Family of Perseus:
Electryon is one of Perseus’ son. Electryon’s daughter was Alcmena, Hercules‘ mother. The other sons of Perseus and Andromeda are Perses (legendary ancestor of the Persians), Alcaeus, Heleus, Mestor, and Sthenelus. They had one daughter, Gorgophone.
Infancy of Perseus:
His mother, Danae, was locked in a prison by her own father, King Acrisius of Argos. The King had been told by a oracle that his daughter’s son would one day kill him. Instead of taking the risk that his daughter would become pregnant, he locked her away in a tower with no doors, and only one small window. Zeus saw the lovely princess, fell in love with her, turned himself into a shower of gold, and slipped through the window. He turned the prison into a lovely meadow filled with sun. Danae’s father saw light coming from the window and demanded that a wall be torn down so he could check on his daughter. I am labeling Perseus, therefore, “the Warrior of light” [the reason I am sharing my “labels” at this point is, that Perseus is my inspiration for the “WARRIOR OF LIGHT” jewelry collection for men.]
When the wall came down Danae could be seen holding a baby boy. Afraid of angering Zeus, King Acrisius put the mother and child in a chest and shoved them into the ocean, letting the sea do the killing instead, but Zeus protected them along the way. They washed up on the shore of an island and were greeted by Dictys (a fisherman). Perseus grew up quite happily until one day King Polydectes decided he wanted to marry his mother.
Danae was not interested in marrying Polydectes, however. Unfortunately, the king wasn’t taking no for an answer, but Polydectes couldn’t get around Perseus, so instead he pretended to marry someone else. When Perseus came to the wedding without a gift, according to the myths ad the legends, the King demanded that Perseus bring him Medusa’s head as a gift.
Medusa was one of three sisters, the gorgons, but she was the only mortal one. Some versions say all three were born as monsters, but the predominant myths had them as gorgeous maidens. Medusa was so beautiful that Poseidon was crazy about her, but she didn’t care about him; Poseidon turned her and her sisters into monsters with live snakes covering their heads. Medusa kept her beautiful face but everything else was so monstrous. And whoever dared to look into her face ended up being turned into stone.
[When he cut Medusa’s head off, from the drops of her blood suddenly appeared two offspring: Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant or a winged boar. It’s believed that those two were Medusa’s children with Poseidon. I will write about Medusa with more details in an upcoming post as the whole world finds her fascinating, plus, one of my favorite designers Gianni Versace used her image as part of his logo and his designs.]
In any case, once he accomplished his task Perseus flew back and escaped Medusa’s sisters who tried to reach him. Later, Perseus used Medusa’s head as a weapon in many occasions until he gave the head to Athena to place it on her shield.
The Trials of Perseus:
Perseus went on a long quest, ended up slaying Medusa (the Gorgon), with the assistance of Hermes, god of travelers (who loaned him his sword, which was previously used to slay Argus, and winged sandals), Athena, goddess of wisdom (who gave Perseus a mirror shield), and Hades the ruler of the Underworld (who gave Perseus the Helm of Darkness to hide in the shadows). He also, at one point, took away the Gray Sisters‘ [Athenas’] eye to taunt them into telling him of the position of the Island of the Gorgons. However, on his way back to the king, Perseus showed the true nature of his heroism: Saving Princess Andromeda from the sea monster, Keto, who he later married.
Eventually, he takes the head back to King Polydectes only to find out the wedding was a sham and that his mother has been forced to be the King’s wife. Furious, Perseus uses Medusa’s head to turn his enemies in the Kingdom to stone, thereby rescuing his mother. Eventually, later in his life, he was playing in the Olympics when a gust of wind threw his discus at his grandfather, killing the old man (despite his best efforts) and fulfilling the prophecy.
Perseus and Andromeda:
Perseus Returns Home:
Perseus Fulfills the Oracle:
Since Perseus had killed his grandfather, he felt badly about reigning in his stead, so he went to the Tiryns where he found the ruler, Megapenthes, willing to exchange kingdoms. Megapenthes took Argos, and Perseus, Tiryns. Later Perseus founded the nearby city of Mycenae, which is in the Argolis, in the Peloponnes.
Death of Perseus:
Perseus and His Descendants
The Perseids, a term referring to the descendants of Perseus and Andromeda’s son Perses, are also a summer meteor shower that comes from the constellation of Perseus. Among the human Perseids, the most famous is Hercules.