Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/245

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219
A Solution of the Gorgon Myth.

Gorgon (Fig. 5). This is chiefly interesting as one of the earliest instances of the old Pagan legend appearing in a curiously Christian setting, and though an interesting fact, it has but a small place in our chain of evidence. Long before this, however, we find the snakes on the later Medusæ of the Etruscan tombs—where the Gorgoneion was by far the most frequent of decorations. Several such heads are to be seen on the sarcophagi of the

Fig. 5.

Volumni in their family tomb near Perugia, and in the Etruscan Museums of Perugia, Florence, Bologna, and the Vatican—I think also in the Louvre—but very rarely, I repeat, can snakes be found on the heads of the old Greek type. Several remarkable Medusæ are to be seen in the Museum of Perugia, showing diversities of a distinct kind. One terra-cotta upon a tomb is very curious, but divergent from both the types most commonly seen. The mouth wide open, is anything but of the grinning sort; the tongue is