The Myth of Pegasus (Pegasos)

Pegasos, Pegasus, immortal, winged, hero, ancient, myth, greek, greece, horsePegasos (or Pegasus) was an immortal, winged horse which sprang forth from the neck of Medousa when she was beheaded by the hero Perseus. Pegasos was tamed by Bellerophon, a Korinthian hero, who rode him into battle against the fire-breathing Khimaira.
Later, after the hero attempted to fly to heaven, the gods caused the horse to buck, throwing him back down to earth. Pegasos continued to wing its way to heaven where it took a place in the stables of Zeus. The horse was also placed amongst the stars as a constellation, whose rising marked the arrival of the warmer weather of spring and seasonal rainstorms. As such he was often named thunderbolt-bearer of Zeus. In the constellation myths,
Pegasos ("Springing Forth") may have represented the blooming of spring whilst Khimaira ("Frosty Air" ?) (perhaps winter-rising Capricorn) was the cold chill of winter.

The Constellation; Horse of Zeus
Hesiod, Theogony 280 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Pegasos, soaring, left the earth, the mother of sheep flocks, and came to the immortals, and there he lives in the household of Zeus, and carries the thunder and lightning for Zeus of the counsels."

Pindar, Olympian Ode 13. 92 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Pegasos dwells in the ancient stalls of Zeus upon Olympos."

Plato, Phaedrus 246 (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"A pair of winged horses and a charioteer. Now the winged horses and the charioteers of the gods are all of them noble and of noble descent . . . Zeus, the mighty lord, holding the reins of a winged chariot, leads the way in heaven, ordering all and taking care of all; and there follows him the array of gods and demigods, marshalled in eleven bands [the twelve Olympians]."

Aratus, Phaenomena 206 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek astronomical poem C3rd B.C.) :
"The huge [constellation] Horse (Hippos) [is Pegasos] . . . the Horse himself circles in the heaven of Zeus and is there for thee to behold."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 18 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Constellation Horse. This sign Aratus and many others have called Pegasus, offspring of Neptunus [Poseidon] and the Gorgon Medusa . . . As he [Bellerophon] was attempting to fly to heaven, and had almost reached it, he became terrified looking down at the earth, and fell off and was killed. But the horse [Pegasos] is said to have flown up and to have been put among the constellations by Jove [Zeus]."

Ovid, Fasti 3. 449 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Now when stars spangle the deep blue heavens, look up: you’ll see the neck of the Gorgonian horse [the constellation Pegasos]. Men believe it sprang with its blood-spattered mane from the butchered Medusa’s pregnant neck. As it glided above the clouds and beneath the stars, the sky was its earth and wings were its feet. It had only just protested its strange bridling [by Bellerophon], when its light hoof dug Aonia’s spring [the Hippokrene of Mt Helikon]. Now it enjoys the sky, which it wings sought before, and gleams resplendent with five stars and ten."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 265 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Pegasos flying on high quickly cut the air on his long wings."

Song of Sappho: In Ancient Greek with English Subtitles
Greek Epic Fragments: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC (Loeb Classical Library No. 497)

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