Thessalonica and the Gorgona
There is an interesting mermaid transformation story involving the sister of Alexander the Great.
After conquering the world, Alexander decided that he would conquer death as well. He asked the wise men how to go about this. They said that the Water of Life would grant him immortality but first he would have to kill the dragon that guarded it.
Alexander accomplished this feat and brought the water back to his home.
Tired he took a nap.
While sleeping his sister Thessalonica found the water and thought it was only regular water. She took a sip for herself and watered some plants. Those plants never died but changed and became perennials.
When Alexander woke he discovered what his sister had done and cursed her horribly.
She was to live forever in the sea growing larger with each passing year. Her form a woman from the waist up, but from there down she was to have two tails instead of legs.
Now, her transformation complete, she roams the Aegean and Black Seas. She has become gigantic and can lift an entire ship with one hand.
When she encounters sailors she asks them if Alexander is still alive.
If they say he is dead she raises great waves and their ship is lost.
If they say he still lives and rules as always she allows them to pass in peace.
In Greece she is called the Gorgona.
A common decorative motif on Greek fabrics. It almost always appears as a mermaid with two tails that curve upward on either side of her body. Her hands are out-stretched and she holds a tail in each one. The same image appears in heraldic designs from the Middle Ages.
For more legends about mermaids see The Legend of the Mermaid page.
For more mermaid transformation stories see my Mermaid Transformation Stories page.
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