Bellerophon | Greek Hero

Bellerophon Greek Mythology

Bellerophon (in classical Greek: βελλεροφῶν or βελλεροφόντης), in Greek mythology, was a hero, venerated in Lydia and Corinth, son of Posidon, adopted by Glaucus, son of Sisyphus, of the ruling house of Corinth, owner of the winged horse Pegasus, which he found near the fountain of Pyrene, which is said to have been born from his kick and from which it was said that whoever drank from it would become a poet, as it is referred to in Camões' Lusíadas.

The Iliad refers to the hospitality he would have had with Enneus, king of Chalidon. His mother, daughter of Niso, king of Megara, is sometimes called Eurimedeia or Burinome.

He was the brother of Bellerophon (also called Alcymenes, Piren or Delíades), tyrant of his hometown, whom he killed involuntarily - his name, Bellerophon, can be interpreted, in fact, as "he who killed Bellerophon".

Considered impure because of this death, he had to leave the city and seek refuge in the court of King Black, who took him in and "purified" him. The king's wife, Estenebeia, or Antheia, as Homer calls her, tried to seduce him, but, being repulsed, she complained to Preto who, aggravated by the supposed affront, sent him to the court of Iobates, king of Lycia, his father-in-law, with the request that he kill him.

Lobates, however, read his son-in-law's request only after he had received him as a guest and shared a meal with him - so, according to the sacred law of hospitality, he could not kill him.

Moved, however, by the desire for Black, Iobates entrusts him with a task that it would be very difficult for Bellerophon to get out of alive: to kill the monster Chimera, which was devastating the region by attacking herds. Bellerophon, however, with his horse, flew over the monster and killed Chimera, easily, with a single blow.

Iobates then charged him with several risky ventures, trying in vain to get him killed: he sends him to fight against the warlike people of the Solimus, whom he defeats; then, against the Amazons, whom he also slaughters in great numbers.

Desperate, Iobates organizes an ambush with some of the bravest of the Lydians, who perish, however, before the bravery of Bellerophon.

Black is then convinced that Bellerophon can only have a divine origin and, justifying himself with the letter from his son-in-law, gives him the hand of his daughter, Philonoe, or Anticleia, from whom he would have sons, Isendro and Hippolycus, as well as Laodamia, Sarpedon's mother.

Proud of his accomplishments, he decided to fly to Olympus riding Pegasus, but Zeus, offended, sent a wasp to sting Pegasus and he fell to the ground, which by Athena's command became soft, so Bellerophon did not die from the fall, but rather as a crippled beggar looking for Pegasus.