Chimera

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Chimera

A vicious ancient Greek monster, the chimera was a lion in the front, a goat in the middle and a snake at the end. It breathed fire from all six nostrils.

The chimera was killed by the young hero Bellerophon, who used the flying horse Pegasus to out maneuver the chimera.


Characteristics

A monstrous fire-breathing creature that tormented the ancient kingdom of Lycia, in modern-day Turkey, the chimera was a sibling of the Hydra and of Cerberus.

The chimera’s body was a blend of a lion, a goat, a dragon, and her tail ended in a snake’s head. She lived in a cave, from where noxious fumes could be seen rising day and night.

Despite the lion’s mane adorning her head, the chimera was female.


History

The young hero Bellerophon was tasked with killing the chimera as a death sentence. The goddess Athena took pity on him, believing him innocent of his crime, and sent him a magic bridle.

Bellerophon took the magic bridle and tamed the magic flying horse Pegasus. Bellerophon flew on Pegasus’s back around the chimera, managing to avoid all her attacks.

Finally, Bellerophon, after injuring the Chimera many times, managed to spear the chimera’s throat with his lead spear. When the chimera breathed fire, the lead melted, suffocating her.


References

Curlee, Lynn. Mythological creatures: a classical bestiary : tales of strange beings, fabulous creatures, fearsome beasts, & hideous monsters from ancient Greek mythology. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. Print.

Nardo, Don. The monsters and creatures of Greek mythology. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2012. Print.

"Chimera (mythology)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 6 June 2014. Web. 11 June 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology)