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Jason and the Golden Fleece

Greek: Χρυσομαλλον Δερας
What: Characters from Greek mythology.
Date: 1,300 BC
Hometown: Iolcus, Thessaly
Journey to: Colchis (Modern day Georgia)

Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Jason and the Golden Fleece is a tale of a young man, Jason, whom was told he could be King of the throne of Iolcus (modern day Volos in Thessaly) if he could find the Golden Fleece. Jason was an ancient Greek mythological figure and the leader of the Argonauts, his band of heroes that he brought along with him on his journey to find the Golden Fleece. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus and was married to the sorceress Medea. Jason is considered to be one of the heroes of Greek mythology, along with others such as Herakles, Achilles and Odysseus. The story is believed to be a myth, but there are some who believe that although the tales may be myth the actual palace and city are real, such as the story of Troy.

The myth goes that Pelias (Aeson’s half-brother and king of Thessaly) was holding games in honor of the sea god Poseidon when Jason arrived in Iolcus and lost one of his sandals in the river Anauros while helping an old woman (the Goddess Hera in disguise) to cross. She blessed him for she knew, as goddesses do, what Pelias had up his sleeve. When Jason entered Iolcus, he was announced as a man wearing one sandal. Jason, knowing that he was the rightful king, told Pelias that and Pelias said, “To take my throne, which you shall, you must go on a quest to find the Golden Fleece.” Jason happily accepted the quest. To find this fleece Jason would have to travel all the way to Colchis (modern day Georgia).

Jason assembled a great group of heroes, known as the Argonauts after their ship, the Argo. The group of heroes included the Boreads (sons of Boreas, the North Wind) who could fly, Heracles, Philoctetes, Peleus, Telamon, Orpheus, Castor and Pollux, Atalanta, and Euphemus. On his journey to Colchis Jason would pass through Lemnos, Kyzicos, Mysia, Phineus and Symplegades.

Once Jason arrived in Colchis, King Aeetes of Colchis promised to give Jason the Golden Fleece to him only if he could perform three certain tasks. First, Jason had to plow a field with fire-breathing oxen, the Khalkotauroi, that he had to yoke himself. Second, Jason had to sow the teeth of a dragon into a field. His last task was to overcome the Sleepless Dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece. Jason sprayed the dragon with a potion, given by Medea, diluted from herbs. The dragon fell asleep, andJason was able to seize the Golden Fleece. He then sailed away with Medea. On his journey home Jason discovers that King Pelias has killed his father and his mother has died of grief. Medea then kills Pelias, after offering to rejuvenate him and both Jason and Medea go into exile in Corinth.

Great article on Jason and the Golden Fleece by Michael Wood: here

In search of Myths and Heroes: Jason and the Argonauts by PBS

Jason and the Argonauts (1963) Trailer:

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