digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

For other uses, see Bellerophon (disambiguation).
Bellerophon on Pegasus spears the Chimera, on an Attic red-figure epinetron, 425–420 BC

Bellerophon (/bəˈlɛrəfən/; Greek: Βελλεροφῶν) or Bellerophontes (Βελλεροφόντης) is a hero of Greek mythology. He was "the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside Cadmus and Perseus, before the days of Heracles",[1] whose greatest feat was killing the Chimera, a monster that Homer depicted with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail: "her breath came out in terrible blasts of burning flame."[2] He was the son of the mortal Eurynome by either her husband Glaucus, or Poseidon.

Etymology[edit]

One possible etymology that has been suggested is: Βελλεροφόντης from βέλεμνον, βελόνη, βέλος ("projectile, dart, javelin, needle, arrow, bullet") and -φόντης ("slayer") from φονεύω ("to slay"). However, Geoffrey Kirk says that "Βελλεροφόντης means 'slayer of Belleros'".[3] Belleros could have been a Lycian, a local daimon or a Corinthian nobleman—Bellerophon's name "clearly invited all sorts of speculation".[3]

Bellerophon's myth[edit]

The Iliad vi.155–203 contains an embedded narrative told by Bellerophon's grandson Glaucus, named for his great-grandfather, which recounts Bellerophon's myth. Bellerophon's father was Glaucus,[4] who was the king of Corinth and the son of Sisyphus. Bellerophon's grandsons Sarpedon and the younger Glaucus fought in the Trojan War. In the Epitome of pseudo-Apollodorus, a genealogy is given for Chrysaor ("of the golden sword") that would make him a double of Bellerophon; he too is called the son of Glaucus the son of Sisyphus. Chrysaor has no myth save that of his birth: from the severed neck of Medusa, who was with child by Poseidon, he and Pegasus both sprang at the moment of her death. "From this moment we hear no more of Chrysaor, the rest of the tale concerning the stallion only...[who visits the spring of Pirene] perhaps also for his brother's sake, by whom in the end he let himself be caught, the immortal horse by his mortal brother."[5]

The eternal fires of Chimera in Lycia (modern-day Turkey) where the Chimera myth takes place.

Bellerophon's brave journey began in the familiar way,[6] with an exile: he had murdered either his brother, whose name is usually given as Deliades, or killed a shadowy "enemy", a "Belleros"[7] (though the details are never directly told), and in expiation of his crime arrived as a suppliant to Proetus, king in Tiryns, one of the Mycenaean strongholds of the Argolid. Proetus, by virtue of his kingship, cleansed Bellerophon of his crime. The wife of the king, whether named Anteia[8] or Stheneboea,[9] took a fancy to him, but when he rejected her, she accused Bellerophon of attempting to ravish her.[10] Proetus dared not satisfy his anger by killing a guest, so he sent Bellerophon to King Iobates his father-in-law, in the plain of the River Xanthus in Lycia, bearing a sealed message in a folded tablet: "Pray remove the bearer from this world: he attempted to violate my wife, your daughter."[11] Before opening the tablets, Iobates feasted with Bellerophon for nine days. On reading the tablet's message Iobates too feared the wrath of the Erinyes if he murdered a guest; so he sent Bellerophon on a mission that he deemed impossible: to kill the Chimera, living in neighboring Caria. The Chimera was a fire-breathing monster whose make-up comprised the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail being a serpent. This monster had terrorized the nearby countryside.

Capturing Pegasus[edit]

Veroli Casket panel detail showing Bellerophon with Pegasus, dating from 900–1000 AD.
Bellerophon riding Pegasus (1914)

The Lycian seer Polyeidos told Bellerophon that he would have need of Pegasus. To obtain the services of the untamed winged horse, Polyeidos told Bellerophon to sleep in the temple of Athena. While Bellerophon slept, he dreamed that Athena set a golden bridle beside him, saying "Sleepest thou, prince of the house of Aiolos? Come, take this charm for the steed and show it to the Tamer thy father as thou makest sacrifice to him of a white bull."[12] It was there when he awoke. Bellerophon had to approach Pegasus while it drank from a well; Polyeidos told him which well—the never-failing Pirene on the citadel of Corinth, the city of Bellerophon's birth. Other accounts say that Athena brought Pegasus already tamed and bridled, or that Poseidon the horse-tamer, secretly the father of Bellerophon, brought Pegasus, as Pausanias understood.[13] Bellerophon mounted his steed and flew off to where the Chimera was said to dwell.

