Jason is an unconventional hero and was the leader of the Argonautic Expedition on the quest to recover the Golden Fleece. This is the Jason Greek mythology story to help you gain a better understanding of Jason’s role in Greek mythology and who he is.
Jason was birthed during the interfamilial war that took place for rule overIolcus. Jason was raised by a Centaur named Chiron, and later went back to Iolcusso he could take up the throne but ultimately was sent off on the quest of fetching the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a golden ram that was held in Colchis.
He was the son of Alcimede and Aeson and was supposed to succeed his father on the throne of Iolcus, but instead his half-uncle Pelias took over the throne. Pelias feared for his life because of an ancient prophecy. Therefore, Pelias wanted Jason as far away from Iolcus as possible. So, he ordered Jason to do the seemingly impossible and fetch the Golden Fleece from the King of Aeetes of Colchis.
The Argonauts and Jason
Jason gladly accepted the quest to bring the Golden Fleece to Iolcus from Colchis. He ordered a boat made and gathered a group of heroes to go with him on the mission, and they were named the Argonauts, named after the ship’s name Argo. Over the course of their mission, the Argonauts encountered many perils and adventures, ultimately overcoming all of them.
Early in their journey, they arrived at the isle of Lemnos. When Jason and his group arrived, this island was ruled by Hypsipyle. This island was completely inhabited by women; this is because a long time earlier they murdered their husbands for rejecting them because of their awful smell – as the island was cursed by Aphrodite – and for partaking in Thracian concubines.
The Argonauts rested on the island for a while, sleeping with women and helping to create a new race called the Minyans.
The Attack of the Gegeines
After the Island of Lemnos, they arrived at the island of Doliones.Here, they were greeted by the king Cyzicus. Many of the Argonauts went hunting for supplies, and while they were doing so, the Argos was attacked by the Gegeines.This was a group of giants with six arms who lived on the island of Doliones.
An Argonauts named Heracles was able to slay many of the giants before the entire group of the Argonauts returned and pushed back the giants. That night, the Argonauts set sail again, but the winds blew them back to the island. The Doliones thought they were being attacked by pirates and attacked the ship, resulting in the death of many Doliones, including the king. When the morning sunrose, they sawthe outcome from the previous night. The penitent Argonauts had a funeral for the murdered king.
The Harpies and Phineus
The next stop for the Argonauts was in Thrace at a place called Salmydessus, where they came upon a blindKing named Phineus, who was almost starved to death. Zeus had sent Harpies to steal Phineus’s food every day. Jason decided to help Phineus, so he and his crew lured the Harpies in with a grand feast.
After the Harpies arrived, Zetes and Calais chased away the Harpies. Phineus was so grateful that he explainedwhere Colchis was, in addition to the technique that they would need to do to pass through the Clashing Rocks, also called the Symlegades.
The Symplegades were cliffs of rock that would close in on and crush whateverattempted pass between them. However, Phineus had told Jason that the way to get through the Clashing Rocks was to send a dove and watch for if it made it through the rocks, this was a sign for what would occur to the Argos. The dove was able to pass through the rocks, losing only several of its tail feathers; thus the ship traveled through the stones and received only minor damages to the ship.
Finally, Jason and the Argonauts reached Colchis and were greeted by Aeetes, king of Colchis. The king possessed the Golden Fleece, which had been given to him by Phrixusafter he had arrived on a flying golden ram many seasons before. The kingtold Jason would give the fleece over if he completed several, apparently impossible, tasks in one day. After learning about the tasks, Jason was left feeling completely desperate.
Luckily, Hera was able to convince Aphrodite to persuadeEros, or Cupid, to shoot Medea, Aeetes’ daughter, with an arrow to make her infatuated with Jason. Medea wasn’t just anyone; she was a princess and was also a high priestess of Hecate and had studied in the arts of sorcery and magic.
The first task that Jason had to complete was plowing a field with the Khalkotauroi, which were a couple of fire-breathing bronze-hoofed bulls. Medea prepared an anointment for Jason that protected him from the fire of the bulls, and he was able to plow the field successfully.
The second task included sowing dragon’s teeth into the field he had plowed; while this might seem like an easy task, as soon as the teeth were planted, an army of warriors made of stone sprung from the ground. Medea told Jason that he should throw a rock into the middle of the warriors. They didn’t know who had tossed the stone, so they attacked each other and ultimately killed each other, leaving Jason as the only one left standing in the field.
Even after these tasks were completed, Aeetes didn’t giveJason the Golden Fleece. Instead, he plotted the death of Jason and the Argonauts with the rest of the Colchis men. Medea, hearing about this plan, went to Jason and the Argonauts, then she took them to the sacred oak tree that had the Golden Fleece hanging from it. This tree was guarded by a dragon that didn’t sleep, but with the help of her spells and drugs, Medea was able to make the dragon fall asleep so Jason could grab the Golden Fleece and return it to the ship.