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The Pegasus is a white horse with wings that carries lightning bolts back and forth to Olympus from the Cyclopes whenever Zeus’ supply needs to be replenished.

The Pegasus was born when the hero Perseus cut off Medusa’s head and her blood spilled on the ground. He leapt from her blood into the air and went straight up to Mount Olympus, where he found favor with Zeus. He is believed to have come down to Earth once and struck his hoof on the rock of Corinth, creating the Hippocrene, or the Horse’s Fountain.

The Pegasus is often remembered for helping the hero Bellerophron defeat the Chimera. Athena gave Bellerophron a special gold bar to put into the Pegasus’ mouth, which became a bridle and bit, the first ever used by mankind for a horse. He rode the Pegasus around the Chimera, striking her with his spear until she was dead. He rode the Pegasus back to Olympus where the Pegasus reared back in joy at returning and dumped Bellerophron back to Earth, badly injuring him for the rest of his life.

Zeus used the Pegasus to go back and forth to the Cyclopes to gather more lightning bolts when his supply was running low. In some retellings of the Perseus myth, the Pegasus was tamed by Athena and sent to help Perseus save Andromeda from the sea serpent Cetus. In other versions, Perseus used the winged sandals that Hermes brought him to use in his battle against Medusa.

Pegasus Quick Reference


Poseidon and Medusa

Notable Myths

Attributes and Symbols

White horse with wings

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