The story of Medusa has been told and retold with variations, either describing a hideous monster, so horrible an image that any glance at her would immediately turn the gazer to stone; to a tragic, beautiful woman who had been cursed by her own vanity. This striking sculpture, the Medusa Rondanini, depicts the latter interpretation of the myth, telling the story of a lovely woman who was admired for her glorious hair. Apparently it was her pride that betrayed her and enraged the goddess Athena, who transformed Medusa's locks and ringlets into a tangle of hissing serpents. A beautiful face expressing deep sorrow, this sculpture is believed to be a Roman copy of a Greek original from the 5th century BC, and is currently in Munich, Glyptothek 252. Her tragic life had a bloody end as the demigod, Perseus, was assigned the task of ridding the world of the deadly beast that Medusa had become. Outfitted by the gods themselves with a golden blade in the shape of a half-moon and the winged shoes of Hermes, Pluto's helmet of invisibility, and a shield of gold from Athena that was polished to such a high shine that it could be used as a mirror. With these divine instruments, Perseus successfully severed the head of his victim without looking directly at Medusa, which would have turned him to stone.