Pegasus | Mythic Horse

Pegasus Greek Mythology

Pegasus (Greek: Πήγασος Pḗgasos, Latin: Pegasus) - in Greek mythology, a winged horse born from the blood of Medusa, which gushed out when Perseus cut off her head.

Pegasus resided near the Pirene spring on the Acrocorinth. He was found there by Bellerophont, who, using a golden rod received from Athena, managed to tame the steed. With his help, the heros defeated Chimera, planning then to ascend on his back to the top of Olympus.

On the way to the summit, however, Bellerophont was thrown off the back of the winged steed by Zeus. Only Pegasus reached the summit. From then on he served Zeus, who, after his death, transferred him to the sky to form the constellation Pegasus.

The impact of this horse's hoof was said to open the Hippokrene spring on Mount Helicon, one of the seats of the Muses. It is a symbol of poetic and artistic inspiration. Today, the image of Pegasus is used as a logo for many companies.


The poet Hesiod links the name Pegasus to words such as "spring" and "well," pēgē. However, the roots of the name may approach from words from the Luwian language: pihassas, meaning "lightning," "lightning," or Pihassasas - the name of one of the ancient weather gods. Literally means "god of lightning," "god of lightning."

Hesiod depicted one story in which Pegasus was peacefully drinking water from a well when a mythical hero named Bellerophont caught the steed. Wherever the winged horse placed its hoof on the ground, "an inspiring spring bubbled up immediately."

One of these springs, the Hippokrene ("horse spring") was created at the foot of Mount Helios, on Poseidon's orders to prevent it from swelling, and another at Troezen. Hesiod also mentioned that Pegasus carried lightning for Zeus.


Birth of

There are several versions of how the winged stallion Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor were born. One of them tells that Pegasus was created from the blood of Medusa, whose head Perseus cut off. Analogous to the myth in which Athena was born from the head of Zeus.

Another version also reports Perseus' decapitation of Medusa, but this time the legend reports that the winged brothers were born from the earth, fed by the blood of the Gorgon.

One variation of the story maintains that they were formed from the mixed blood of Medusa and a bit of sea foam, implying a role for Poseidon as having a very large part in their creation.


Pegasus supported a hero named Bellerophont in his two battles against the Chimeras and the Amazons. There are various stories in which it was Bellerophont who found Pegasus. The most popular one says that Polyeidos told the hero to spend the night at the temple of Athena.

At night the goddess visited him and offered him a golden bridle. In the morning when he continued to hold the bridle, he encountered Pegasus drinking water from the Pierian spring. When the horse saw the bridle, he approached Bellerophont and let him mount. Bellerophont defeated Chimera on the back of Pegasus.

Later, he tried to reach the top of Mount Olympus on Pegasus, in order to see the gods. However, Zeus, displeased with the actions of the mythological daredevil made Bellerophont fall off Pegasus' back and never reached the top of the mountain.


Pegasus left Bellerophont and continued his journey to the top of Mount Olympus, where Zeus kept him in his heavenly stable as the most important of horses. Pegasus would bring thunder and lightning to Zeus, so that he would always have them on hand whenever he needed them.

Pegasus was so obedient to Zeus that he was always on time when called, and it never happened to drop or lose his master's weapons. He served Zeus faithfully until the end of his days.


Pegasus, unlike the gods, was mortal. Because of his faithful service alongside Zeus, he was honored with his own star constellation. On the last day of his life, when Zeus transformed him into the aforementioned constellation, his one small feather fell to the ground, near the city of Tars.


In current terminology, the word "pegasus," is the term used to describe any winged horse. Right next to the not-so-popular term that is "pterippus" (which de facto means a winged horse).


In psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud interpreted the Pegasus being as an expression of primal scenes.

World War II

During World War II, the image of a Bellerophont warrior, riding a winged Pegasus, was adopted by the newly formed parachute troops of Great Britain. The insignia was displayed on uniforms in the shoulder area. The image clearly symbolized a warrior coming from the heavens, straight to the battlefield.

