The priests of Athena were women who devoted their lives to knowledge, science and craft. We think of Medusa as the victim of a fickle goddess’ cruel curse, but we cannot presume to know the wisdom of the bright-eyed deity.
Medusa humbly accepted the change, knowing that to respond with anger would be to disrespect the intelligence that she served. Even as she was forced to withdraw from the world, she trusted. Even when Perseus came, armed by Athena herself to hunt her, she trusted. Where the terrified boy thrown before her sought glory in his mirrored shield, she closed her eyes. She knew the goddess knew what she could not.
She slew the monster of Poseidon, the god who had attacked her in the temple. Feared by men, she held faith, and stood watch against wickedness.For responding to a curse with curiosity, she is held forever above wise Athena’s heart.
Medusa is part of the Mythology exhibition at Brading Roman Villa from October 2015 to January 2016.