In Greek mythology, Astymedusa (Ancient Greek: Ἀστυμέδουσα, Astymédousa) or simply Medusa, was a Mycenaean princess as daughter of King Sthenelus and Nicippe, daughter of Pelops.

She was occasionally named as a later wife of Oedipus. After parting with Jocasta or after the death of Euryganeia, who was his second wife,[1] Oedipus married Astymedousa.[2] Astymedusa accused Polynices and Eteocles of attempting to rape her, thus driving Oedipus into a frenzy.[3] This is held as an alternate cause for the curse which led to the fraternal discord at the heart of the myth of the wars at Thebes.[4]


  1. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 9.5.11; cf. Watson (1994, p. 237).
  2. ^ The Scholia to Iliad 4.376 places the union following Oedipus' discovery that Jocasta was his mother; the marriage took place following Euryganeia's death according to the scholia to Euripides, Phoenissae 53 (citing Pherecydes, FGrHist 3 F 48).
  3. ^ Eustathius on Homer, Iliad 4.376–81 (vol. i, p. 767) .
  4. ^ Watson (1994, p. 237).


  • Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. ISBN 0-674-99328-4. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
  • Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.


  • Watson, P.A. (1994), Ancient Stepmothers: Myth, Misogyny and Reality, Leiden, ISBN 9004101764.