The Ship Argo
Jason gathered a brave team to go to search
the Golden Fleece. Among others, there was the famous hero
Heracles and his friends
father of Perseus,
Orpheus and the sons of Zeus
Pollux. The ship they got was a very light
ship. It had been built by the master builder Argo
under the guidance and protection from Athena. The ship and the team got
the name after him. As soon as they were ready, they raised the
sails and started their trip.
the way the Argonauts faced very hard difficulties. They had a fight
with giants, left Heracles in Chios because he had to finish his own tasks,
and had a boxing contest with the dreaded king
Amykos. They also
helped the blind king of Bithynian, Phineus, by exterminating a pest of
harpies, a group of birds that were stealing the kings' food and
shitting all over his place. After they met Prometheus and then they
got to the river Phasis. There they went up the stream and arrived to
the capital of Colchis, Kytaia, from where they could see the ram's fleece on their
arrived then to a city with a tremendous wall built by Hephaestos. The king
Aeetes, the owner of the fleece, happened to be the son of the sun God
Helios. The Argonauts asked him for the fleece first in a friendly way
and offered their services against the enemies of Colchis in exchange.
But the king remembered the oracle and got scared, so he gave the hero
Jason two tasks that, of course, he considered impossible to fulfill.
First, Jason was
supposed to plough the king's lands with the bulls of Ares. The problem was
that these animals were terribly wild and spitted fire. After, he should
sow dragon teeth from which there would grow armed men. He should have to
fight with them and kill them with a spear. If he succeeded in both tasks, then he
would get the Golden Fleece. As he had no choice, Jason agreed.
But by this time
Medea, the daughter of the king, had fallen
deadly in love with Jason and offered him her help. She gave him a skin oil from Prometheus
that made those who used it invulnerable for one whole day. The oil came
from a plant in the Caucasus that flourished from the blood of
Prometheus. Then she told him what to do to control the terrible bulls
And so Jason
rubbed himself with the oil next day and left to the fields. Suddenly
the earth moved and the bulls came out of their underground stables and
started to run towards the hero. However, no matter how many times they hit
him, he was not moving from his place. When the first bull lost his
strength, Jason jumped on its horns and forced it to its knees. Then he
put the plough on the beast and concentrated to control the next bull.
So he kept doing until he managed to plough all the land and started to
sowed the dragon teeth. When he finished, he drove the bulls back to
their stable and so he completed the first part of his job.
At dawn, a
dangerous warrior came out of every tooth. How could Jason have any
chance to defeat all of them? But he remembered a tip Medea had given
him, and he took some big rocks and threw them in high curves to the
sown men. Soon they started to blame each other for the kicks and they
collapsed. With this, Jason had fulfilled the second part of his job and
had honestly won the fleece.
Of course, the
king did not really want to give it away and started to think about the
way to get rid of the Argonauts. But Medea warned the group and together
they found out a way to get the fleece. Following the plan, the king's
daughter slept the dragon with a trick and then the Argonauts took the
fleece from the tree without a problem. Then they went back to their ship
and left Colchis that same night.
When the king
discovered the betrayal of Medea and the flee of the Argonauts he
gathered his warriors and started the persecution -without success.
Thanks to Medea, Jason killed the king Pelias at his return and reigned in Thessaly
for a while. However, he was soon expelled from there by the son of the
king, Akastus, and left to Corinth with Medea. There, he fell in love
with the daughter of Kreon, Glauke, something that Medea didn't like at
all. As a revenge she killed Kreon, Glauke and her children. When Jason
found out, he killed himself with a sword at the door of his own house.