May 15

Chimera – What is the famous monster in Greek mythology actually?

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Chimera was once thought to be invincible in Greek mythology, but in the end it still suffered a terrible end.

In mythology, the Chimera is a lion-shaped creature crossed with a goat and a snake. The bizarre shape makes Chimera the most mysterious and powerful creature in the mythical world.

Chimera’s Extraordinary Power

The Greeks believed that Chimera was one of the children born to the couple Typhon and Echidna. Typhon is the most dangerous of the monstrous giants. He mates with a half-human, half-snake creature named Echidona. This bizarre pairing resulted in extremely dangerous monsters from Greek mythology such as Lynean, Hydra, Sphinx, Nemean Lion, Cerberus and Chimera.

Chimera’s form is described as rather hideous. It has a head-to-tail body similar to that of a lioness with large breasts and distinctive ears. However, its other head resembles the head of a male goat when it has horns and antennae. The tail of the monster had a zigzag shape like a venomous snake. Like many other hybrid creatures in myth, the Chimera is wild and cruel. It regularly scours villages to kill livestock and innocent people.

Chimera is dangerous not only because of its formidable appearance. It has the strength of a lion, the cunning of a goat and the venom of a snake. Every breath from its goat’s head spews fire. Chimeras become harbingers of natural disasters, such as volcanoes.

Battle between Chimera and Bellerophon

The most famous story about Chimera is its battle with the young hero Bellerophon. Bellerophon was the son of Poseidon and a beautiful mortal maiden. As a young man, Bellerophon committed a terrible sin and was sent to King Proteus to be punished. However, the king recognized Bellerophon’s talent and pardoned him. Unfortunately, the wife of King Proteus also kept an eye on the young man. She begged Bellerophon to be her mistress, but the young man refused. Annoyed at not being satisfied with her request, the queen slandered Bellerophon for raping her.

King Proteus truly believed in the queen’s slander, but because he knew Bellerophon was of god’s blood, he did not dare to kill him. Instead, he sent Bellerophon to his father-in-law King Iobates and asked him to devise a suitable punishment. King Iobates had liked Bellerophon to defeat Chimera – a dangerous monster that was making the commoners miserable.

But Iobate does not know that Bellerophon has a secret friend, Pegasus – a winged horse and also his half-brother. The two grew up together and are very close. Bellerophon recounted the king’s request to his brother as well as asking Pegasus for help. Thanks to Pegasus, Bellerophon was able to defeat Chimera with a spear impaled in its throat.

In popular culture

Chimera has become a term used to name organisms that have a hybrid appearance between species. Before Chimera appeared in Greek mythology, the Egyptians worshiped the sun goddess Sekhmet – a lion-shaped god with a breath of fire. Many people theorize that Chimera may have been inspired by myths about Sekhmet. Today, Chimera still appears popular in fantasy literature, movies, video games, etc.


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