The slaying of the Chimera[edit]

When he arrived in Lycia, the Chimera was truly ferocious, and he could not harm the monster even while riding on Pegasus. He felt the heat of the breath the Chimera expelled, and was struck with an idea. He got a large block of lead and mounted it on his spear. Then he flew head-on towards the Chimera, holding out the spear as far as he could. Before he broke off his attack, he managed to lodge the block of lead inside the Chimera's throat. The beast's fire-breath melted the lead, and blocked its air passage.[14] The Chimera suffocated, and Bellerophon returned victorious to King Iobates.[15] Iobates, on Bellerophon's return, was unwilling to credit his story. A series of daunting further quests ensued: he was sent against the warlike Solymi and then against the Amazons who fought like men, whom Bellerophon vanquished by dropping boulders from his winged horse; when he was sent against a Carian pirate, Cheirmarrhus, an ambush failed, when Bellerophon killed all sent to assassinate him; the palace guards were sent against him, but Bellerophon called upon Poseidon, who flooded the plain of Xanthus behind Bellerophon as he approached. In defense the palace women sent him and the flood in retreat by rushing from the gates with their robes lifted high, offering themselves, to which the modest hero replied by withdrawing.[16] Iobates relented, produced the letter, and allowed Bellerophon to marry his daughter Philonoe, the younger sister of Anteia, and shared with him half his kingdom,[17] with fine vineyards and grain fields. The lady Philonoe bore him Isander,[18] Hippolochus and Laodamia, who lay with Zeus the Counselor and bore Sarpedon but was slain by Artemis.[19][20][21]

Flight to Olympus and fall[edit]

As Bellerophon's fame grew, so did his hubris. Bellerophon felt that because of his victory over the Chimera he deserved to fly to Mount Olympus, the realm of the gods. However, this presumption angered Zeus and he sent a gad-fly to sting the horse causing Bellerophon to fall all the way back to Earth. Pegasus completed the flight to Olympus where Zeus used him as a pack horse for his thunderbolts.[22] On the Plain of Aleion ("Wandering"), Bellerophon (who had fallen into a thorn bush) lived out his life in misery as a blinded crippled hermit grieving and shunning the haunts of men until he died.[23] In Tlos, near Fethiye, in modern-day Turkey, ancient Lykia, there is a tomb with a carving of a man riding a winged horse. This is claimed locally to be the tomb of Bellerophon.

Euripides' Bellerophontes[edit]

Main article: Bellerophon (play)

Enough fragments of Euripides' lost tragedy Bellerophontes remain embedded as some thirty quotations in surviving texts to give scholars a basis for assessing its theme: the tragic outcome of his attempt to storm Olympus on Pegasus. An outspoken passage—in which Bellerophon seems to doubt the gods' existence from the contrast between the wicked and impious, who live lives of ease with the privations suffered by the good—is apparently the basis for Aristophanes' imputation of "atheism" to the tragic poet.[24]

Perseus on Pegasus[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Perseus.

