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In Homer's account he is son of Glaucus and grandson of Sisyphus, and a native of Ephyre (generally identified with Corinth). Proetus, king of Tiryns, had a wife Anteia (Stheneboea in later versions) who fell in love with Bellerophon and tried to seduce him. When he rejected her advances, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her. So Proetus sent him to Iobatēs, king of Lycia and Anteia's father, with a sealed letter containing instructions to kill the bearer. Iobates set Bellerophon tasks likely to bring about his death, sending him to kill the Chimaera (a composite monster), and to fight the Solymi and the Amazons. When Bellerophon returned triumphant from all these tasks, and survived an ambush laid for him by Iobates, the king married him to his daughter and gave him half his kingdom. In versions after Homer, Bellerophon accomplished his tasks with the help of the winged horse Pegasus, which Athena helped him to catch. Acc. to Euripides, he also used Pegasus to take vengeance on Stheneboea, and offended the gods by trying to fly on him to Olympus. In Homer, although there is no direct mention of Pegasus, Bellerophon became ‘hated by all the gods’, which presumably was caused by the attempt to reach Olympus. Bellerophon on Pegasus attacking the Chimaera is found in art from before the mid‐7th cent. bc.

Subjects: Religion — Classical Studies.

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