The Chimera [ki-meer-uh, kahy-], or Chimaera as it’s sometimes known, was said to be a hybrid of three creatures. This amazing creature from Greek Mythology is most commonly depicted as a lion with a goat’s head coming out of it’s back and a serpent’s tail. It was a savage, fire-belching beast that destroyed the land and devastated its people until the hero Bellerophon killed it while riding his winged horse Pegasus. The Chimera has been described as female, as her name means ‘young she-goat’. Despite this rather humble name, she was of divine origin. Her father was the giant Typhon and her mother the half-serpent Echidna. Her siblings were non other then Cerberus, Sphinx, Hydra, and Orthrus (a multi-headed dog, similar to Cerberus).
She was of divine race, not of men,
in the fore part a lion, in the hinder a serpent,
and in the middle a goat, breathing forth in terrible manner the force of blazing fire.
And Bellerophon slew her, trusting the signs of the gods.
Homer, Iliad 6.181
The Chimaera who breathed raging fire,
a creature fearful, great, swift footed and strong,
who had three heads, one of grim-eyed lion,
another of a goat, and another of a serpent.
In her forepart she was a lion;
in her hinderpart a dragon;
and in her middle part, a goat,
breathing forth a fearful blast of blazing fire.
Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay.
Hesiod, Theogony 319