The replacement of Bellerophon by the more familiar culture hero Perseus was a development of Classical times that was standardized during the Middle Ages and has been adopted by the European poets of the Renaissance and later.[25]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kerenyi 1959, p. 75.
  2. ^ Iliad vi.155–203.
  3. ^ a b Kirk 1990, p. 178
  4. ^ By some accounts, Bellerophon's father was really Poseidon. Kerenyi 1959 p 78 suggests that "sea-green" Glaucus is a double for Poseidon, god of the sea, who looms behind many of the elements in Bellerophon's myth, not least as the sire of Pegasus and of Chrysaor, but also as the protector of Bellerophon.
  5. ^ Kerenyi 1959 p 80.
  6. ^ See Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, chapter 1, "Separation".
  7. ^ The suggestion, made by Kerenyi and others, makes the name "Bellerophontes" the "killer of Belleros", just as Hermes Argeiphontes is "Hermes the killer of Argus". Carpenter, Rhys (1950). "Argeiphontes: A Suggestion". American Journal of Archaeology 54 (3): 177–183. JSTOR 500295. , makes a carefully argued case for Bellerophontes as the "bane-slayer" of the "bane to mankind" in Iliad II.329, derived from a rare Greek word έλλερον, explained by the grammarians as κακόν, "evil". This έλλερον is connected by Katz, J. (1998). "How to be a Dragon in Indo-European: Hittite illuyankas and its Linguistic and Cultural Congeners in Latin, Greek, and Germanic". In Jasanoff; Melchert; Oliver. Mír Curad. Studies in Honor of Calvert Watkins. Innsbruck. pp. 317–334. ISBN 3851246675.  with a Hesychius golss ελυες "water animal", and an Indo-European word for "snake", or "dragon", cognate to English eel, also found in Hittite Illuyanka, which would make Bellerophon the dragon slayer of Indo-European myth, represented by Indra slaying Vrtra in Indo-Aryan, and by Thor slaying the Midgard Serpent in Germanic. Robert Graves in The Greek Myths rev. ed. 1960 suggested a translation "bearing darts".
  8. ^ In Iliad vi.
  9. ^ Euripides' tragedies Stheneboia and Bellerophontes are lost.
  10. ^ This mytheme is most familiar in the narrative of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Robert Graves also notes the parallel in the Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers and in the desire of Athamas' wife for Phrixus (Graves 1960, 70.2, 75.1).
  11. ^ The tablets "on which he had traced a number of devices with a deadly meaning" constitute the only apparent reference to writing in the Iliad. Such a letter is termed a "bellerophontic" letter; one such figures in a subplot of Shakespeare's Hamlet, bringing offstage death to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Such a letter figures in the earlier story of Sargon of Akkad.
  12. ^ Kerenyi 1959, quoting Apollodorus Mythographus, 2.7.4.
  13. ^ Description of Greece1.4.6.
  14. ^ Some of the red-figure pottery painters show Bellerophon wielding Poseidon's trident instead (Kerenyi 1959).
  15. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 319ff; Bibliotheke, ii.3.2; Pindar, Olympian Odes, xiii.63ff; Pausanias, ii.4.1; Hyginus, Fabulae, 157; John Tzetzes, On Lycophron.
  16. ^ Robert Graves, 75.d; Plutarch, On the Virtues of Women.
  17. ^ The inheritance of kingship through the king's daughter, with many heroic instances, was discussed by Finkelberg, Margalit (1991). "Royal succession in heroic Greece". The Classical Quarterly. New Series 41 (2): 303–316. doi:10.1017/s0009838800004481. JSTOR 638900. ; compare Orion and Merope.
  18. ^ Isander was struck down by Ares in battle with the Solymi (Iliad xvi.
  19. ^ Homer, Iliad, 6. 197–205
  20. ^ Oxford Classical Mythology Online. "Chapter 25: Myths of Local Heroes and Heroines". Classical Mythology, Seventh Edition. Oxford University Press USA. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ Diodorus Siculus, refers to her as Deidamia and makes her wife of Evander, son of Sarpedon the elder and by her father of Sarpedon the younger. Library of History, 5. 79. 3
  22. ^ Parallels are in the myths of Icarus and Phaeton.
  23. ^ Pindar, Olympian Odes, xiii.87–90, and Isthmian Odes, vii.44; Bibliotheke ii.3.2; Homer, Iliad vi.155–203 and xvi.328; Ovid, Metamorphoses ix.646.
  24. ^ Riedweg, Christoph (1990). "The 'atheistic' fragment from Euripides' Bellerophontes (286 N²)". Illinois Classical Studies 15 (1): 39–53. ISSN 0363-1923. 
  25. ^ Johnston, George Burke (1955). "Jonson's 'Perseus upon Pegasus'". The Review of English Studies. New Series 6 (21): 65–67. doi:10.1093/res/VI.21.65. 
  26. ^ "Stars with Exoplanets". 2010-11-11. 
  27. ^ The Concept of Anxiety. Princeton University Press. 1980. p. 150. ISBN 0-691-02011-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Graves, Robert, 1960. The Greek Myths, revised edition (Harmondsworth: Penguin)
  • Homer, Iliad, book vi.155–203
  • Kerenyi, Karl, 1959. The Heroes of the Greeks (London: Thames and Hudson)
  • Kirk, G. S., 1990. The Iliad: A Commentary Volume II: books 5-8. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellerophon — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
8204 videos foundNext > 

Pegasus & Bellerophon | Mythology 101: Dael Kingsmill

Dael tells the story of Bellerophon, the hero who was constantly outshined by his magnificent steed, featuring Pegasus, Wonder Woman, & the opposite of a mer...

