Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Why are there Gorgon heads in the Cistern Basilica?

Gorgon Head in the Cistern Basilica or Yerebatan Saray, Istanbul

Gorgoneion, may have served a function similar to that of the stylised eyes in Modern Mediterranean fetish beads.” (Phinney. 1971. Perseus's battle with the Gorgons. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. Vol. 102 p.447)

The Cistern Basilica in Istanbul was an underground water reservoir built by the Byzantines in the 6th century. One aspect that has puzzled academics to this day is the reasons behind the existence of Gorgon heads within (see picture above). It would not be possible to conclude this argument in a blog but I will aim to support the theory that they were an apotropaic object.
 Many academics have maintained that Gorgoneions were popular in antiquity. What was a Gorgoneion? Furtwangler writing in the late 19th century believed that the Medusa Rondanini in particular was a religious dedication. (cited in Belson. 1980. The Medusa Rondanini: A New Look. American Journal of Archaeology. Vol. 84. No. 3 p.374) This can be seen by the Gorgons that were hung up in religious building or dedicated to people such as Antiochus IV in Athens. Others have pointed out that Gorgoneions also appear on shields, vases and above doors and have suggested an alternative function of it as apotropaic. Athena is able to use Medusa’s head on her aegis both for good and bad, accordingly people also seemed to have used the image of medusa and her power to petrify for thier own needs. This is supported by the existence of an amulet with Perseus and the severed head of Medusa on one side, with an inscription on the other saying “Flee, gout, Perseus is chasing you!” (Kotansky. 1991. Incantations and Prayers for Salvation on Inscribed Greek Amulets. Magika Hiera p.119)

 Wilk stated “the Gorgoneion shows up in many circumstances where it is clearly supposed to be a warning.”  (2000 p.42) The warning was intended for either the evil eye or evil influences. How exactly the Gorgoneion worked, has been debated among academics. As seen in the amulet above even disease adopted a anthropomorhic nature able to fear and flee. One popular theory in how it scared away evil was through its fearsome features. Many such as Root (2007) have supported this idea, and can be seen by the fanged grinning mouth, large eyes, lolling tongue and sometimes the appearance of a beard as can be seen by the images below.

Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany                                       Attic Black  Figure Eye cup.                                                                                                          530 BCE                                                                           

British Museum, London, United Kingdom
Attic Red Figure
460 BC

It has been argued that the Gorgoneion was used as a form of protection against mortal enemies as well. This is evident with the existence of gorgons on shields, where it has been argued that the image served as a distraction for the enemy on the battlefield. (Wilk p.156) This is further supported in a play by Aristophanes in which one character cannot bear the image of the gorgon on a shield until it is placed upside down on the ground. (Aristophanes. Arharnians p.572) The connection of the the depictions above and shields seems to be further supported by the fact Baschor was criticised for believing the Medusa Rondanini was supposed to be on Athena's aegis as all those Gorgons contrasted with Athena's beauty. (cited in Belson. 1980 p.375)
 However the depictions of the Gorgoneion have changed. In 1896 Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (cited in Wilk. 2000 pp.31-5) categorised these changes into 3 periods. The images above belong to the Archaic period 8th-5th BCE. The following period called the transitional period (late 5th- late 2nd BCE) had the medusa’s features softened. The following period starting from the 4th century BCE is called the beautiful period where the “gorgon ceases to be a monster and becomes a young women.” (Wilk. 2000 p. 35) The Gorgon heads in the Cistern Basilica just like the Medusa Rondanini seem to belong to the beautiful period. However the later gorgons appear to lose the fearsome attributes the earlier versions had. “…The Gorgon was no longer a figure of terror, but rather, one of pity.” (Wilk p.35).

However an alternative theory of how the gorgoneion worked could answer how the image of the Gorgon could change yet remain an apotropiac object. That it served essentailly as a distraction for evil spirits. (Hildburgh. 1946. Apotropaism in Greek Vase-Paintings. Folklore, Vol. 57 No.4 p.155)  Particularly her eyes. This could be supported by the fact that several Ancient Greek and Etruscan vases had eyes on them instead of Gorgons. The Gorgon in Istanbul still possesses large eyes. The connection with the power attached to the eyes also has a psychological level. In several experiments tracking eye movement in the 1960s Yarbus found when subjects looked at a photograph, they unconsciously kept returning to the eyes. (cited in Wilk p.152) It could be suggested that the Ancient Greeks knew this and used the unavoidable gaze of the Gorgon for this use.

