Cla204 - Feb 28 Lecture 8
Jason and medea
Why was that ship ever built from mount Pelions wood/ and driven by young mens arms in search of
Phrixus ram? medeas words...writing to Jason when she finds out Jason is going to marry someone
- Phrixus and his sister Helle who are hated by the step mother. She tricks their father into
sacrifices them. Just before the sacrifice Phrixus and Helle escape.
- Phryxus was the son of Athamas, king of Boiotia, and Nephele (a goddess of clouds). His twin
sister Helle and he were hated by their stepmother, Ino.
- Ino hatched a devious plot to get rid of the twins, roasting all of Boeotia's crop seeds so they
would not grow. The local farmers, frightened of famine, asked a nearby oracle for assistance.
- Ino bribed the men sent to the oracle to lie and tell the others that the oracle required the
sacrifice of Phrixus and Helle. Before they were killed, though, Phrixus and Helle were rescued
by a flying, or swimming, ram with silver wool sent by Nephele, their natural mother
- During their flight Helle fell off the ram and drowned in the Dardanelles, renamed the
Hellespont (sea of Helle), but Phrixus survived all the way to Colchis, where King Aetes, the son
of the sun god Helios, took him in and treated him kindly, giving Phrixus his daughter, Chalciope,
- In gratitude, Phrixus sacrificed the ram to Zeus and gave the king the golden fleece of the goat,
which Aetes hung in a tree in the holy grove of Ares in his kingdom, guarded by a dragon that
- Heroides*** are fictious letters from mythological heroines to their heroes and lovers who are
absent. Ovid writes them. Ovid adds the feminine voice. **** ON TEST
Myth of Jason and Medea
Wiki notes more clear than lecture
- Medea's role began after Jason arrived from Iolcus to Colchis, to claim his inheritance and
throne by retrieving the Golden Fleece.
- In the most complete surviving account, the Argonautica of Apollonius, Medea fell in love with
him and promised to help him, but only on the condition that if he succeeded, he would take
her with him and marry her. Jason agreed.
- Aetes promised to give him the fleece, but only if he could perform certain tasks.
o First, Jason had to plough a field with fire-breathing oxen that he had to yoke himself.
Medea gave him an unguent with which to anoint himself and his weapons, to protect
him from the bulls' fiery breath.
o Then, Jason had to sow the teeth of a dragon in the ploughed field (compare the myth
of Cadmus). The teeth sprouted into an army of warriors. Jason was forewarned by
Medea, however, and knew to throw a rock into the crowd. Unable to determine where
the rock had come from, the soldiers attacked and killed each other. Cla204 - Feb 28 Lecture 8
o Finally, Aetes made Jason fight and kill the sleepless dragon that guarded the fleece.
Medea put the beast to sleep with her narcotic herbs. Jason then took the fleece and
sailed away with Medea, as he had promised.
o Medea only helped Jason in the first place because Hera had convinced Aphrodite or
Eros to cause Medea to fall in love with him.
- Medea distracted her father as they fled by killing her brother Absyrtus.
- Medea is said to have dismembered his body and scattered his parts on an island, knowing her
father would stop to retrieve them for proper burial;
- While Jason searched for the Golden Fleece, Hera, who was still angry at Pelias, conspired to
make him fall in love with Medea, who she hoped would kill Pelias.
- When Jason and Medea returned to Iolcus, Pelias still refused to give up his throne. Medea
conspired to have Pelias' own daughters kill him. She told them she could turn an old ram into a
young ram by cutting up the old ram and boiling it. During the demonstration, a live, young ram
jumped out of the pot. Excited, the girls cut their father into pieces and threw him into a pot.
- Having killed Pelias, Jason and Medea fled to Corinth. This is much like what she did with Aeson,
- In Corinth, Jason abandoned Medea for the king's daughter, Glauce. Medea took her revenge by
sending Glauce a dress and golden coronet, covered in poison. This resulted in the deaths of
both the princess and the king, Creon, when he went to save her.
- Medea continued her revenge, murdering her two children by Jason. Afterward, she left Corinth
and flew to Athens in a golden chariot driven by dragons sent by her grandfather Helios, god of
- When Jason is fully grown he returns to his thrown
- On his way he must cross a river
- He meets an old woman who needs help to cross
- He is coming to watch the posidens sacrifice
- Jason who is a gentlemen and also a hero carries her across the river and loses his sandals.
- He doesnt know who this old woman is.
- She is Hera.
- Jason will have the help of the queen of heaven (hera)
- Why is she doing this. Phelesus sacrifice to Poseidon. Hera doesnt like Pheleus. She plots to
destroy him with Medeas help.
- Because Jason is so kind and helpful, Hera picks Jason
- This alarm the king because the oracle told him to fear a man wearing one sandal and that this
will be his downfall
- Pelesus approaches the one sandaled man (Jason), Jason accepts the challenge of bringing back
the golden fleece
- Jason is known as the one sandaled heroCla204 - Feb 28 Lecture 8
- Write up passage: individual right of passages from one stage to another (intitiation..)
- He undergoes various trials which he has to prove to be a hero
- Jason must prove that he is no longer a child
- Jason quest: to find the golden fleece.
- Thesus: quest to kill the minatour
- Perseus: Quest to kill medusa
- Jason has to build a ship and he has Athenas help
- They are in eokos, they need to get to `Colhis. He needs a ship to sail there.
- This is an ARGO. It is giagantic. Athena, argos and Jason build the argo
- Arganauts are the sailors. Naut : means sailor
- for these sailors, Jason gathers the leading heroes
- some of these heroes (sailors). 1. Hercules, 2. Orpheus 3. Castor 4. Polydeuces
- these heroes have special skills
- Castor and Polydeuces: guardians of horses
- Journey: they start in Iolcus and have to go to Colchis. The first place go to Lemnus (inhabitated
by only women) Aphrodite punished the women by making them smell. The women kill the
men the same night.
- Hypsiply puts Thoas in a chest.
- These lemnian women try to fight the Argonauts. The Argonauts welcome the women in to the
city and into their beds.
- The Argonauts first adventure is in their beds. (part of the right of passage)