Mythic Warriors - Bellerophon and Pegasus

Season 1: Episode 11 - Bellerophon and Pegasus Mythic Warriors (full title: Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend) is a Canadian-produced animated televis...

Bellerophon: Greek Hero

The Myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus

The Myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus.

Bouncy Ball - Bellerophon 1-21

The Bellerophon Project - Hydra (Official Video)

Get MENTAL ABSCESS here on Bandcamp: https://thebellerophonproject.bandcamp.com The Bellerophon Project is: Andreas Schaberer - Guitar Manuel Lotter - Drums ...

Lully: Bellérophon, tragédie mise en musique | Christophe Rousset

__ • Lully: Bellérophon, tragédie mise en musique __ • Robert Getchell: Bacchus • Evgueniy Alexiev: Pan • Jean Teitgen: Apollon • Cyril Auvity: Bellérophon •...

The Bellerophon Project - Mental Abscess EP (Full Stream)

Get MENTAL ABSCESS here on Bandcamp: https://thebellerophonproject.bandcamp.com The Bellerophon Project is: Andreas Schaberer - Guitar Manuel Lotter - Drums ...

The Bellerophon Project - "Crystal Lattice" | Playthrough Video

Get MENTAL ABSCESS here on Bandcamp: https://thebellerophonproject.bandcamp.com The Bellerophon Project is: Andreas Schaberer - Guitar Manuel Lotter - Drums ...

UK TECH-METAL FEST 2014 - The Bellerophon Project (Live)

8204 videos foundNext > 

965 news items

 
PR Newswire (press release)
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:03:45 -0700

HAMPTON, N.J., July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bellerophon Therapeutics, LLC, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company, leveraging its proprietary drug-device technology platform for the development of innovative therapies that address significant unmet ...

WalesOnline

WalesOnline
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:00:59 -0800

The £500m Cardiff Embankment scheme along Dumballs Road is able to go ahead because the single remaining landowner who was holding out against it has agreed to sell their site and the developer Bellerophon Partnerships Ltd (BPL) has done a deal ...

India Gazette

Jewish Business News
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:53:09 -0800

Its current leading products (which are unrelated to the current agreement) are a product for treatment of heart attacks currently being developed by Bellerophon, for which the main trial is slated for completion by mid-2015, a blood cancer drug in ...
 
Bruins Nation
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:08:41 -0800

Bellerophon: The answer is pretty simple - for all the talk of "culture change" and a "Bruin revolution" this team and this program remains mentally soft. During the Jim Mora era, when this team has needed to step up the most - when the big games have ...
 
Bruins Nation
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:04:14 -0800

After a disappointing campaign in Jim Mora's third season in Westwood - what many tabbed as UCLA's break-out season to win the conference and earn a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff - we take a look at some other top-tier coaches and try ...
 
Bruins Nation
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 11:29:45 -0800

It's the last weekend of regular season college football and while all the bowl games have been announced and the rest of the Division I-A college football world is preparing for their bowl opponents, there's one last Saturday of regular season ...
 
PR Newswire (press release)
Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:37:37 -0700

HAMPTON, N.J., June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bellerophon Therapeutics, LLC, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company, today announced that it has completed enrollment of its 80-patient Phase 2 clinical trial of INOpulse for the treatment of pulmonary ...
 
MarketWatch
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 04:02:09 -0800

BioLineRx's current portfolio consists of a variety of clinical and pre-clinical projects, including: BL-1040 for prevention of pathological cardiac remodeling following a myocardial infarction, which has been out-licensed to Bellerophon BCM (f/k/a ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight