Ancient Greece Mythology

JASON

Jason and the Golden Fleece

Jason's story is an ancient Greek myth, folk tale that is passed from generations to generations. About a hero who traveled on a voyage in search of the Golden Fleece, so that he could help his father get his kingdom back from King Pelias.

Jason's father was Aeson, the King of Lolcus and mother Alcimede. Aeson stepbrother Pelias was eager for the throne of Lolcus, so in a battle, he removed Aeson from power and made himself the King. Aeson and Pelias shared a common mother, Tyro. She was the daughter of Salmoneus and sea god Poseidon. Pelias, to make sure that no one from Aeson's family could challenge him, killed his family. But Alcimede saved their baby, Jason. To save him Alcimede gave away her baby son to Chiron, who became his guardian. But Pelias was obsessed with his throne and he consulted an oracle that told him that a man wearing one sandal would be the reason for his end.

Later on as years went by, Jason grew up. Pelias had started games events as a tribute to his so-called father Poseidon. When Jason arrived in Lolcus, he lost his one sandal while crossing a river and trying to help Goddess Hera, who was in disguise of an old woman. Someone told Pelias that there was a man in Lolcus who was wearing one sandal. Jason came to Pelias and claimed his kingdom, which was rightfully his. But Pelias put a condition in front of him that would return back his kingdom, if he brought him the Golden Fleece. Pelias thought that the task was impossible and Jason would never come back.

The Search for Golden Fleece

Jason was in early twenties when he started his search for the Golden Fleece. Jason gathered a team of 50 people and started his voyage on a ship called 'Agro'. Together they were known as the 'Argonauts'. Later on as the voyage moved further the team increased to about 100 people. One of the famous heroes on this ship was Hercules. It is said the Jason's journey was one of the first longest voyages of its times.
Jason's journey through the Black sea was one of its first introductions. As the Greeks traveled here they colonized the coast and ruled it for almost 3000 years.
Jason's first stop was the island of Lemnos (today rests in Modern Turkey), which was based in the Aegean Sea. Women, who cursed by Goddess Aphrodite, because they had ignored her worship, inhabited the island. So she cursed them and made their body smell so disgusting that their husbands ran away. Angry with Aphrodite, they killed their husbands.

Next they moved with the Doliones, where their King Kyzicos greeted them. After the left the Doliones, the 'Argonauts', lost their way and landed at the same island. This time Kyzicos thought them to be enemies and fought with them. The 'Argonauts' killed many Doliones along with the King. But later on they realized their mistake.

When the 'Argonauts' reached Thrace they met Phineus of Salmydessus. Phineus was blind by choice because he wanted to live a long life (according to a prophecy by Apollo) and if he wanted to predict the sayings of Gods. Jason saved Phineus from Harpies who was sent by Helios (Sun God) to kill him. In return of his favor, Phineus told him the site of Colchis.

To reach Colchis, one had to travel through the cliffs of Symplegades. But the cliffs trampled anyone and anything that traveled between them. So Phineus suggested that Jason release a dove between the cliffs. If the dove is able to reach pass the cliffs so will he. As told Jason did so and the dove passed the cliffs. Jason also traveled through the cliffs of Symplegades safely.

Finally Jason and his 'Argonauts' reached Colchis. Jason meets up with the King Aietes and asks him to return the Golden Fleece. But Aietes says yes only on the condition that he presents some extraordinary tasks. Medea the daughter of Aietes helps Jason in completing the tasks, on the condition that he marries her. But Aietes has other plans. He decides to kill Jason and the 'Argonauts' and not return the Golden Fleece. But he makes the mistake of confiding his plans with his daughter Medea. Medea helps Jason recover the Golden Fleece and they along with the 'Argonauts' flee Colchis.

The Return Journey

Zeus as a punishment for Medea for killing her own brother sent storms in the sea and drove it off course. But after purification by Circle nymph, they could continue their journey.
The Agro could surpass the Sirens with the help of Orpheus who played his lyre and made more beautiful music than the Sirens. The Sirens used to lure the sailors by creating enchanting and soulful music.
As they came to the island of Crete they encountered Talos. Talos started flinging stones at Agro. But Medea knew that Talos had only one blood vessel, closed shut by a bronzenail. Medea cast a spell on Talos, which agave her the chance to removed the nail, which left to Talos to bleed to death.

Jason's Return to Lolcus

When Jason and Medea returned to Lolcus, they found that Pelias had killed Jason's father and his mother had died due to mourning.
Medea used her witchcraft and murdered Pelias by influencing him. She promised him that he would become younger with her help but instead kills him. When Jason became disloyal to Medea and married another woman she killed their offspring's in anger. Jason death occurred due to a sad incident whereupon he was sleeping under the hull of the ship of Agro, when it fell and killed him. This thought because he broke his promise to Medea and was the method of punishment from the gods.

Medea's revenge on Jason is told in the shocking drama of the Ancient Greek Playwright (Hyperlink to page with Euripides) Euripides tragedy 'Medea'.

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