Gorgon

Mythological Dictionary

Gorgon or gorgoneion or gorgonian or gorgonize.
The Gorgons were three sisters who had snakes for hair and a gaze so terrifying that a mortal who looked into their eyes was turned to stone. Medusa, the most famous of the three, was beheaded by Perseus, aided by Athena and Hermes. Perseus gave the head to Athena, who affixed it to her shield (see aegis). The head of the gorgon was often depicted in Greek art in a highly stylized manner; this formalized depiction is called a gorgoneion. Today a gorgon can mean a terrifying or ugly woman. There is also a species of coral known as gorgonian with an intricate network of branching parts. The verb to gorgonize means to paralyze by fear.

 
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Mythological Dictionary
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