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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.

                                         Mt. Edna 

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