The Real Chimaera
Chimaera was the daughter (Yes. Chimaera was female.) of
Typhon (Typhoneus) and Echidna: Homer's brief description in the Iliad is the
earliest surviving literary reference, describing Chimaera as : "a thing of immortal make,
not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the
breath of the terrible flame of bright fire."
Chimaera comes from a outstanding lineage.
Her father was Typhon (Typhoneus)
and her mother, Echidna
In Greek mythology, Typhon was known as the "Father of all monsters";
his wife Echidna, the "Mother of All Monsters."
Chimaera had many siblings, including:
Hydra Cerberus Lemaean and Sphinx
One can see the family resemblance.
Chimaera's family history was marked by tragedy, apparently the result of
behavior, as well as physical appearance (some family traits were off-putting).
Typhon and Echidna were so fearful that, when the gods saw them, they
changed into animals and fled in terror. Zeus soon regained his courage and
turned, and when the other gods saw him taking his stand, they came back to
help him fight the monster.
A terrible battle raged, and hardly a living creature was left on Earth.
But Zeus was fated to win, and as Typhon tore up huge Mount Aetna to
hurl at the gods, Zeus struck it with a hundred well-aimed thunderbolts and
the mountain fell back, pinning Typhon underneath. There the monster lies
to this very day, belching fire, lava and smoke through the top of the mountain.
Zeus allowed Echidna and her children to live as a challenge to future heroes.
Although to Hesiod, she was an immortal and ageless nymph, according to
Apollodorus, Echidna used to "carry off passers-by", until she was finally killed
in her cave where she slept. She was killed by the hundred-eyed giant, Argus Panoptes.
Chimaera was also finally defeated. Her killer, Bellerophon solicited the help of Pegasus.,
in order to avoid Chimaera's heads and breath. Bellerophon shot Chimaera from the air.
Later, a scholar of Homer adds that Bellerophon finished her off by equipping his spear
with a lump of lead that melted when exposed to the Chimera's fiery breath.
The melted lead consequently killed her.
T This tragedy predates the era of disarmament agreements and breath mints.
Much of the above information is modified from Wikipedia. The images have many sources found on Google 'Images'. Diane Handlos