Once it was predicted to the king of Argos Akrisia that his daughter Danai would have a son, from whose hand he was destined to perish. To avoid the fulfillment of the prediction, then King Akrisii locked his daughter in a copper-stone dungeon, but Zeus fell in love with Dana, penetrated there in the image of golden rain, and after that Danae was born the son of Perseus. Hearing the cry of the child, the king ordered to withdraw from there Danae and her baby, to imprison them both in a barrel and throw the sea. Long wore Danae with the child raging waves, but she was guarded by Zeus. Finally she was thrown to the shore of the island of Serif. At this time, a fisherman, named Diktis, was fishing on the seashore. He noticed the barrel and pulled it to the shore.
Having freed Dana and her little son from the barrel, he brought them to his brother, the king of the island Polydecto. He accepted them cordially, left to live in his royal house and began to educate Perseus. Perseus grew
up and became a handsome youth. When Polydect decided to marry Danae, then Perseus in every possible way prevented this marriage. For this dislike his king, the Polydect decided to get rid of him. He instructed Perseus to make a dangerous feat – to go to a distant country and cut off the head of the terrible Medusa, one of the three terrible monsters, called Gorgons. There were three of them, and one of them called Spheno, the other Evrala, and the third Medusa, and only this one of the three was mortal. These winged snake-headed virgins lived in the extreme West, in the region of Night and Death. They had such a terrible look and such an eerie look that anyone who saw them turned from stone to stone. Tsar Polidekt hoped that if the young Perseus would meet Medusa in that far country, he would never come back. The brave Perseus set off on a quest to find these monsters and, after long wanderings, finally came to the region of Night and Death, where the father of the terrible gorgon reigned, named Forkis. Perseus met on the way to the gorgons of three old women, who were called gracies. They were born with gray hair,
all three had a single eye and a single tooth, which they shared in turn.
These grays guarded the sisters gorgon. And on the way to them lived kind nymphs. Nurse Perseus came to the nymphs, and they gave him winged sandals that could easily support him in the air. They gave him, in addition, a bag and helmet Hades, made of dog skins, making a man invisible. Handed him a clever Hermes his sword, and Athena – a metal, smooth, like a mirror, a shield. Armed with them, Perseus took off on his winged sandals, flew across the ocean and appeared to the sisters of the gorgons. When he approached them, the terrible sisters at that time were asleep; and cut Perseus with his pointed sword at the head of Medusa and threw it into the bag given to him by the nymphs. Perseus did all this without looking at Medusa-he knew that her gaze could turn him into stone, and held a mirror-smooth shield in front of him. But only Perseus managed to cut off Medusa’s head, as the winged horse Pegasus emerged from her torso and the giant Chrysaor grew up. Sisters of Medusa woke up at this time.
But Perseus put on his invisibility helmet and flew in sandals on his way back, and could not be overtaken by his terrible sisters gorgon. The wind lifted him high into the air, and as he flew over the sandy Libyan desert, drops of the Medusa’s blood fell to the ground and poisonous snakes, which are so much in Libya, grew from her blood. The mighty winds rose and began to wear Perseus in the air in different directions; but by the evening he managed to reach the extreme West, and young Perseus fell into the realm of the giant Atlanta. Fearing to fly at night, Perseus sank to the ground. And the Atlantean giant was the wealthy king of that country, and he owned many herds and huge gardens; in one of them grew a tree with golden branches, and the leaves and fruits were also all golden.
It was Atlanta’s prediction that one day the son of Zeus would appear and tear off the golden fruit from the tree. Then he surrounded the Atlantean garden with a high wall and instructed the young hesperides and the terrible dragon to guard the golden apples and keep no one to them.
Perseus appeared to Atlanta and, calling himself Zevsov’s son, began to ask that he accept it at home. But Atlant remembered the ancient prediction and refused to shelter Perseus and wanted to drive him away. Then Perseus took out the head of Medusa from the sack and showed it to Atlanta. The giant could not resist the terrible force of Medusa and froze with horror. His head was the top of the mountain, and his shoulders and hands were spurs, his beard and hair turned into dense forests. The peaked mountain rose, grew to enormous proportions. She reached the sky itself, and she lay down with all her stars on the shoulders of Atlanta, and from that time on she has kept this heavy burden.