Jason and the Argonauts08-04-2013 22:11Jason is son of Aeson and nephew of Pelias, king of Iolcus. Jason was a hero, known for his expedition with the Argonauts, sent by his uncle Pelias on quest of the Golden Fleece, in order to claim the throne as a legitimate heir of the kingdom.
Aeson was overthrown by his over-ambitious brother Pelias, who took the throne and killed all of his children. Jason was hidden and was entrusted to the care of the Centaur Chiron, by whom he was carefully trained and educated. When he was old enough to claim the throne he went to Iolkos.
On his way to Iolcos, Jason met goddess Hera in disguise who she would protect him with her divine help in his future expedition. Hera was turned into a woman who asked Jason to help her cross a river, where he lost a sandal. Pelias, on seeing the one-sandal young man he was reminded of an oracle which foretold to him the loss of his kingdom by a man wearing only one sandal. Pelias told him that to take the throne, he must go on a quest to find the Golden Fleece.
Jason happily accepted the quest and invited the young heroes of his era to join him in the perilous expedition. None refused the invitation, all feeling honoured of taking part in so noble and heroic an undertaking. Argos, one of the cleverest ship-builders of his time, under the guidance of Athena, built a splendid fifty-oared ship, which was called the Argo. The goddess imbedded a board from the speaking oak of the oracle of Zeus at Dodona, which had prophetic powers. The heroes were called Argonauts (sailors of Argo) and most of them were the fathers of the next generation of heroes who fought in the war against Troy.
The expedition was perilous and Argonauts had to stop many times on their way to mythical Colchis were the Golden Fleece was kept. They first stop was at the island of Lemnos, which was inhabited only by women and they stayed there for almost a year, joining the company of women and fathering children. Heracles was the only one to stay on board whom at last recalled them to a sense of their duty. On arriving at Mysia, Heracles was left behind by the Argonauts, seeking in vain for his lost son Hylas, taken away by a water nymph.
The Argonauts suffered from many dangers on their way to Colchis, where they finally succeeded in arriving at Kolchis, after having confronted six-armed Giants, the monstrous Harpies and passing through the Symplegades (huge rock that constantly met and separated, narrowing the passage).
On arriving at Colchis, kingdom of Aetes, Jason and some of his companions set out for the palace to ask him for the Golden Fleece. The king denied to hand it over but he finally promised that if the heroes could succeed in demonstrating their divine origin by the performance of some task requiring superhuman power, the Fleece should be theirs. Jason succeeded with Medea’s help, daughter of the king, who has fell in love with him.
On his arrival at IoIcus, Jason conducted his beautiful bride to the palace of his uncle Pelias, taking with him the Golden Fleece. He was denied to abdicate the throne and therefore met his death of Medea’s magic.
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