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PEGASUS ( Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
: Πήγασος, Pḗgasos; Latin : Pegasus, Pegasos) is one of the best known creatures in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
. He is a winged divine stallion usually depicted as pure white in color. He was sired by Poseidon
Poseidon
, in his role as horse-god, and foaled by the Gorgon
Gorgon
Medusa
Medusa
. He was the brother of Chrysaor , born at a single birthing when his mother was decapitated by Perseus
Perseus
. Greco-Roman poets write about his ascent to heaven after his birth and his obeisance to Zeus
Zeus
, king of the gods, who instructed him to bring lightning and thunder from Olympus. Friend of the Muses, Pegasus
Pegasus
is the creator of Hippocrene , the fountain on Mt. Helicon . He was captured by the Greek hero Bellerophon
Bellerophon
near the fountain Peirene with the help of Athena
Athena
and Poseidon. Pegasus
Pegasus
allows the hero to ride him to defeat a monster, the Chimera , before realizing many other exploits. His rider, however, falls off his back trying to reach Mount Olympus. Zeus
Zeus
transformed him into the constellation Pegasus
Pegasus
and placed him up in the sky.

Hypotheses have been proposed regarding its relationship with the Muses
Muses
, the gods Athena
Athena
, Poseidon
Poseidon
, Zeus
Zeus
, Apollo
Apollo
, and the hero Perseus
Perseus
.

The symbolism of Pegasus
Pegasus
varies with time. Symbol of wisdom and especially of fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, he became one symbol of the poetry and the creator of sources in which the poets come to draw inspiration, particularly in the 19th century. Pegasus
Pegasus
is the subject of a very rich iconography, especially through the ancient Greek pottery and paintings and sculptures of the Renaissance.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Pegasus
Pegasus
and springs * 3 Birth * 4 Bellerophon
Bellerophon
* 5 Perseus
Perseus
* 6 Olympus

* 7 Legacy

* 7.1 World War II
World War II
* 7.2 In popular culture

* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Pegasus, as the horse of Muses, was put on the roof of Poznań Opera House ( Max Littmann , 1910)

The poet Hesiod
Hesiod
presents a folk etymology of the name Pegasus
Pegasus
as derived from πηγή pēgē "spring, well": "the pegai of Okeanos , where he was born."

A proposed etymology of the name is Luwian pihassas, meaning "lightning", and Pihassassi, a local Luwian-Hittite name in southern Cilicia
Cilicia
of a weather god represented with thunder and lightning. The proponents of this etymology adduce Pegasus' role, reported as early as Hesiod
Hesiod
, as the bringer of thunderbolts to Zeus. It was first suggested in 1952 and remains widely accepted, but Robin Lane Fox (2009) has criticized it as implausible.

PEGASUS AND SPRINGS

Bronze figurine (Greece, 6th century BC)

According to legend, everywhere the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth. One of these springs was upon the Muses
Muses
' Mount Helicon , the Hippocrene ("horse spring"), opened, Antoninus Liberalis suggested, at the behest of Poseidon
Poseidon
to prevent the mountain swelling with rapture at the song of the Muses; another was at Troezen
Troezen
. Hesiod
Hesiod
relates how Pegasus
Pegasus
was peacefully drinking from a spring when the hero Bellerophon
Bellerophon
captured him. Hesiod also says Pegasus
Pegasus
carried thunderbolts for Zeus
Zeus
.

BIRTH

There are several versions of the birth of the winged stallion and his brother Chrysaor in the far distant place at the edge of Earth, Hesiod's "springs of Oceanus, which encircles the inhabited earth, where Perseus
Perseus
found Medusa
Medusa
:

One is that they sprang from the blood issuing from Medusa's neck as Perseus
Perseus
was beheading her, similar to the manner in which Athena
Athena
was born from the head of Zeus. In another version, when Perseus
Perseus
beheaded Medusa, they were born of the Earth, fed by the Gorgon's blood. A variation of this story holds that they were formed from the mingling of Medusa's blood, pain and sea foam, implying that Poseidon
Poseidon
had involvement in their making. The last version bears resemblance to Hesiod
Hesiod
's account of the birth of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
from the foam created when Uranus
Uranus
's severed genitals were cast into the sea by Cronus
Cronus
.

