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Perseus is the legendary founder of Mycenae and the Perseid dynasty, revered by the Greeks as one of their greatest heroes, before Herakles, he is notably famed for the slaying of Medusa.

He was the son of Danae and the grandson of King Akrisios of Argos.

Biography

Birth and early life

Perseus was born as a result of King Akrisios trying to prevent a prophecy that foretold he would be slain by his own grandson. Akrisios locked Danae, his only child, in a room of bronze, but this did not hinder the god Zeus, who visited Danae in the form of golden rain.[1]

When Perseus was born, Akrisios shut him and his mother in a wooden crate and had them cast into the sea. Instead of dying, the two were saved by the fisherman Diktys. He took them under his wing, raising Perseus on the island of Seriphos. He taught Perseus to fish, hunt, and ride.[2]

Hunting Medusa

The island was ruled by Diktys' brother, Polydektes. He wanted to marry Danae, but Perseus was opposed to this. In response, Polydektes ordered Perseus to slay the gorgon Medusa, and bring her head to him.[2]

Phokis-Pronaia-PerseusMedusa

A 5th century BCE mural of Perseus slaying Medusa

To aid Perseus in this quest, Zeus ordered the messenger of gods Hermes to give Perseus a shining sickle,[3] as well as winged sandals, and the goddess Athena to give him a mirror-bright shield. Equipped with these Perseus was able to engage and defeat the gorgon without falling prey to her petrifying gaze. Following her death, the Pegasos sprung forth, and he accompanied Perseus on his way home.[2]

During their journey, they came upon the maiden Andromeda, a princess of Aithopia chained to the cliffs as a sacrifice to the sea monster Ketos. Perseus saved the maiden, and married her.[2]

King of Mycenae

Perseus returned to Seriphos and showed King Polydektes the gorgon's head, turning the king into stone. Afterwards, he traveled Argos, where he participated in Olympic Games. He hurled the discus, which flew so that it struck the spectating King Akrisios, fulfilling the Oracle's prophecy.[2]

Eventually Perseus settled down to rule Mycenae with Andromeda, producing seven sons and two daughters, called the Perseids.[2]

At some point, Perseus buried the head of Medusa, and it was later discovered in a mound of earth near Argos' agora.[1]

Simulation

Perseus was one of the four champions Hades tasked the Spartan misthios Kassandra to replace Cerberos as a guardian of Hades at the Gate of the Slayer.[4]

Equipment and skills

Perseus had several types of technology Isu like the sandals of Hermes Trismegistus, which he runs at superhuman speeds and the helmet of Hades, which made him invisible to the eyes of the enemy. He also demonstrated in the simulation of Hades a great resistance to physical attacks, resisting even the most severe attacks of Kassandra. He could also invoke bursts of energy from above the air while levitating.  

Legacy and influence

Classical antiquity

The stories of Perseus' adventures lived long past his own time, as did relics claimed to have belonged to Perseus. In the 5th century BCE there was a crown which was alleged to have been his, as well as a sword. Both of these were eventually found by the misthios Kassandra during the Peloponnesian War.[1]

In the Temple of Dionysos Kolonatas, in Sparta, Lakonia, a number of the relics linked to Perseus were housed. These included the sickle of Hermes, the Gorgon shield, a fishnet, wooden debris from the crate Perseus and Danae were shut in, and the discus. Kassandra was also tasked by Damia to tell the tale to her children Danae and Kristos.[2]

During the 1st century BCE, a sword modeled after the harpe which belonged to Perseus was obtained by the Medjay Bayek of Siwa.[5]

Modern times

In 2012, Clay Kaczmarek included Perseus in a set of puzzles he'd hidden within the Animus for his follower to find. In Clay's puzzles it was suggested that the 'shining sickle' Perseus wielded was actually a Sword of Eden.[3]

Trivia

Gallery

Appearances

References

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