Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/257

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231
A Solution of the Gorgon Myth.

In the plates illustrating that very important work, the De Gorgone of Six, are abundant examples to support my conclusions, but of these I extract two or three only, while at the same time referring all who are interested to that remarkable collection and catalogue.

Fig. 19 is from Six (Tab. I.). This head he describes as having sixteen snakes, but here I venture to differ from him, and to maintain that these appendages surrounding the head are not intended for serpents of any kind, and, moreover, that they represent the same idea as the scroll. Under the chin of this Medusa we observe the same straight beard-like strokes which have been previously referred to. In very

Fig. 19.

Fig. 20.

many other heads we note the same thing, and I repeat confidently that their meaning as beards is to denote the Gorgon to be male as well as female. Besides the beard shown in a vast number of examples, like that of Fig. 12, from the Uffizi, we find in Six, on the same page as Figs. 13 and 19 (here shown), a very marked type of wide-mouthed, though beardless, Gorgon's head, winged, and mounted upon a human body and legs (Fig. 20). This form also is not uncommon. A somewhat similar figure upon human body and legs is shown in Dennis, Etruria, vol. ii., p. 318, upon a vase from Chiusi (Fig. 21.) Moreover, this figure of doubtful gender is conspicuously horned