Back to Greek and Roman Mythology
was believed to be the son of mortal Eurynome
, a friend of Minerva
, and Neptune
. He was a great man, more divine than mortal, but the deed he is remembered by required no courage, no effort. The one thing he wanted badly was the winged horse Pegasus
. This mighty steed was incredible. Born where the blood of the slain Medusa
touched the ground, Pegasus
had created the spring Hippocrene
, beloved by poets, when his hoof touched the mountain Helicon
. How on Earth could Bellerophon
catch this steed? He longed hopelessly for an answer. The seer Polyidus
advised him to sleep in the temple of Minerva
and hope the goddess would help him. So Bellerophon did this. Sure enough, Minerva
told him to wake up and he found a bridle made of gold. Hoping that this was what would subdue Pegasus, he took it and found the steed drinking out of a spring. He crept near and to his amazement, found that Pegasus let him mount. It worked! He hopped onto the horse and flew around, both of them enjoying the whole thing.
Later, Bellerophon accidentally killed his brother and went to be purified by King Proetus. While at the king's estate, Proetus' wife Anteia fell in love with Bellerophon. He didn't want her so she told Proetus to kill him. He felt he couldn't murder his guest so he sent Bellerophon to the King of Lycia to deliver a message. Bellerophon flew Pegasus to his destination, where the king let him stay for nine days until he read the letter. Refusing to kill his guest for the same reason as Proetus, so he sent Bellerophon to kill Chimaera, a horrible beast made up of parts of a lion, a dragon, and a goat. But this abomination was no worry to Bellerophon. He was riding Pegasus, and he flew over the beast, firing arrows at it until it was dead. He then flew back to Proetus, who sent him to fight against the Solymi and the Amazons, and when Bellerophon succeeded, Proetus forgot the whole deal about his wife and became good friends with Bellerophon.
Bellerophon's undoing was his ego. He considered himself to be higher than other men and tried to fly Pegasus to the peak of Olympus. Pegasus knew this was downright stupid and threw his rider to Earth, where he would live the rest of his life a recluse, avoiding all other men. Pegasus was made Jupiter's prized steed and is said to be the horse who brought the mighty god his weapons.