Riding the wave


The greek hero , according to one version of the myth, was the son of Zeus and Danae. She had been imprisoned by her father in a bronze room, hidden underground and impenetrable, to prevent her from conceiving an heir. According to prophecy, in fact, Danae' offspring would kill his grandfather.

But Zeus turned into gold dust and, penetrating through a crack in the ceiling, seduced her anyway. For the Greeks this myth represented the power of wealth to open any door.

Haunted by his destiny, Perseus could have saved himself and Danae if he had killed a Gorgon. These were three monstrous creatures, covered with scales like dragons; they had boar tusks, bronze hands and golden wings, and had the faculty of turning into stone anyone who looked into their eyes.

With the help of Athena, Perseus succeeded in beheading the Gorgon Medusa, and with that trophy in his bag, returned to his country. Along the way, he found Andromeda, tied to a rock where she would be devoured by the monster that afflicted the country, as atonement for the sin of vanity committed by her mother Cassiopeia.


Andromeda's father Cepheus promised Perseus he would consent to their marrying if he had freed the country from the monster. The hero used the magical properties of Medusa's head, defeated the monster and turned to stone those who opposed the marriage, and eventually was able to return home, where he became king of Tiryns.

The brightest star in the constellation is Mirfak, while the eye of the Medusa - which Perseus is holding with his hand - is the bright Algol, which in Arabic means "eye of the devil."