In Greek mythology, Bellerophon was a hero and warrior who accidentally killed two men, including his own brother. He sought protection from King Proteus of Tiryns, who allowed him to stay under his roof. Proteus's wife, Anteia (also called Stheneboea), tried to seduce Bellerophon, but he resisted her. Angry at being rejected, Anteia told her husband that Bellerophon had tried to rape her. Proteus was furious but did not want to kill his guest, so he sent Bellerophon to Anteia's father, King Iobates of Lycia. He also sent a note explaining what had happened and asking Iobates to kill Bellerophon.
Iobates, too, was reluctant to kill his guest, so he sent him on dangerous missions instead. First, he asked Bellerophon to kill the Chimaera, a fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. With the help of the gods, Bellerophon tamed the winged horse Pegasus* and then used it to fight and kill the Chimaera. Next, Iobates ordered Bellerophon to defeat two armies, including the fierce Amazons*. Bellerophon succeeded in these missions as well.
Afterward, Bellerophon told the sea god Poseidon that Iobates seemed ungrateful for his help. In response, Poseidon caused a great flood to strike Lycia. Iobates finally realized that Bellerophon must be innocent of the charges against him. When he discovered the truth, Iobates gave Bellerophon one of his daughters as a bride and made him heir to the throne of Lycia.
Proud of his success, Bellerophon tried to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus, home of the gods. Zeus* sent a fly to bite Pegasus, who bucked and threw Bellerophon to the ground. Bellerophon survived the fall but was crippled for life. He spent the rest of his days wandering the earth as a beggar.