Greek Vase with Perseus and Fungi

The shooting stars of the Perseid meteor shower appear to fall from the constellation known from Classical times as Perseus. The hero Perseus was conceived when Zeus took on the guise of a shower of gold to impregnate Danae, who was shut up in a tower. The gold shower may allegorically refer to the meteor shower. Robert Graves has linked Perseus with toads via his kingship of Argos, a town with a toad as its emblem. He has also been linked with frogs. Aelian related that Perseus had tried to rest on the island of Seriphos, but was prevented from sleeping by the clamor of frogs. He prayed to Zeus, and thereafter the frogs were mute.

Image and excerpt from Adrian Morgan's Toads and Toadstools: The Natural History, Folklore, and Cultural Oddities of a Strange Association, (1995, p. 184).

For more on hallucinogenic mushrooms and their history, see:

Greek Vase with Perseus and Fungi
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