Perseus, a Grecian legendary hero, the son of Jupiter and Danae. Acrisius of Argos, the father of Danae, having been warned that his daughter's son would cause his death, ordered the mother and child to be placed in a chest and cast adrift at sea. The chest floated to the island of Seriphus, where Perseus was brought up by King Polydectes; but the latter conceiving a passion for Danae, and desiring to rid himself of her son, sent him to fetch the head of the gorgon Medusa. Having obtained from the nymphs winged sandals to bear him through the air, a magic wallet, and the helmet of Pluto which rendered him invisible, from Mercury a sickle, and from Minerva a mirror in which he could see the reflection of Medusa, since a sight of the monster herself would change him to stone, he accomplished his errand while the gorgons were asleep. On his way back he saved Andromeda from being devoured by a sea monster, and married her. Arriving at Seriphus, he found his mother pursued by the violence of Polydectes, whom he metamorphosed with all his guests into stone by means of the gorgon's head.

He then returned with his wife and mother to Argos, and Acrisius, remembering the oracle, fled to Larissa. Perseus, following him in order to persuade him to return, is said to have accidentally killed him with a discus. Unwilling to return to Argos, he exchanged that kingdom with Megapenthes for the government of Tiryns. He presented the gorgon's head to Minerva, who placed it on her shield.