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Achilles - Was the greatest of the Greek warriors in the Trojan War. He was the son of the sea nymph Thetis and Peleus, king of the Myrmidons of Thessaly. When the Fates prophesied that Achilles would die in the Trojan War, Thetis attempted to make her infant son immortal. In one version of the story, Thetis rubbed Achilles with ambrosia and placed him in the hearth fire to make him immortal. According to a later legend, she bathed him in the River Styx. The waters made him invulnerable except for the heel by which his mother held him. The term Achilles heel has become popularized to refer to someone’s or something’s key weakness.
Perseus - Slayer of the Gorgon Medusa; he was the son of Zeus, father of the gods, and of Danaë, daughter of Acrisius, king of Árgos. Warned that he would be killed by his grandson, Acrisius locked mother and child in a chest and cast them into the sea. They drifted to the island of Seriphus, where they were rescued and where Perseus grew to manhood. Polydectes, king of Seriphus, fell in love with Danaë, and, fearing that Perseus might interfere with his plans, sent him to procure the head of Medusa, a monster whose glance turned men to stone.
Aided by Hermes, messenger of the gods, Perseus made his way to the Gray Women, three old hags who shared one eye between them. Perseus took their eye and refused to return it until they gave him directions for reaching the nymphs of the north. From the nymphs he received winged sandals, a magic wallet that would fit whatever was put into it, and a cap to make him invisible. Equipped with a sword from Hermes that could never be bent or broken and a shield from the goddess Athena, which would protect him from being turned to stone, Perseus found Medusa and killed her. Invisible in his cap, he was able to escape the wrath of her sisters and with her head in the wallet flew on his winged sandals toward home.
As he was passing Ethiopia, he rescued the princess Andromeda as she was about to be sacrificed to a sea monster and took her with him as his wife. At Seriphus he freed his mother from Polydectes by using Medusa's head to turn the king and his followers to stone. All then returned to Greece, where Perseus accidentally killed his grandfather Acrisius with a discus, thus fulfilling the prophecy. According to one legend, Perseus went to Asia, where his son Perses ruled over the Persians, from whom they were said to have gotten their name.
Minotaur - monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man.
Centaurs - creature which is half human, half horse.
Cerberus - A three-headed, dragon-tailed dog that guarded the entrance to the lower world, or Hades.
Gorgons - One of three monstrous daughters of the sea god Phorcys and his wife, Ceto. The Gorgons were terrifying, dragonlike creatures, covered with golden scales and having snakes for hair. They had huge wings and round, ugly faces; their tongues were always hanging out, and they had large, tusklike teeth. They lived on the farthest side of the western ocean, shunned because their glance turned persons to stone.
Two of the Gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, were immortal; Medusa alone could be killed. The hero Perseus, a gallant but foolish young man, volunteered to kill Medusa and bring back her head. With the help of the deities Hermes and Athena, Perseus cut off Medusa's head. From her blood sprang the winged horse Pegasus, her son by the god Poseidon.