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Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. She was the only one of the Gorgons
who was subject to mortality. She is celebrated for her personal charms and the beauty of her locks.
Neptune became enamoured of her, and obtained her favours in the temple of Minerva. This violation of
the sanctity of the temple provoked Minerva, and she changed the beautiful locks of Medusa, which had
inspired Neptune’s love to serpents. According to Apollodorus, Medusa and her sisters came into the
world with snakes on their heads, instead of hair, with yellow wings and brazen hands. Their bodies were
also covered with impenetrable scales, and their very looks had the power of killing or turning to stones.
Perseus rendered his name immortal by his conquest of Medusa. He cut off her head, and the blood that
dropped from the wound produced the innumerable serpents that infest Africa. The conqueror placed
Medusa's head on the shield of Minerva, which he had used in his expedition. The head still retained the
same petrifying power as before, as it was fatally known in the court of Cepheus. . . . Some suppose that
the Gorgons were a nation of women, whom Perseus conquered.