Greek Myths: Learn All About Pegasus

This winged horse was the creation of Medusa and Poseidon

Paris: Mercury on Pegasus
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Plenty of colorful creatures and characters have their roots in Greek mythology, including the make-believe winged horse, Pegasus. Although Pegasus is well known, you might not know all of these details about it. Here's a look at some fun facts about the pegasus. 

Appearance: A beautiful horse with wings.

Symbol or attribute: Its wings are his identifying symbol.

Strengths: Can fly.

Weaknesses: Can be captured and ridden.

Parents: Medusa and possibly Poseidon. Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa's severed head when Perseus killed her. His brother, Chrysaor, was born at the same moment; Chrysaor was not a horse, though little is known of his appearance and he may have been a giant. Poseidon was the father of Chrysaor and may also have been the father of Pegasus.

Spouse: None.

Children: None known.

Associated sites: Mount Helicon, where Pegasus kicked the mountain to stop it from growing larger and at the same moment, created the spring called Hippocrene; Corinth, where the ill-fated hero Bellerophon captured him on the high hill of Acrocorinth.

Basic story: Bellerophon tried to use Pegasus to fly to Mount Olympus, but Zeus was not amused and sent an insect to bite Pegasus. Pegasus then bucked off Bellerophon, who fell to earth and died. Moral: Don't try to crash Mount Olympus without an invite.

Alternate name: Sometimes spelled " Pegasos," which may mean his name has non-Greek origins indicated by the "-os" ending, which is pre-Greek.

Winged horses and other winged animals were also sometimes depicted in Minoan art on the island of Crete.

Interesting fact: Pegasus is sometimes called "The Thundering Horse of Jove," an alternate name for Zeus, and is thought to carry Zeus' thunderbolts through the sky. Pegasus is the best-known winged horse in mythology.

The image of the flying horse is well-known in the United States as the secondary logo to Mobil Oil, now ExxonMobil, and it graced gas stations for decades and can still occasionally be seen.

More Fast Facts on Greek Gods and Goddesses

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