THE ANCIENT MYTH OF JASON
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Jason - Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Jason was the son of Aeson. During
the time when Pelias took the throne from Iolcus, he also took Aeson, and most
of Aeson’s family, as prisoner. For protection, Jason was sent to live with the
centaur Chiron, who took the boy in as his own and raised him in secret on Mt.
Pelion. Once Jason was old enough and Pelias had found out where the boy was
living, Pelias told Jason that he would give him his father back if Jason could
obtain the Golden Fleece for him and bring it to Boeotia. The Golden Fleece was
that of the ram who had wings and that had saved Nephele and Athamas.
Upon receiving the task, Jason collected a team of
the bravest heroes and they all boarded the Argo to look for the fleece that
would give Jason his father back. During their journey, they met many different
challenges including being seduced by stunning women, being under attack by both
warriors and sea creatures, and having to maneuver through many different
storms. Phineus, who was a blind prophet, finally told them where they could
find the fleece in Colchis and told them how to get there safely.
Once they arrived in Colchis, there were many more
challenges waiting for Jason before he could take possession of the fleece. King
Aeetes demanded that before Jason be given the fleece, he needed to yoke
together two fire-breathing bulls, and work on Ares’ field, first plowing it and
then sowing dragon’s teeth into the soil. The dragon’s teeth first needed to be
taken from Cadmus. However, Aeetes’, Medea daughter saw Jason and fell madly in
love with him. She made a deal with him that she would give him magical
protection so that he could complete the tasks and obtain the fleece, if only he
were to love her and only her for the rest of his life. Jason was also to take
her to Greece with him.
After completing the tasks under the veil of
protection given to him by Medea, Aeetes still would not surrender the fleece to
Jason. Medea however, knew where the fleece was located and told Jason where he
could find it. She then drugged the dragon that guarded the entrance to where
the fleece was kept. With fleece in hand, the Argonauts then boarded their ship
and were about to be on their way back to Colchis when Aeetes was running after
them to obtain the fleece. In an effort to stall him, Medea killed his son and
chopped his son, Absyrtus into the sea. Aeetes was forced to stop and retrieve
them, allowing Jason and his crew to be on their way.
Along the way, Jason and Medea needed to stop and
be cleansed of the murder by Circe. During that stop they were also married.
Upon returning to Iolcus, they found that Pelias had not ceased his cruel
rulings and so Medea convinced him that he could be restored in spirit by
boiling his body. She then convinced his daughters to cut him up so that his
body could be fully boiled individually. His daughters did as she said and
unknowingly, murdered their own father. Jason then took command of the city but
he and Medea were thrown out by Acastus shortly after.
Together the pair then left for Orchomenses in
Boeotia, and it was in a temple there that they displayed the fleece proudly.
Then because Medea had rights to the throne in Corinth, they sailed there and
enjoyed power for many years. It was some time after that Jason forgot the
promise he had made to Medea and he fell in love with King Creon’s daughter,
Creusa and tried to divorce Medea. Medea was very angry and had the King and his
daughter both burned to death. The gods were angry at Jason for breaking his
promise and they cursed him to a life of wandering around homeless for the rest
of his days. One day, when he was sitting beside the Argo, part of the ship fell
on top of him and he died.
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