 But one last mystery remains. The Cistern Basilica was constructed after several centuries of Christianity. There has been one suggested that the gorgons were simply there as they were the right size for column supports. However one is sideways and another is placed upside down. If the Gorgons were turned at the site it could suggest that the builders were aware of the power attached to them, and possibly anxious to counter it. However this can never be known.

In Conclusion the gorgon heads were constructed in an earlier period and were likely to be used as a form of apotropaic object. Although there is no agreement it seems that the most likely way the Gorgoneion protected against evil was to distract it, particularly with its eyes. Such beliefs could have survived into the 6th century in one form or another.


1. Aristophanes. Acharnians.

2. Belson, J. D. Jul 1980. The Medusa Rondanini. American Journal of Archaeology. Vol.84 No.3. pp.373-378 

3. Hildburgh, W.L. Dec 1946. Apotropaism in Greek Vase Paintings. Folklore Vol. 57 No. 4 pp.154-178

4. Kotansky, R. 1991. Incantations and and Prayers for Salvationon inscribed Greek Amulets. Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion. Ed. Haraone and Obbink. pp.107-137

5. Phinney. E. Jr. 1971. Perseus's Battle with the Gorgons. Transactions and proceedings of the American Philological Association. Vol. 102 pp.445-4663

6. Root. I.B. 2007. Redeeming the Gorgon: Reclaiming the Medusa Function of Psyche.

7. Wilk. S. 2000. Medusa: Solving the mystery of the Gorgon.

Was the Female gaze deadlier than the male’s?

Medusa as represented in the film Clash of the Titans (1981)

“Men do not simply look; their gaze carries with it the power of action and of possession.” (Bowers. Spring 1990. NWSA Journal p.217)

Perhaps asking this question may seem obvious remembering the fearsome eyes of Athena and Medusa, both female. However observing the many aspects of ancient Greek religion, the answer is not as straight forward as it may appear.

It could be claimed that that no male deity’s gaze could match the fatal eyes of Medusa. Although Zeus's lighting was said to blind the Titans with its "flashing glare."  (Hesiod. Theogony. 687) Indeed it seems that women were attributed with a powerful gaze in the classical world. Cicero remarked that women with double pupils in obe eye, were capable of killing those they looked at. Cited from Pliny, he seems to support this by claiming the existance of such women In Scythia. (Pliny. The Natural History. Book VII .Chapter 2. 26+29)

Several academics have used the Medusa as a symbol of female power.  Bowers suggested that the power of Medusa (hence women) was essentially in the head. Bowers points to an image of a beheaded woman, which ceases to be threatening. (Spring 1990. NWSA Journal p.218) Supporting the image of female power residing in the head, Kerenyi writing in 1969 pointed out that the same weapon; a sickle was used to castrate Cronus as it was to behead the Medusa. (cited in Root.2007 p.22) It could be argued that just as Cronus’s “male” attributes were a threat to Gaia so the Medusa’s “female” attribute, her eyes were also a threat.

However some of these academics in their need to present the Medusa both as a epitome of female prowess and as a victim of a Patriarchal overthrow, largely ignore cases in which powerful women were respected and supported. It is also clear that some of these female deities had “masculine” qualities as well. One example is the description of the eyes.

 Kyanopis was a description for downcast or dark eyes and often associated with the female ideal, so seen as perfect with Aphrodite. Even then the ideal “female” eyes could be seen as deadly as Kyaneos was associated with snakes, the gaze of which according to Aischylos was deadly. The snake itself was connected to the underworld and Hades.  On the other Glaukopis seem to be the opposite of Kyanopis, descriptions of it suggest brightness or constant movement. This description is given to Athena and could be describe as “masculine” as its attributes were also the opposite of Kyanopis. The Glaukopis was associated with the owl, an animal of the air, not the earth. As argued in a previous blog another masculine aspect of Glaukopis could be its connection to the battlefield, where Glaukopis not only had terror accompany it but could be seen as keeping observant and alert. However the differences shouldn't be exaggerated, considering th Glaukopis could also be considered deadly. The owl was also associated with death through its noctural habits and often placed on gravestones.

