Medusa : Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

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Medusa, the Gorgon who turns those who gaze upon her to stone, is one of the most popular and enduring figures of Greek mythology. Long after many other figures from Greek myth have been forgotten, she continues to live in popular culture. In this fascinating study of the legend of Medusa, Stephen R. Wilk begins by refamiliarizing readers with the story through ancient authors and classical artwork, then looks at the interpretations that have been given of the meaning of the myth through the years. A new and original interpretation of the myth is offered, based upon astronomical phenomena. The use of the gorgoneion, the Face of the Gorgon, on shields and on roofing tiles is examined in light of parallels from around the world, and a unique interpretation of the reality behind the gorgoneion is suggested. Finally, the history of the Gorgon since Classical times is explored, culminating in the modern use of Medusa as a symbol of Female Rage and Female Creativity.

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  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195124316
  • 9780195124316
  • 977,531

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Review quote

This is not a boring work ... its oddball trajectory is refreshing ... for those whose gaze Medusa has already transfixed, this book will deepen their fascination. Times Higher Education Supplement

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About Stephen R. Wilk

Senior optical systems engineer

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