Greek guttus with Medusa head


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ITEMGuttus with Medusa head
CULTUREGreek, Magna Graecia
PERIOD4th – 3rd Century B.C
DIMENSIONS100 mm x 100 mm
CONDITIONGood condition, neck repaired
PROVENANCEEx Dutch private collection, acquired between 1970 – 1990

Medusa, in Greek mythology, the most famous of the monster figures known as Gorgons. She was usually represented as a winged female creature having a head of hair consisting of snakes; unlike the Gorgons, she was sometimes represented as very beautiful. Medusa was the only Gorgon who was mortal; hence her slayer, Perseus, was able to kill her by cutting off her head. From the blood that spurted from her neck sprang Chrysaor and Pegasus, her two sons by Poseidon. The severed head, which had the power of turning into stone all who looked upon it, was given to Athena, who placed it in her shield; according to another account, Perseus buried it in the marketplace of Argos.