So what were Medusa’s eyes? A clue could be the attribute of being "Gorgon-eyed." 2nd century CE physiognomic writers described the brave as also having a "moist gorgon’s gaze, large eyes, not too wide open but not closed either…" (Cairns. 2005. Body Language in the Greek and Roman World p.128) "Gorgon-eyed" or gorgopis was also a description given to Heracles. There is also a case where Athena is called "gorgon-eyed." Such description could connect it to the flashing, brightness of the Glaukopis, considering it was connected bravery.

In conclusion it seems that although the deadliest looks were attributed to women, both Medusa and Athena's gaze seems to be considered a "masculine" attribute. Perhaps as a final point and a return to feminist academics, it was the the fact that a "male" attribute could be so effectively controlled by women is what made them threatening.


1.Bowers, S.R. Spring 1990. Medusa and the Female Gaze. NWSA Journal Vol.2 No.2 pp.217-235

2. Cairns, D. 2005. Bullish Looks and Sidelong Glances: Social Interactions and the eyes in Ancient Greek Culture. Body Language in the Greek and Roman Worlds. pp.123-155

3. Deary and Villing. 2009 What was the colour of Athena's aegis? Journal of Hellenic Studies 129 pp.111-129

4. Hesiod. Theogony.;jsessionid=FC65FC589FC3FD2DA7ADB0350314F371?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D687

5. Pliny. The Natural History. Book VII. Chapter 2.

6. Root. I.B. 2007. Redeeming the Gorgon: Reclaiming the Medusa Function of Psyche.

Were Athena and Medusa the same individual?

Athena and her Aegis with the head of Medusa attached.
Both the Medusa and the Goddess Athena have attributes to how fearsome their eyes were; from this I did start to wonder how many other attributes they shared. At face value they seemed to have started a lot and it even seems that Athena had the same abilities as the Gorgons herself.

One connecting attribute is snakes. Snakes are one of the most recognisable modern associations with the Medusa and yet they are also associated with Athena as well. This can be seen by the term Orataina sometimes given to Athena (Orpheus h.32.11, Pausanias iii.208) meaning she-snake. The link is goes further with the story of Erichthonis, Athena’s foster son who had snake tails for legs or was accompanied by snakes, or itself a snake appearing near Athena’s shield. However the usual contradictions and variations of Greek religion and mythology should be remembered. Representations of Gorgons can appear without any snakes as Athena can.  (Wilk. 2000 p.37)The common image of snake haired Medusa was only a later development. Wilks pointed out that the snake only appeared around the waist or head in earlier depictions; from the 4th century onwards did snakes appear in surrounding the head, but only on coins did snakes completely replace Medusa’s hair. (p.46)  On top of this several deities shared aspects with others, Athena and Ares were both deities of war. The olive tree was associated with both Athena and Zeus.

Another link could be the myth of origin of both medusa and Athena being from Lake Tritonis. Morford says that the origin of the title of Athena Tritogeneia was obscure and may have referred to either a lake in Boeotia in Greece or a lake in Libya. (1999 p.110) Athena appears in a story as being an inhabitant of Lake Tritonis as well as its daughter with Poseidon. Similarly the Medusa has also been described as an inhabitant of Tritonis, either as a savage or as a Queen murdered and decapitated by Perseus for her beauty.  Despite sharing a location the Medusa and Athena are still clearly separate figures. In the Perseus story Athena even assists in killing the medusa. A play called Ion by Euripides has Athena kill Medusa herself. (Wilk. 2000.25)Also it seems the placing of Medusa in Libya may have simply been a literary construct as Wilk argues it was “undoubtedly” originated from the Novelist Dioysius Skytobrachion from 2nd century BCE Alexandria. Although Herodotus also mentions the origins of Medusa as Libya he makes no mention to Athena in the same section. (Herodotus. The Histories.2.19)

Despite the sources so far pointing to the contrary, academics have pointed out similarities between Athena and Medusa to the point of suggesting that both had similar origins. Many have argued the origins stretch to prehistory and a possible matriarchal society where according to Bower the Medusa was worshipped as a Goddess. Phinney sees the Medusa as a “faded Mother Goddess.” (1971. Perseus's Battle with the Gorgons. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association p.446)For Annis Pratt the story of Perseus serves as an example of masculine dominance “in which the beautiful and powerful women of pre-Hellenic religions are made to seem horrific and…decapitated or destroyed.” (cited in Bower. NWSA Journal. Vol 2. No.2. 1990. 220) Despite the strong sense of gender conflict in Pratt’s argument, the head of Medusa is given to another “beautiful and powerful” female deity, Athena.

