chrysaor and Pegasus sprung from the blood of her decapitated body.[2]

In art, Chrysaor's earliest appearance seems to be on the great pediment of the early 6th century BC Doric Temple of Artemis at Corfu, where he is shown beside his mother, Medusa.[3]


Chrysaor, married to Callirrhoe, daughter of glorious Oceanus, was father to the triple-headed Geryon, but Geryon was killed by the great strength of Heracles at sea-circled Erytheis beside his own shambling cattle on that day when Heracles drove those broad-faced cattle toward holy Tiryns, when he crossed the stream of Oceanus and had killed Orthos and the oxherd Eurytion out in the gloomy meadow beyond fabulous Oceanus.

Hesiod, Theogony 287

Chrysaor and Callirrhoe may have also been the parents of Echidna.[4]

In an alternate genealogy from Stephanus of Byzantium’s Ethnica, Chrysaor is a son of Glaucus and grandson of Sisyphus, and his son Mylasus goes on to found Mylasa.[5] This ancestry would make Chrysaor a double of Bellerophon.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Chrysaor appears in The Mark of Athena where he attacks Percy Jackson and his friends as they cross the Mediterranean Sea. Chrysaor initially has the upper hand, until his half-brother Percy realizes that Chrysaor's crew of dolphin warriors fear the god Dionysus who had transformed them from men. Percy tricks Chrysaor's crew who flee, giving Percy and his companions the upper hand against Chrysaor who retreats after his golden mask is knocked off by Frank Zhang. The group then sinks Chrysaor's ship and treasure as a tribute to Dionysus.


  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 280.
  2. ^ Hesiod. Theogony (in Ancient Greek).
  3. ^ Menoni, Burton (24 January 2016). Kings of Greek Mythology. Lulu. p. 18. ISBN 9781329854277.
  4. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 270-300. Though Herbert Jennings Rose says simply that it is "not clear which parents are meant", Athanassakis, p. 44, says that Phorcys and Ceto are the "more likely candidates for parents of this hideous creature who proceeded to give birth to a series of monsters and scourges". The problem arises from the ambiguous referent of the pronoun "she" in line 295 of the Theogony. While some have read this "she" as referring to Callirhoe (e.g. Smith "Echidna"; Morford, p. 162), according to Clay, p. 159 n. 32, "the modern scholarly consensus" reads Ceto, see for example Gantz, p. 22; Caldwell, pp. 7, 46 295–303; Grimal, "Echidna" p. 143.
  5. ^ Bean, George Ewart (1989). Turkey beyond the Meander. London: John Murray Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7195-4663-1.
  6. ^ Kerenyi, Karl (1959). The Heroes of the Greeks. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 80.


External links[edit]