I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies. — Thomas Jefferson

Story of Greece - Mary Macgregor




Andromeda and the Sea-Monster

As Perseus journeyed over land and sea on his great quest, he often thought of the dear mother he had left in Seriphus. Now that his task was done he longed to fly over the blue waters of the Mediterranean to see her, to know that she was safe from the cruel King Polydectes. But the gods had work for Perseus to do before he might return to his island home.

Again and again he struggled against wind and rain, trying ever to fly in the direction of Seriphus, but again and again he was beaten back.

Faint and weary he grew, tired too of striving, so that he thought he would die in the desert through which he was passing.

Then all at once it flashed across his mind that Hermes had told him that as long as he wore the winged sandals he could not lose his way. New courage stole into his heart as he remembered the words of the god, and soon he found that he was being carried with the wind toward some high mountains. Among them he caught sight of a Titan or giant named Atlas, who had once tried to dethrone Zeus, and who for his daring had been doomed to stand,

"Supporting on his shoulders the vast pillar

Of Heaven and Earth, a weight of cumbrous grasp."

The face of Atlas was pale with the mighty burden he bore, and which he longed to lay down. As he caught sight of Perseus he thought that perhaps the stranger would be able to help him, for he knew what Perseus carried in his magic bag. So as he drew near Atlas cried to him, 'Hasten, Perseus, and let me look upon the Gorgon's face, that I may no longer feel this great weight upon my shoulders.'

Then in pity Perseus drew from his magic bag the head of Medusa, and held it up before the eyes of Atlas. In a moment the giant was changed into stone, or rather into a great rugged mountain, which ever since that day has been known as the Atlas Mountain.

The winged sandals then bore Perseus on until he reached a dark and desolate land. So desolate it was that it seemed to him that the gods had forsaken it, or that it had been blighted by the sins of mortals. In this island lived Queen Cassiopeia with her daughter Andromeda.

Cassiopeia was beautiful, but instead of thanking the gods for their gift of beauty, she used to boast of it, saying that she was fairer than the nymphs of the sea.

So angry were the nymphs when they heard this, that they sent a terrible monster to the island, which laid it waste, and made it dark and desolate as Perseus had seen.

The island folk sent to one of their temples to ask what they could do to free their island from the presence of the sea-serpent.

'This monster has been sent to punish Cassiopeia for her vain boast,' was the answer. 'Bid her sacrifice her daughter Andromeda to the sea-serpent, then will the nymphs remove the curse from your homes.'

Andromeda was fair and good, and the people loved her well, so that they were greatly grieved at the oracle. Yet if they did not give up their princess their homes would be ruined, their children would perish before their eyes.

So while the queen shut herself up in her palace to weep, the people took the beautiful maiden down to the shore and chained her fast to a great rock. Then slowly, sorrowfully, they went away, leaving her a prey to the terrible monster.

As Perseus drew nearer to the sea he saw the maiden. The next moment he was gazing in horror at the sea-serpent, as with open, hungry jaws it approached its victim.

Quick as lightning, Perseus drew his sword and swooped down toward the monster, at the same moment holding before him the head of Medusa.

As the eyes of the serpent fell upon that awful sight, it slipped backward, and before Perseus could use his sword, it was changed into a rock, a great black rock. And if you go to the shore of the Levant you may see it still, surrounded by the blue waters of the Mediterranean.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Wonderland
The Great God Pan
The Six Pomegranate Seeds
The Birth of Athene
The Two Weavers
The Purple Flowers
Danae and Her Little Son
The Quest of Perseus
Andromeda and Sea-Monster
Acrisius Killed by Perseus
Achilles and Briseis
Menelaus and Paris Do Battle
Hector and Andromache
The Horses of Achilles
The Death of Hector
Polyphemus the Giant
Odysseus Escapes from Cave
Odysseus Returns to Ithaca
Argus the Hound Dies
The Bow of Odysseus
The Land of Hellas
Lycurgus and His Nephew
Lycurgus Returns to Sparta
Training of the Spartans
The Helots
Aristomenes and the Fox
The Olympian Games
The Last King of Athens
Cylon Fails to be Tyrant
Solon Frees the Slaves
Athenians Take Salamis
Pisistratus Becomes Tyrant
Harmodius and Aristogiton
The Law of Ostracism
The Bridge of Boats
Darius Rewards Histiaeus
Histiaeus Shaves His Slave
Sardis Is Destroyed
Sandal Sewn by Histiaeus
Earth and Water
Battle of Marathon
Miltiades Sails to Paros
Aristides is Ostracised
The Dream of Xerxes
Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont
Bravest Men of All Hellas
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Artemisium
Themistocles at Salamis
Themistocles Tricks Admirals
Battle of Salamis
Battle of Plataea
Delian League
Themistocles Deceives Spartans
Themistocles is Ostracised
Eloquence of Pericles
Pericles and Elpinice
The City of Athens
Great Men of Athens
Thebans Attack Plataeans
Attica Invaded by Spartans
Last Words of Pericles
Siege of Plataea
The Sentence of Death
Brasidas Loses His Shield
The Spartans Surrender
Brasidas the Spartan
Amphipolus Surrenders
Alcibiades the Favourite
Socrates the Philosopher
Alcibiades Praises Socrates
Images of Hermes Destroyed
Alcibiades Escapes to Sparta
The Siege of Syracuse
Athenian Army is Destroyed
Alcibiades Returns to Athens
Antiochus Disobeys Alcibiades
Walls of Athens Destroyed
March of the Ten Thousand
Pelopidas and Epaminondas
Seven Conspirators
Battle of Leuctra
Death of Epaminondas
The Two Brothers
Timoleon exiles Dionysius
Icetes Attacks Timoleon
Battle of Crimisus
Demosthenes' Wish
Greatest Orator of Athens
The Sacred War
Alexander and Bucephalus
Alexander and Diogenes
Battle of Granicus
The Gordian Knot
Darius Gallops from Battle
Tyre Stormed by Alexander
Battle of Gaugamela
Alexander Burns Persepolis
Alexander Slays Foster-Brother
Porus and His Elephant
Alexander Is Wounded
The Death of Alexander
Demosthenes in the Temple