The Winged Horse or The Flying Horse

Pegasus Constellation

The Brighter Stars of Pegasus

The Story

The Birth of the Horse

The Flying Horse was born when the hero Perseus slew the Gorgon Medusa and cut off her head. Some say that the Horse was born when the blood of Medusa's severed head fell into the foam of the sea. Others say that when Perseus cut off Medusa's head, that the Horse emerged from her body along with a warrior named Chrysaor who was born carrying a golden sword.

The Magical Horse

The Flying Horse Pegasus was a frolicsome and magic beast. After its birth Pegasus flew off to Mount Helicon in Boeotia, where the nine Muses lived. Upon striking the ground one of its hooves opened up a spring of gushing water. The spring became known as the Hippocrene, which in Greek means The Horse's Fountain. It was said of the Hippocrene that drinking its water conferred on one the gift of poetry. Ever since the figure of the Flying Horse has become a symbol of the poetry and the creative arts. The Winged Horse


It was the hero Bellerophon, son of Glaucus, King of Ephyra who claimed the Flying Horse as his steed. Bellerophon rode the horse in his battle against the Chimaera, a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a snake.

You Can't Ride to Heaven - Even on a Flying Horse!

Bellerophon had many adventures riding the Flying Horse, but presumption brought him to an end. He proposed to ride up through the sky to join the gods on the top of Mount Olympus. Zeus was not amused. Some say that he sent a stinging fly to cause Pegasus to rear and throw Bellerophon off. Others say that Zeus unseated Bellerophon with a thunderbolt. But whatever the cause, Bellerophon got pitched off the back of the Horse and fell to earth.

Zeus Claims the Horse

It is said that the Horse continued on towards Olympus. For a while Zeus used the Horse to carry his thunderbolts. Then he placed the animal among the stars.  

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Feedback to: editor AT