winged horse in Greek mythology, late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Pēgasos, usually said to be from pēgē "fountain, spring; a well fed by a spring" (plural pegai), especially in "springs of Ocean," near which Medusa was said to have been killed by Perseus (Pegasus sprang from her blood). But this may be folk etymology, and the ending of the word indicates non-Greek origin. Advances since the 1990s in the study of the Luwians, neighbors of the Hittites in ancient Anatolia, show a notable convergence of the Greek name with Pihaššašši, the name of a Luwian weather-god: "the mythological figure of Pegasus carrying the lightning and thunderbolt of Zeus, ... is likely to represent an avatar of the Luwian Storm-God of Lightning ...." [Alice Mouton, et al., eds., "Luwian Identities," 2013]

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