 When the Medusa is placed on Athena’s aegis, she seems to adopt Medusa’s powers as well. The story of the priestess Iodama being turned to stone when she saw Athena was attributed to the Medusa on her aegis. (Pausanias, Descriptions of Greece.9.34.2)This includes Athena` indirectly giving a lock of Medusa’s hair to Sterope to frighten enemies and the Gorgon’s blood given either to Aesculapius or Erichthonis, which is capable of both giving life and death. Bowers calls this a paradoxical “coexistence of her pre-Olympian and Olympian history.” (Bower. 222) Another theorised idea is that the Medusa and Athena are a fragmentation of a pre- Indo European Goddess, which represents death and life.  Both Root and Dexter argue that the “Medusa represents a dark, chthonic side of Athena.” Medusa is only made capable of giving death. Although Athena can also bring death as Dexter explains “life and death…ceased to be viewed as a continuum worthy of equal veneration. Thus the death-bringing aspect of the Goddess became an object.”  (cited in Root. 2007.25-27) Such separation as seen above was never complete, although some signs of continual separation may be seen. Both the Medusa and Athena were also associated with birds, particularly those associated with death such as owls and vultures. As seen by the figure below early depictions of the Gorgons were winged.

(Attic Black Figure Vase. 600-550 BCE. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.)

It has also been pointed out that after Homeric time Athena’s associations to birds of death (apart from the owl) ceased.  Although it has been argued that such links between the Medusa and Athena appear on her aegis. Root argues that Athena and Medusa originated from "early neolithic snake and bird Goddesses." (Root.2007 p.25)Medusa's presence on Athena's aegis is not only a continuation but also a submission of one aspect of the "neolithic goddess" over another.

Concluding this section it could be argued that at one time the Medusa and Athena could have been the same individual in prehistory. Although this is theorised it the similarities between the two have caused others to analysis this relationship as well. It appears even the Ancient Greeks connected the two through their origins in Africa. However a major subject that has run through many modern discourses on the subject is the demonization of at least part of the "neolithic Goddess" hence the creation of the monster Medusa.


1. Apollodurus. Library

2. Bowers, S.R. Spring 1990. Medusa and the Female Gaze. NWSA Journal Vol.2 No.2 pp.217-235

3. Herodotus, The Histories.

3. Luyster,R. Summer 1965. Symbolic Elements in the Cult of Athena. History of Religions Vol.5 No.1 pp.133-163

4. Pausanias, Descriptions of Greece

5. Phinney. E. Jr. 1971. Perseus's Battle with the Gorgons. Transactions and proceedings of the American Philological Association. Vol. 102 pp.445-466

6. Root. I.B. 2007. Redeeming the Gorgon: Reclaiming the Medusa Function of Psyche.

7. Wilk. S. 2000. Medusa: Solving the mystery of the Gorgon.

What is Glaukopis?

"Glaukopis" according to the search engine Google
"Glaukos is the most prominent colour term associated with Athena… as well as being one of Athena’s most common epithets, is also one of the most intriguing, open as it is to a variety of interpretations and translations.” (Deacy and Villing. Journal of Hellenic Studies. 129, p.121)

From the above quotation it is clear that Glaukopis (ϒλανκώπις) cannot easily be translated into English. Therefore I am not attempting here to answer conclusively what glaukopis is but the various interpretations given and will attempt to conclude with what may be the most likely.

 Various academics have attempted to translate glaukopis to give a certain colour to Athena’s eyes for example Leaf’s interpretation of “blue-eyed” in 1900. Other colours have also been suggested, light blue, green and even grey. The fact that academics cannot translate Glaukopis to a single colour seems to suggest that Ancient Greek culture did not place as much emphasis on the colour of eyes as descriptions as modern culture do. Many academics now argue that glaukopis refers to the brightness or character of the eyes. Even then there seems to be various translations, “flashing eyes,” “glancing eyes,” “darting eyes” and “bright eyes.” Which one of these characteristics may be considered correct?

