Medusa was the youngest and most beautiful daughter of the pre-titan gods, Phorcys and Ceto. Sthenno and Euryale were her immortal sisters. She was a great beauty who had long flowing hair that fell gently from her head. Medusa was the only mortal of the three sisters. They were all very wise and served under the Goddess Athena, who was the goddess of wisdom and war. The great god Poseidon had powerful yearnings for Medusa and disguised as a horse, he seduced her in an Athenian temple. After this happened, the three sisters hated all men.
Athena soon grew disgusted with the sisters and the act that was committed in her temple. She transformed the three sisters into hideous beasts, with wings and multiple snakes for hair. The beasts became known as the Gorgons, and were so horrible to look at that anyone gazing into thier eyes, were turned to stone. As time went on the sisters became more wicked and tortured thier victims. Thier cruelty was finally brought to an end by the son of Zeus, Perseus, who killed Medusa with help from the gods. Athena gave him a silver shield, winged sandals came from Hermes, and a helmet from Hades which deemed the wearer invisible. Wearing the helmet he approached Medusa as she slept. He killed her by looking at her through a reflection on the shield, never looking upon her with his own eyes. Then he chopped off her head and put it in a bag for the goddess Athena. The instant Medusa was slain, her evil sisters awoke in a rage and attempted to capture and kill Perseus.
With the help of the sandals and the helmet he was able to escape the blood thirsty sisters. From the blood of Medusas dead body, Pegasus, the elegant winged horse and Chrysaor, the warrior were born. Perseus presented Medusas head to Athena, who placed it in the center of her shield, the Aegis, which she then wore over her breastplate.