P. 307 upper (with art)

Olympia, Archaeological Museum B975: bronze shield-band relief with Perseus and Medousa

iconiclimc image (bottom relief)

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art 45.11.1 (cited as “NY 45.11.1”): Attic red-figure pelike with Perseus and Medousa

iconiclimc image

Classical Art Research Centre

Theoi Greek Mythology

Metropolitan Museum

Beazley Archive Pottery Database (no image)

Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 62.1.1: Attic red-figure hydria with Perseus and Medousa

Beazley Archive Pottery Database (no image)

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Description from H.A. Shapiro, Art, Myth, and Culture: Greek Vases from Southern Collections (1981)

Bruce Guthrie photo

Polyidos, 837 PMG (Poetae Melici Graeci, ed. D.L. Page [1962], p. )

Ovid, Met (Metamorphoses) 4.627-62:

Time came, when day
declining, he began to fear the night,
by which he stopped his flight far in the west—
the realm of Atlas—where he sought repose
till Lucifer might call Aurora’s fires;
Aurora chariot of the Day.

There dwelt
huge Atlas, vaster than the race of man:
son of Iapetus, his lordly sway
extended over those extreme domains,
and over oceans that command their waves
to take the panting coursers of the Sun,
and bathe the wearied Chariot of the Day.

For him a thousand flocks, a thousand herds
overwandered pasture fields; and neighbour tribes
might none disturb that land. Aglint with gold
bright leaves adorn the trees,—boughs golden-wrought
bear apples of pure gold. And Perseus spoke
to Atlas, “O my friend, if thou art moved
to hear the story of a noble race,
the author of my life is Jupiter;
if valiant deeds perhaps are thy delight
mine may deserve thy praise.—Behold of thee
kind treatment I implore—a place of rest.”

But Atlas, mindful of an oracle
since by Themis, the Parnassian, told,
recalled these words, “O Atlas! mark the day
a son of Jupiter shall come to spoil;
for when thy trees been stripped of golden fruit,
the glory shall be his.”

Fearful of this,
Atlas had built solid walls around
his orchard, and secured a dragon, huge,
that kept perpetual guard, and thence expelled
all strangers from his land. Wherefore he said,
“Begone! The glory of your deeds is all
pretense; even Jupiter, will fail your need.”

With that he added force and strove to drive
the hesitating Alien from his doors;
who pled reprieve or threatened with bold words.
Although he dared not rival Atlas’ might,
Perseus made this reply; “For that my love
you hold in light esteem, let this be yours.”
He said no more, but turning his own face,
he showed upon his left Medusa’s head,
abhorrent features.—Atlas, huge and vast,
becomes a mountain—His great beard and hair
are forests, and his shoulders and his hands
mountainous ridges, and his head the top
of a high peak;—his bones are changed to rocks.

Augmented on all sides, enormous height
attains his growth; for so ordained it, ye,
O mighty Gods! who now the heavens’ expanse
unnumbered stars, on him command to rest (original Latin).

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