Cameo Silver Pendant depicting Medusa
- • Handmade 100% Made in Italy • Material: Sterling Silver 925
This sterling silver pendant was made by our craftsmen and depicts the head of Medusa. This particular representation of Medusa derives from the bronze head that adorned the second of the ships of the Emperor Caligula, found in Lake Nemi; the two hulls, dating back to 37-41 AD, were large vessels in which the Roman emperor held great feasts, according to a widespread use in the imperial era. In Greek mythology, Medusa ( "guardian, protectress") also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. The 2nd-century BC novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion. She remained a priestess to Athena after her death and was risen with fresh hair. Medusa was raped by Poseidon then beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.