Pedigree of Pegasus
Pegasus
Sire Poseidon
Poseidon
Cronus
Cronus
Uranus
Uranus
Gaïa or Nyx
Nyx

Gaïa or Nyx

Gaïa Chaos

Chaos

Rhea Uranus Gaïa or Nyx

Gaïa or Nyx

Gaïa Chaos

Chaos

Dam Medusa
Medusa
Phorcys
Phorcys
Pontus Ether or Uranus

Gaïa

Gaïa Chaos

Chaos

Ceto Pontus Ether or Uranus

Gaïa

Gaïa Chaos

Chaos

BELLEROPHON

Pegasus
Pegasus
aided the hero Bellerophon
Bellerophon
in his fight against both the Chimera . There are varying tales as to how Bellerophon
Bellerophon
found Pegasus; the most common says that the hero was told by Polyeidos to sleep in the temple of Athena
Athena
, where the goddess visited him in the night and presented him with a golden bridle. The next morning, still clutching the bridle, he found Pegasus
Pegasus
drinking at the Pierian spring and caught Pegasus, and eventually tamed him.

PERSEUS

Parthian era bronze plate depicting Pegasus
Pegasus
(Pegaz in Persian), excavated in Masjed Soleyman , Khūzestān , Iran
Iran
.

Michaud's Biographie universelle relates that when Pegasus
Pegasus
was born, he flew to where thunder and lightning are released. Then, according to certain versions of the myth, Athena
Athena
tamed him and gave him to Perseus, who flew to Ethiopia
Ethiopia
to help Andromeda .

In fact Pegasus
Pegasus
is a late addition to the story of Perseus, who flew on his own with the sandals loaned him by Hermes
Hermes
.

OLYMPUS

Pegasus
Pegasus
and Athena
Athena
left Bellerophon
Bellerophon
and continued to Olympus where he was stabled with Zeus
Zeus
' other steeds, and was given the task of carrying Zeus
Zeus
' thunderbolts, along with other members of his entourage, his attendants /handmaidens /shield bearers /shieldmaidens , Astrape and Bronte . Because of his years of faithful service to Zeus, Pegasus
Pegasus
was later honoured with transformation into a constellation . On the day of his catasterism , when Zeus
Zeus
transformed him into a constellation, a single feather fell to the earth near the city of Tarsus .

LEGACY

WORLD WAR II

The emblem of the World War II, British Airborne Forces, Bellerophon
Bellerophon
riding the flying horse Pegasus.

During World War II
World War II
, the silhouetted image of Bellerophon
Bellerophon
the warrior, mounted on the winged Pegasus, was adopted by the United Kingdom 's newly raised parachute troops in 1941 as their upper sleeve insignia. The image clearly symbolized a warrior arriving at a battle by air, the same tactics used by paratroopers . The square upper-sleeve insignia comprised Bellerophon/ Pegasus
Pegasus
in light blue on a maroon background. One source suggests that the insignia was designed by famous English novelist Daphne du Maurier , who was wife of the commander of the 1st Airborne Division (and later the expanded British Airborne Forces), General Frederick "Boy" Browning . According to The British Army Website, the insignia was designed by the celebrated East Anglian painter Major Edward Seago in May 1942. The maroon background on the insignia was later used again by the Airborne Forces when they adopted the famous maroon beret in Summer 1942. The beret was the origin of the German nickname for British airborne troops, The Red Devils . Today's Parachute Regiment carries on the maroon beret tradition. The selection process for the elite Parachute Regiment is called Pegasus Company (often abbreviated to 'P Company').

During the airborne phase of the Normandy invasion on the night of 5–6 June 1944, British 6th Airborne Division captured all its key objectives in advance of the seaborne assault, including the capture and holding at all costs of a vital bridge over the Caen Canal , near Ouistreham . In memory of their tenacity, the bridge has been known ever since as Pegasus Bridge .

