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Chapter

CLST 100 Chapter Notes -Golden Fleece, Pelias, Homicide


Department
Classical Studies
Course Code
CLST 100
Professor
Christina Zaccagnino

Page:
of 2
Revenge
Acting just for the sake of revenge was frowned upon in the Greek society
Friends= Philoi
Enemies= Ekhthroi not enemies in war, just enemies in general
Friends were mainly among relatives or neighbours; people there was daily
contact with; however, there were cases of enemies within families
Blood ties were not as important as faction (party they supported)
Examples of enemies in the family are given in mythology. They are the
stories of Medeia from Aia in Colchis, Jason from Iolchus, and the Arganauts
Medeia is a witch; and the niece of another witch; her father was the king of
Colchis
Jason was from Iolchus and his father was the king of Iolchus, but his uncle
Pelias overthrew him and stole the power. Jason was sent away as a kid and
grew up far from this area.
o After 20 years had gone by he wanted to get revenge in honour of his
father, and wanted his reign back
o The uncle realized he would have to get rid of Jason, as a prophesy
had told him an individual would come to him with only one sandal on
his foot, and this person would overthrow him
o His uncle told him he would return the reign if Jason was able to bring
back to him the golden fleece which was in Colchis
o With the help of Athena, they built a ship named Argonth
o The fleece was under the protection of a dragon, so one would have to
fight the dragon to get the fleece
o The fleece was dedicated to Aris
o Jason was able to get the fleece through the help of Medeia, and she
wanted marriage in return
o First written record of this myth was during the 6th century B.C. there
were a lot of explorations at this time, so this might have affected the
myth
o Pelias didn’t want to give back the throne, so Medeia cut Jason’s
fathers body into pieces and boiled it; rejuvenating him
o They did the same to Pelias, but he was not rejuvenated, and Jason
and Medeia were accused of homicide
o They were exiled, and their relationship grew stronger and they had
sons together
o Jason at one point wanted to marry the daughter of the king of the
area they were living in so that he could be king, so he left Medeia
o Medeia, feeling betrayed, killed their children as revenge and
poisoned Jason’s new wife by sending her a poisoned robe
o After killing her children she left to Athens, where she remarried
Xenia= guest-friendship
Xenos is a friend from abroad
Xenia was perpetual
Betrayal of it is considered an offence against the gods
The beginning of the relationship was marked with a ceremony
Xenia did not expire with the death of the partners themselves, but passed on
through the male line to their descendants
The first mention of Xenia is in Homer, Iliad
Children were often named after guest-friends