 One interesting interpretation put across by Day is to connect glaukopis with Athena’s cunning and military prowess.  Day supports this with Hymn 28.2 which reads “bright eyed and inventive.” This can be further supported by the Iliad where she “flashing eyed” led Ares away from battle which resulted in a Trojan defeat. (2010 p.144)  The “flashing-eyed Athene” appears several times in battle or preparation for battle in the Iliad, for example when Agamemnon prepares for battle she appears “in their midst” (Iliad 2.445). Perhaps in the context of battles the translations of “darting-eyes” or “glancing-eyes” may have been better as it could be imagined that constantly observing your surroundings would have been important in battle. Appearing fearsome would have also been important in battle. Iliad again “flashing-eyed” Athene appears next to Odyessus and insures the host keeps quiet while he speaks, in another section she is accompanied by “Terror, and Rout, and Discord” as she urges the Greeks to fight. (Iliad 4.435-450) Athena's connection to the battlefield is further supported by Hesiod's decription of her birth as "bright-eyed Tritogeneia...the queen, who delights in tumults and wars and battles." (Hesiod. Theogony. 920-925)

In further connection to the translation of Glaukopis as “flashing eyed” could be in connection to it being derived from a verb which meant “to shine” or “to burn.”(Luyster.History of Religion Vol. 5 No.1)   This would also explain how Athena’s Glaukopis could be frightening as it had the potential to be fatal.

 Although it could be argued that “flashing-eyed Athena” does not appear in person in later dated documents her influence in deciding battles could still be argued. In Aristophanes’s Wasps participants after a battle thank the gods, but “before the battle an owl had flown over our army.” (Aristophanes, Wasps.1085). Although it was common to make predictions over the flight of birds, the fact an owl was particularly identified may suggest a link to Athena.  Such a link could be strengthened in another work of Aristophanes, Knights where a sausage seller sees Athena in a dream with an owl preached upon her helmet. (Aristophanes. Knights. 1060) Athena’s owl can be more closely connected to her through its connections to Glaukopis. This is clearly seen by the fact that it was called the Glaux (ϒλανξ). It has been pointed out by Leaf and Luyster that Glaukopis could also be translated as “owl-eyed.” As with Athena, the Glaux’s eyes were also seen as fatal as a statue of one on top of Athena was said to attract birds and then kill them.

 In Conclusion to this section it could be argued that an English translation of Glaukopis is closely connected to another aspect of Athena. What aspect that is depends on the academic translating it or on the context. Many have felt that assigning a colour to it appropriate while others (or the same academics) have also stated that Glaukopis relates more closely to a character of the eyes as opposed to colour. Day has gone further and connected the character of eyes of the character of Athena herself as fearsome. This is not forgetting the same character of eyes being attributed to her owl, which some have interpreted as the other way round, hence “owl-eyed Athena.”


1.       Day, Joseph W. Archaic Greek Epigram and Dedication: Representation and Reperformance. Cambridge University Press. 2010

2.       Deary and Villing. “What was the colour of Athena’s aegis?” Journal of Hellenic Studies. 129 pp.111-129

3.       Homer, The Iliad

4.     Hesiod, Theogony

5.       Leaf, Walter Commentary on the Iliad (1900)

6.       Luyster, Robert. “Symbolic Elements in the Cult of Athena” History of Religions Vol.5. No.1 Summer 1965 pp.133-163

7.       Morford, Mark P.D, Lenardon, Robert J. Classical Mythology 6th Edition Oxford University Press 1999

Why are Eyes important in Ancient Greece?

As part of my course of Ancient Greek Religion I decided to look at the role of eyes within ancient Greece religion and culture and the power attached to them.

 I was initially interested in superstition within ancient Greek culture and whether it was connected to religion. Particularly whether there was belief in to evil eye.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Did belief in the Evil Eye exist in Ancient Greece?

An Evil Eye bead

Questioning the existence of the belief in the evil eye in ancient Greece may seem pointless; Elworthy writing about the evil eye within a classical environment in the late 19th century wrote “Among the Greeks…the belief was so universal that they had a special word to express this mysterious power βασκανία.”  (Elworthy, 1895, p.7) Such a stance has been supported by recent academics such as Dickie who maintained that there was no doubt that the Greeks and the Romans had a belief that some people could harm with their eyesight.

