hero pegasus lycia
BELLEROPHON (13EXXrpoq5(7.a, or BEXXEpo4KIvrqs.), in Greek Legend, a local hero of Corinth, but partly also connected with, and partly similar to, Perseus, the local hero of the neighbouring Argos, the points of likeness being such as to suggest that they had originally been one and the same hero, while the difference in their exploits might result from the rivalry of the two towns. Both are connected with the sun-god Helios and with the sea-god Poseidon, the symbol of the union being the winged horse Pegasus. Bellerophon was a son of Glaucus of Corinth, who is spokeu of as a son of Poseidon, and in some way himself a marine deity. To account for the name, i.e., "slayer of Belleros," an otherwise unknown hero of this name was invented. But it is by no means certain that "Belleros" is a personal name; it may mean nothing more than "monster."
The first act of Bellerophon was to capture the horse Pegasus, when it alighted on the Aerocorinth to drink at the fountain of Peirene, with a bridle which he found by his side on awaking from sleep beside the altar of Athene, where he had laid himself down on the advice of a seer Polyidus. The goddess had appeared to him in a dream, reached him a golden bridle, and told him to sacrifice a white bull to his father Poseidon. The next incident occurs in Tiryns, at the court of Preetus, whom wife, Sthenebcca (or Antcia, as Homer calls her), failing to seduce Bellerophon, charges him with an attempt on her virtue (Iliad, vi. 150-211). Prectus now sends him to lobates, his wife's father, the king of Lycia, with a letter or scaled tablet, in which were instructions, apparently by means of signs, to take the life of the bearer. Arriving in Lycia, he was received as a guest and entertained for nine days. On the tenth, being asked the object of his visit, he handed the letter to the king, whose first plan for complying with it was to send him to slay the Chimaera, a monster which was devastating the country. Its forepart was that of a lion, its hindpart that of a serpent; a goat's head sprang from its back, and fire was vomited from its mouth. Bellerophon, mounted on Pegasus, kept up in the air out of the way of the Chimaera, but yet near enough to kill it with his spear, or as he is at other times represented, with his sword or with a bow. lie was next ordered out against the Solymi, a hostile tribe, and afterwards against the Amazons, from both of which expeditions he not only returned victorious, but also on his way back slew an ambush of chosen warriors whom Iobates had placed to intercept him. His divine origin was now proved ; the king gave him his daughtei in marriage ; and the Lycians presented him with a large and fertile estate on which lie lived, and reached the pinnacle of happiness, surrounded by two sous, Isander and Hippolochus, and one daughter, Laodamia. But, as in the case of Hercules, the gods now punished him with frenzy. His son Isander fell in battle ; his daughter was slain by Artemis ; and he himself wandered in the " plain of madness" (rE3fav 'AA.nfov). The cause of his misfortune, Piudar (Isthm., vii. 44; Olymp., xiii. 91) says, was his ambitious attempt to mount to the heavens on Pegasus.
The early relations between Lycia and Argolis are attested by the tradition that the walls of Mycenm had been built by Cyclopes from Lycia. In both districts the worship of the sun-god had exercised great influence in very early times. The two most frequent representations of Bellerophon in ancient art are (1) when he slays the Chimera, and (2) when he departs from Argos with the letter. Among the first is to be noted a terra-cotta relief from Melos in the British Museum, where also, on a vase of black ware, is what seems to be a representation of his escape from Sthenebcea.