The Fleece




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 Hylas, Peleus, the father of Perseus, Neleus, Orpheus and the sons of Zeus Kastor and 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.

On 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 right.

The heroes 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 of Ares.

1st Task

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.

2nd Task

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.

Perseus / Heracles / Theseus / The Argonauts / Odyssey / Phaethon / Orpheus














ΝΕΟΛΑΙΑ/Δράση 3.2 Μελλοντικό Κεφάλαιο Jannis Trociewitz "Mythological & Historical Webpage for the Youth of Europe"