Bellerophon: The Hero Who Rode Pegasus And A Slayer of Monsters


He was the son of Glaucus, King of Corinth, and the grandson of Sisyphus, the “cheater of death.”  After murdering his brother, Deliades, Bellerophon was exiled, then granted reprieve for his crime by King Proetus of Tiryns.

Proetus’ wife, Stheneboea, developed a yearning for Bellerophon but he threw off her advances.  She retaliated by telling the King that he had attempted to ravish her. 

Exiled a second time, he was sent to King Iobates of Lycia, the father of Stheneboea. Iobates feasted with Bellerophon for nine days, before receiving word of the impure actions by his guest.

As punishment, Bellerophon was given the improbable task of killing Chimera of Caria…Chimera, the gruesome monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.

Lycian seer Polyeidos had Bellerophon sleep in Athena’s temple to obtain the flying Pegasus to help him on his quest.  He awoke from a dream of his new winged horse and went to the well where he would find him, mount him, and fly to Chimera’s dwelling.  He attacked Chimera, heaving a hunk of lead to his throat, suffocating the beast. 

…her breath came out in terrible blasts of burning flame.” – Homer, Iliad

Now a hero, Bellerophon was sent on to kill many others, to enjoy the pleasures of women.  But the modest hunter refused.  Impressed with Bellerophon’s restraint, Iobates sent his daughter, Philonoe, to marry Bellerophon.  There, they would share a Kingdom, presiding over a splendor of wheat fields and vineyards.

CityRoomStories / Mythology