The marvelous winged horse which, in Greek mythology, sprang from the blood of the decapitated Gorgon, Medusa.
The offspring of Poseidon, Pegasus was tamed by Athena and presented by her to the Muses. With a stroke of his hoof he caused the fountain Hippocrene to gush forth on Mount Helicon and it became the fountain of the Muses. He is now associated entirely with poetry, but originally bore Zeus' thunderbolt and was for a time the mount of the hero Bellerophon, who captured him with a golden bridle, gift of Athena. With the aid of Pegasus, Bellerophon fought the Chimaera, the Amazons, and the Solymi. But when, in overweening pride, Bellerophon tried to ride him up to heaven, Pegasus threw him to his death.
Another version has Jupiter sending a gadfly which stung Pegasus and made him throw his rider, who became lame and blind in consequence. After this Bellerophon wandered lonely through the Aleian field, avoiding the paths of men, and died miserably.
The name Pegasus derives from the Phoenician pag sus, or bridled horse. The Chinese know it as the kylin and the Japanese as the ki-rin.
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Sources: : (1) Sparrow, Giles, Field Guide to Fantastic Creatures, Book Sales, Inc; ; (2) Evans, Bergen, Dictionary of Mythology, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; (3) Dixon-Kennedy, Mike, Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology, ABC-Clio Inc. Publishers; (4) Ayto, John, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Collins Reference Publishing.
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