Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Medusa and her other sisters the Graeae were daughters of Phorcys and Ceto. Medusa was a beautiful maiden raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple. Poseidon was an arch-rival of Athena's since he vied for dominance over Athens; Athena offering the olive tree, Poseidon, the horse. Athena changed Medusa into a Gorgon as punishment for desecrating her temple. She turned Medusa's hair into snakes, her face hideous and banished her beyond the Hyperborean lands.
While Medusa was with child by Poseidon, she was killed by Perseus with help from Athena and Hermes. Perseus used Medusa's head to petrify Atlas, rescue Andromeda, and kill Polydectes. Then he gave it to Athena, who placed it on her shield Aegis.
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