In Greek mythology, the Gorgon was a terrifying female creature. It derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature, the term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying gaze that turned those who beheld it to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal, Stheno and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by the mythical hero Perseus.
The Gorgon just before being beheaded by Perseus, as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu, on display at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu.
Athena Owl Snake swallowing human Athena wears the ancient form of the Gorgon head on her aegis, as the huge serpent who guards the golden fleece regurgitates Jason; cup by Douris, Classical Greece, early fifth century BC – Vatican Museum