Pegasus Greek Mythology Lesson for Kids: Facts & Story

Instructor: Lindsey Spencer

Lindsey has taught regular and special educations students in grades 1-8 since 2009 and has a master's degree in special education.

Would you like to be able to get on a horse and fly everywhere? Pegasus is a famous flying horse from Greek mythology. Keep reading more to learn about this flying horse.

Flying Horses?

When most people think of Pegasus, the flying horse from Greek mythology, they think that he belonged to Hercules, a famous Greek hero. They picture in their mind Hercules riding Pegasus into battle against some monster. Is that the image you have when you think of Pegasus?

However, Pegasus never actually fought any battles with Hercules, despite what some movies might have us think. There are no Greek myths, or stories that are used to explain nature or history, that are about Pegasus belonging to or helping Hercules.

Pegasus
Pegasus

The Birth of Pegasus

Like most Greek gods and mythical beasts, Pegasus was born in an unusual way.

One story about Pegasus' birth says that Medusa, who was human, and Poseidon, who was the god of the oceans, fell in love. Another god, Athena, was jealous that Poseidon loved Medusa, so she cursed Medusa. The curse made it so that anyone who looked at Medusa would turn into a stone statue. Perseus, another Greek hero, killed Medusa and Pegasus was born from her neck.

Another story is similar, but has a different ending. In this story, after Perseus kills Medusa, her blood mixes with sea foam and Pegasus is born out of that.

Pegasus and Bellerophon

Pegasus and Bellerophon
pegasus and bellerophon

The most famous story about Pegasus is when he was used by Bellerophon. Bellerophon was another Greek hero. He was given the task of killing the chimera, a fire-breathing monster. Bellerophon knew that it would be much easier to kill the monster from the air. He had heard about Pegasus the flying horse, and knew he could kill the monster if he could get Pegasus. The goddess Athena gave Bellerophon a gold bridle. Bellerophon caught Pegasus and was able to ride him to kill the chimera.

After he killed the chimera, Bellerophon decided he would go to Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. Zeus was angry with this and sent a fly to stop them. The fly bit Pegasus, who bucked, and Bellerophon fell off Pegasus.

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