Such a view is understandable as the Ancient Greeks seemed to have attributed power to the eyes. Cairns points out that in social situations eye contact and facial expressions is an essential part in interactions. Cairns support the importance of the role of eyes in Ancient Greek social interactions by pointing out that by the 2nd century AD physiognomic writing had reached a zenith in determining the meaning of eye contact in social interactions. This included a negative approach to “the staring, unblinking eyes of the shameless, the blazing eyes of the angry…”  Galen and the stoics explained sight as a flow of Pheuma that came from the brain, through the eyes onto the object in question and back again. It wouldn’t have been too difficult to adapt this idea to projections from the eye to be able to affect object.  Aristotle believed menstruating woman were able to change the colour of a mirror by sight. Greek religion also had examples, Medusa’s ability to petrify with her eyes and Athena’s owl was thought had the ability to kill birds with its gaze. Here is a clear link that several religious figures were able to harm with their eyes. There is suggestion that mortals were also capable of such power.

Such beliefs are explained by Dickie in his article about Heliodorus’s Aethiopica and Plutarch’s Quaestio Convivalis. Aethiopica has an Egyptian priest, (Calasiris) and relating how the adopted daughter, (Charicleia) of a priest of Apollo (Charicles) fell ill due to the evil eye. Plutarch’s is a general discussion about the Evil Eye. He provides 2 theories, that of Democritus’s belief that the evil eye was spread by shades (εϊδωλα). Plutarch’s own theory was that of effluxes, which leave all parts of the body through warmth and movement. The eyes give off the most effluxes as it was susceptible to movement and so able to project a “fiery beam.” In Heliodorus’ story Charicleia was able to afflict herself by admiring a priest called Theagenes.

 However the fact that these philosophers felt the need to explain how the Evil Eye worked suggests it was not as widely believed as Elworthy suggested. Wilk pointed out that it is difficult to find complete stories in the original documents as they were so commonly known there was little need to write them down. If the belief in the evil eye was common it could be argued that there would be no need to explain how it worked. Also the fact that Plutarch gives two different theories suggests that there was no consistent understanding of how the evil eye worked among those who did believe in it. Indeed in both Heliodorus and Plutarch’s stories there is at least one character that criticises its existence. Furthermore both Cairn and Dickie have pointed out the recent academic research tends to view Aethiopica as intentionally satirical, and presumably its concepts of the evil eye as well. Also if Elworthy was right in claiming that the evil eye existed from prehistoric times it would be reasonable to expect an illness or death to accrue in the Iliad from a look, which does not happen.  In a connection to religion even a priest of Apollo criticises the existence of the evil eye.

However it should be noted that these examples that seem to be critical or at least open minded about the belief of the evil eye only seems to apply to mortals. It should probably be remembered that that Gods and Goddesses seemed to operate with separate rules to mortals. This could have included powers attributed to their eyes. In the Iliad Athena’s eyes are referred to as “Terribly her eyes shone.”  (Iliad, 1.172) As well as the Medusa’s literally deadly gaze. Indeed Rakoczy argued that the deities used the medium of the evil eye to curse mortals, based on Aeschylus. Here Agamemnon fears being “struck from afar from any God’s jealous eye.” (Aeschylus. Agamemnon. 947.) However such a view has also been attacked as well. Dickie has pointed out that there are relatively few examples of Gods cursing others with their eyes and that presuming that the curse is done through the evil eye is only presumption.

Concluding this section, it seems that even within the ancient world as with today the concept of the evil eye has been treated with caution. Even within the academic field there is debate whether the evil eye truly existed in the minds of the Ancient Greeks and their deities.


1.       Cairns, Douglas. “Bullish Looks and the Sidelong Glances: Social Interactions and the eyes in Ancient Greek Culture.” Body Language in the Greek and Roman Worlds Ed. Cairns, Douglas. Classical Press of Wales. 2005 pp.123-155

2.       Dickie, Matthew W. “Review on Rakoczy’s Böser Blick, Macht des Auges und Neid der Götter: Eine Untersuchung zur kraft des Blickes in der griechischen Literatur.” The Classical Review Vol 49 No. 2 1999

3.       Dickie, Matthew W. “Heliodorus and Plutarch on the Evil Eye.” Classical Philology Vol.86 No.1 Jan 1991 pp.17-29

4.       Elworthy, Frederick Thomas. The Evil Eye: The Classical Account of an Ancient Superstition Dover Publications 2004 (1st published 1895)

5.       Luyster, Robert. “Symbolic Elements in the Cult of Athena.” History of Religions Vol.5 No.1 Summer 1965

6.       Wilk, Stephen. Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon. Oxford University Press. 2000