One of the best known winged horses in mythology has to be Pegasus. He represents knowledge, glory, and inspiration, so no wonder his image is used across the world.
According to ancient Greek mythology, Pegasus is a pure white stallion with a large pair of wings that allow him to soar through the sky.
It is not known exactly how Pegasus was born, as there are a number of variations in ancient Greek folklore. One tale begins with Perseus, the son of Zeus and his fight with the terrifying gorgon, Medusa. When he beheaded Medusa, Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor were born from her blood. In a more detailed version, the two were born when Medusa’s blood mixed with the foam of the sea. That's why some myths say that Pegasus and Chrysaor were sired by Poseidon.
On a side note, very little is known about Chrysaor, except that he's a warrior and his name means, "he who bears a golden sword."
Pegasus, without any parents to care for him, was entrusted to the Muses. It was said that wherever his hoof struck, a spring would burst forth. Other stories say that Poseidon gave Pegasus to his son, Bellerophon, who together with Pegasus defeated Chimaera. (This creature was a kind of hybrid with the head and body of a lion, as well as the head of a goat that was attached to its back, and a tail that ended on a head of a snake). The story goes that after many successful battles, Bellerophon believed he was strong enough and rode Pegasus to be amongst the immortal gods, but the steed threw him off and he fell back to earth. It was also believed that it was Pegasus who brought Zeus his lightning and thunder. Some say Zeus transformed Pegasus into the constellation, Pegasus, and placed him in the sky.
The symbolism of Pegasus is found across many European countries throughout history. During the Middle Ages, Pegasus was associated with wisdom and heroism, similar to his qualities found in old Greek tales. Then during the Renaissance, Pegasus became a symbol of poetry and creation. Pegasus inspired many beautiful paintings, pottery and sculpture during this time.
Pegasus appears in many forms of modern popular culture. For example, he is the mascot of the film production studio TriStar Pictures and has been depicted in numerous films such as Hercules, Fantasia and Clash of the Titans. Pegasus is also frequently mentioned in the Percy Jackson Series.
Did you know? The second tallest status in USA is the Pegasus and Dragon statue in Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, Florida. It is about 110 feet tall.