Jason belonged to the ruling family of Iolcus, and the Euxine
Like many heroes’ stories, Jason’s birth also
starts with an oracle.
When Jason’s uncle, Pelias, deposed Jason’s
father from the throne of Iolcus and drove his
family into exile, Jason was sent to be raised
and protected by a centaur, Chiron. Meanwhile,
Pelias received a peculiar oracle: “Beware of
the man wearing one sandal!”
JASON TO RECLAIM HIS THRONE
He was journeying back to Iolcus, and had to
cross a swollen river. An old woman stood
beside the river. “Can I help you across,
ma’am?” asked Jason. The old woman
nodded and let Jason carry her. As they
proceeded across the river, Jason lost one of
his sandals in its muddy bed. The old woman
had been Hera in disguise
JASON ENCOUNTERS PELIAS
Pelias recognizes the
man with one sandel
and feeling the danger,
sends Jason to get the
Jason as a result
assembled a large group
of presumably fifty
heroes, who are referred
to as Argonauts.
The Argo was Jason’s
ship, built by the skilled
shipman Argus under
the direction of Athena.
SOME OF THE ARGONAUTS
the great musician Orpheus
the twin brothers of Helen of Troy named Castor and
Peleus (father of Achilles)
Telamon (father of Ajax the Greater)
Oileus (father of Ajax the Lesser)
Castor was a great horseman
Polydeuces a first-rate boxer
Lynceus could see under the earth
Zetes and Calais were the sons of the North Wind and could
A POSSIBLE ROUTE FOR THE VOYAGE OF JASON
AND THE ARGONAUTS
SOME OF THE ADVENTURES IN THE WAY
The Argonauts meet Hypsipyle, the queen on
the isle of women, Lemnos. Hypsipyle takes
a liking to Jason.
ON THE ISLAND OF CIUS
The Argonauts abandon Hylas, Heracles’
friend. (in fact, on the island of Cius, the
nymphs of the pool fall in love with Hylas and
drag him to live with them)
ON THE SHORE OF THRACE
Their next stop was on the shore of Thrace
where a seer named Phineus lived. The
Argonauts help free Phineus from the
Harpies, half-bird half-woman creatures.
THE CLASHING ROCKS
warns the Argonauts
Athena also helped
them pass through the
rocks by holding one
rock and pushing the
The Argonauts pass by Prometheus and arrive
in Colchis. Hera and Athena see them land and
discuss how to help them.
Hera and Athena scheme to help the Argonauts.
They ask Aphrodite for help Aphrodite bribes
Eros for help in the goddesses’ scheme. Eros
agrees to shoot one of his arrows into Aeetes’
(king of Colchis) daughter Medea
Jason plans to ask King Aeetes of Colchis for his
help. He asks for the Golden Fleece.
Aeetes tests the Argonauts and plans to kill them.
Aeetes tells Jason to drive two bronze-footed bulls
over the field of Ares, sow dragon’s teeth and then kill
the armored men that are grown from the seeds.
The Argonauts urge Jason to get Medea’s help.
Medea prepares a charm and meets Jason.
Medea gives him the magic ointment and tells him
what to do. Then Jason asks Medea to return with
him after the task is done.
Jason yokes the bulls and sows the dragon’s
teeth. Then from the dragon’s seeds,
armored men sprang up and Jason killed
them the way Medea had advised him. Jason
Medea’s treason is revealed and she flees,
helping Jason retrieve the Golden Fleece,
and getting his promise of marriage.
THE GOLDEN FLEECE
Jason follows Medea’s
directions to where the
Golden Fleece is
protected by a dragon.
Medea holds down the
calling on Sleep to
charm the dragon and
praying to Persephone.
After the creature is laid
approaches the oak tree
and brings down the
The Argonauts set sail, pursued by Absyrtus,
Jason kills Absyrtus, cuts his body and scatters
its pieces on the sea.
This action angers Zeus, as the Speaking Plank
of the Argo warns, and Jason has to seek
purification from Circe, a witch and Medea’s
After seeking purification from Circe, Jason and
Medea marry in Phaeacia.
Their final adventure on the voyage involved
a bronze giant named Talus who guarded the
island of Crete.
Medea helps the Argonauts to slay Talus, a
bronze giant, at Crete.
JASON IS BACK
Back in Iolcus, Jason hands over the Golden
Fleece to Pelias.
Medea Restores youth to Jason’s father,
Medea takes Revenge upon Pelias on behalf
JASON AND MEDEA IN EXILE
Jason and Medea went into exile in the city of Corinth
for their role in Pelias’ death.
In exile at Corinth, Jason’s infidelity with Glauce
Medea Secures refuge for herself, and a day’s leave
to take revenge on Jason.
Medea’s gift, a poisoned robe, kills Glauce.
Medea Murders the children born to Jason and
Medea Receives asylum in Athens; Jason dies
FROM MEDEA BY EURIPIDES
MEDEA [to Jason]: Go,
for you must be
possessed by longing
for your newly won girl.
being so long away
from the palace. Play
your role as
god's help I will say
this—you have made
such a marriage that
will end up to your
Colakis, Marianthe and Mary Joan Masello.
Classical Mythology and more: A Reader
Workbook. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers,
Inc. Wauconda, Illinois USA: 2007
Morford, Mark P. O.. Classical mythology.
Oxford University Press. New York: 2003