World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gadfly (mythology)

Article Id: WHEBN0005905120
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gadfly (mythology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Io (mythology), Gadfly, The Io Passion, Geryon, Hera
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gadfly (mythology)

The gadfly, a type of fly plaguing cattle, typically ones belonging to either the family Tabanidae (horse-flies) or the family Oestridae (bot flies), appears in Greek mythology as a tormenter to Io, the heifer maiden. Zeus lusts after Io and eventually turns her into a white heifer to hide her from his jealous wife, Hera. Hera is not fooled, and demands Io as a gift from Zeus. She then assigns Argus, the 100-eyed monster, the job of guarding Io. Hermes (ordered by Zeus) kills Argus and frees Io. When Hera finds out, she sends a gadfly to torment and sting Io, forcing her to wander farther and farther away from home.

The gadfly also plays a role in the myth of how Bellerophon loses Pegasus and the gods' favor. Bellerophon attempts to ride Pegasus to the top of Mt. Olympus, arrogantly believing himself worthy of entering the realm of the gods. Zeus is enraged by the human's audacity and sends a gadfly to sting Pegasus. The winged horse is startled and he rears backward. Bellerophon loses his grip and falls back to Earth. Athena spares his life by causing him to land on soft ground, but he becomes blind and wanders the earth alone until he dies, hated by both men and gods.[1]


  1. ^ Felson, Nancy. "Pegasus." World Book Online Reference Center. 2009. [Place of access.] 12 June 2009
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.