Gorgon (classical Greek: Γοργών/Γοργώ; romaniz.: Gorgón/Gorgó, plural: Γοργόνες) is a creature from Greek mythology, represented as a ferocious, female-looking monster with large fangs.
She had the power to turn anyone who looked at her into stone, which often caused images of her to be used as a form of amulet. The Gorgon also wore a belt of entwined serpents.
In late Greek mythology, there were said to be three Gorgons: the three daughters of Phocis and Keto. Their names were Medusa (Μέδουσα, "the impetuous one"), Estheno (Σθενννώ, "the one who oppresses") and Euríale (Εὐρυάλη, "the one who is off-shore").
Like their mother, the Gorgons were extremely beautiful and their hair was enviable; however, they were unruly and unscrupulous. This caused the irritation of the other gods, especially Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who was amazed to see that the beauty of the Gorgons made them exactly like her.
Athena then, in order not to allow goddesses like her to show an evil behavior, so different from her own, deformed their appearance, determined to differentiate herself.
Athena transformed the sisters' beautiful curls into nests of lethal and violent serpents that bit their faces. She turned their beautiful teeth into boars' tusks, and turned their soft feet and hands into cold, heavy bronze.
Covering their skins with golden scales, and to finish, Athena condemned them to turn into stone everything that could gaze into her eyes. Thus, the beautiful eyes of the Gorgons turned into something dangerous.
Ashamed and desperate for their misfortune, the Gorgons fled to the West, and hid in Cimmeria, known as "the land of eternal night.
Even though she was monstrous, Medusa was harassed by Poseidon, who hated Athena. To get revenge, Medusa gave in and Poseidon married her. After this, Poseidon let Athena know that he had had the one who was his equal. Athena was so outraged that she took Medusa's immortality, making her the only mortal among the Gorgons.
In other versions, Athena cursed the Gorgons precisely because when Medusa, still beautiful, and she and Posidon were united in a temple of Athena, the goddess was outraged and cursed them.
Later, Perseus, son of Zeus and the princess Dânae, enlisted the help of Athena to find Medusa and cut off her head, with which he performed wonders. For even after she was dead, her head was still alive, and anyone who looked into her eyes turned to stone. Medusa gave birth to two sons of Poseidon, Pegasus and Crisaor.