The insignia was designed by the famous English writer Daphne du Maurier, who was married to the commander of the 1st Airborne Division, General Frederick "Boy" Browning. The maroon background of the insignia was later used by the Air Force, which adopted the color as the color of its berets in the summer of 1942.

During the Allied landings in Normandy, on the night of June 5-6, 1944, a "sister" unit, the British 6th Airborne Division, captured all of its key facilities and carried out all of its most essential tasks and missions, including the capture and maintenance of a strategic point - the bridge over the Caen Canal, near Ouistreham. In memory of the brave soldiers, the bridge was named "Pegasus Bridge."

Commercial use

Pegasus was the symbol of the Mobil company, which was engaged in the exploration, extraction, refining and exploitation of oil fields. The company had been using the Pegasus symbol since 1930. The winged horse was used as a symbol of the city of Dallas, Texas, where it towered over the entire city on the Magnolia Building.

The well-known Taiwanese company Asus took its name precisely from the name of this mythological creature, removing the first three letters from the word "pegasus." All so that the company's name could appear at the very beginning of the directory listing.

Pegasus was the inspiration for the name and logo of Pegasystems Corporation, founded in 1983. Turkey's Pegasus Airlines uses the Pegasus symbol in its logo and in the name of its airline. Pegasus also appears in the logo of TriStar Pictures. Pegasus Mail is the name of a not-so-popular e-mail client.

In Poland, it is most often associated with the Pegasus television program dedicated to culture, and aired on TVP from 1952-2004 and 2009.

Daily Culture


The Pegasus symbol has appeared in several movie productions, including animated films such as Fantasia, Hercules and Barbie and the Magic of the Pegasus. Going further, it also appeared in Twilight of the Titans and in the movie Johnny English.

In Disney's Fantasia, pegasi are depicted along with other mystical creatures such as centaurs and unicorns. In the animated film Hercules, Pegasus is a winged horse that is the best friend of the film's title character. In Twilight of the Titans, Pegasus is captured by Perseus before he kills Medusa.

This version changes how Pegasus was born - although closer details are not given. In the film Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus, Pegasus is a winged horse who helps Princess Annice, and in the Johnny English picture, starring Rowan Atkinson, Pegasus, played by Tim Pigott-Smith, is the head of Section 7 of British Military Intelligence, of which Johnny English is a member.


On television, Pegasus was portrayed in the series Stargate: Atlantis, as a galaxy, in both versions of Battlestar Galactica as Battlestar Pegasus, which survived the fall of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. He was also a starship, the USS Pegasus, in one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In the Japanese anime Digimon Adventure 02, Patamon, can digievolve into a Pegasmon, using the Digi-Egg of Hope. In the Sailor Moon SuperS series, Pegasus has a very important role, as the spirit of Helios and protector of the Golden Crystal. He lives inside the Golden Mirror.

Works of writing

Authors including Julia Golding wrote about Pegasus in her works such as Secrets of the Sirens, The Gorgon's Sight, The Minotaur's Labyrinth and The Curse of the Chimera.

Much has also been written by Anne McCaffrey, who wrote a series of books, Riding Pegasus, Pegasus in Flight and Pegasus in Space. In Narnia, Pegasus became the carriage horse Strawberry. The Poznań incident is the subject of a poem by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna entitled Jest w Poznaniu (1956).

Video games

In the video game God of War II, Gaia, the mother of all titans begs protagonist Kratos to find the Sisters of Destiny in order to change his past. She gives Kratos a Pegasus to help him travel fast and far.

Pegasus is also a prisoner of Poseidon in the game released for the Nintendo DS console Heracles: Battle With The Gods. Pegasus, when freed from Poseidon, returns to Heracles again.

In many of the games in the Fire Emblem series, Pegasus are heavy-armed horsemen, also known as pegasus knights, or "hawks" in their enhanced form. In the computer game Age of Mythology, the Pegasus appears as a flying reconnaissance unit.

In Heroes of Might and Magic III, pegasi are one of the units appearing in the city of Bastion (English: Rampart).