The Tuscan National Liberation Committee during the German occupation of Italy also had a Pegasus
Pegasus
as its emblem. The winged horse is still featured on the Tuscan flag and coat of arms.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

Main article: Pegasus in popular culture

The winged horse has provided an instantly recognizable corporate logo or emblem of inspiration. Ecuador
Ecuador
launched its weather satellite, named Pegaso (pronounced , Pegasus
Pegasus
in Spanish), on April 26, 2013 but it was damaged by Russian space debris. Pegasus Airlines (Turkish: Pegasus
Pegasus
Hava Taşımacılığı A.Ş.) is a low-cost airline headquartered in the Kurtköy area of Pendik, Istanbul
Istanbul
, Turkey
Turkey
. Mobil
Mobil
Oil has had a Pegasus
Pegasus
as its company logo since its affiliation with Magnolia Petroleum Company in the 1930s.

SEE ALSO

* Hybrid creatures in mythology * List of hybrid creatures in mythology * Flying horses * Arion (mythology) * Buraq * Chollima * Ethiopian Pegasus
Pegasus
* Haizum * Hippogriff * Unicorn
Unicorn
* Luno The White Stallion * Pegasides * Pegasus and Dragon (statue) * Sleipnir * Tulpar * White horse (mythology) * Wind horse * Winged unicorn * Simurgh
Simurgh
, Iranian mythical flying creature * Yali , Hindu mythological lion-elephant-horse hybrid

REFERENCES

* ^ Medusa, in her archaic centaur -like form. She appears in the incised relief on a mid-7th century BCE vase from Boeotia
Boeotia
at the Louvre
Louvre
(CA795 ), illustrated in John Boardman, Jasper Griffin
Griffin
and Oswyn Murray, Greece and the Hellenistic World (Oxford University Press) 1988, fig p 87. * ^ Noted by Karl Kerényi , The Heroes of the Greeks, 1959:80: "In the name Pegasos itself the connection with a spring, pege, is expressed." * ^ The connection of Pegasus
Pegasus
with Pihassas was suggested by H.T. Bossert, "Die phönikisch-hethitischen Bilinguen vom Karatepe", Jahrbuch für kleinasiatische Forschung, 2 1952/53:333, P. Frei, "Die Bellerophontessaga und das Alte Testament", in B. Janowski, K. Koch and G. Wilhelm, eds., Religionsgeschichtliche Beziehungen zwischen Kleinasien, Nordsyrien und der Alte Testament, 1993:48f, and Hutter, "Der luwische Wettergott pihašsašsi under der griechischen Pegasos", in Chr. Zinko, ed. Studia Onomastica et Indogermanica... 1995:79–98. Commentary was provided by R. S. P. Beekes in his Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 1183. * ^ "a storm god is not the origin of a horse. However, he had a like-sounding name, and Greek visitors to Cilicia
Cilicia
may have connected their existing Pegasus
Pegasus
with Zeus
Zeus
's lightning after hearing about this 'Pihassassi' and his functions and assuming, wrongly, he was their own Pegasus
Pegasus
in a foreign land." Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2009, ISBN 9780307271518 , pp. 207ff. * ^ Pausanias , 9. 31. 3. * ^ Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 9 * ^ Pausanias, 2. 31. 9. * ^ Hesiod
Hesiod
, Theogony
Theogony
281; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 2. 42, et al. Harris, Stephen L. and Gloria Platzner. Classical Mythology: Images and Insights. 2nd ed. (New York: Mayfield Publishing), 1998. 234. * ^ For example in Pindar
Pindar
, Olympian Ode 13. * ^ Michaud, Joseph F. & Michaud, Louis G. (1833). Michaud Frères, ed. Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, ou Histoire, par ordre alphabétique, de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes qui se sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertus ou leurs crimes (in French). 5. Retrieved 23 June 2009. * ^ Aratus , Phaenomena 206; Scott Littleton, Mythology. The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling London: Duncan Baird, 2002:147. ISBN 1-903296-37-4 * ^ Grimal, Pierre (4 September 1996). Trans. by A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, ed. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 349. ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1 . * ^ " Ecuador
Ecuador
Pegasus
Pegasus
satellite fears over space debris crash - BBC News". BBC News.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Media related to Pegasus
Pegasus
at

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