Monday, 28 April 2014


                                                    In Greek mythology, Jason was described as leader of the Argonauts and  was the son of Aeson, the lawful king of Iolcus. Pelias (Aeson's half-brother) was very power-hungry, who overthrew Aeson (the rightful king), killing all the descendants of Aeson that he could. Pelias and Aeson shared a common mother, Tyro, who requested Pelias to spared Aeson life.  So Pelias kept Aeson (Jason's father) a prisoner and would certainly have murdered Jason at birth. But Alcimede (Jason's mother) deceived Pelias by mourning as if Jason had died.
Janson and Centaur Chiron (the trainer of heros)

                                          Alcimede faked a burial and smuggled the baby to Mount Pelion. He was raised by the centaur Chiron, the trainer of heroes. Pelias, still fearful that he would one day be overthrown, consulted an oracle which warned him to beware of a man with one sandal. When Jason was 20 years old, an oracle ordered him to dress as a Magnesian and head to the Iolcan court. While traveling Jason lost his sandal crossing the muddy Anavros river while helping an old woman (Hera in disguise). The goddess was angry with King Pelias for killing his stepmother Sidero after she had sought refuge in Hera's temple.
Jason helping old woman (Hera in disguise)

                                               Pelias was presiding over a sacrifice to Poseidon with several neighboring kings in attendance. Among the crowd stood a tall youth in leopard skin with only one sandal. Pelias recognized that Jason was his nephew. He could not kill him because prominent kings of the Aeolian family were present. Instead, he asked Jason: "What would you do if an oracle announced that one of your fellow-citizens were destined to kill you?" Jason replied that he would send him to go and fetch the Golden Fleece, not knowing that Hera had put those words in his mouth.
 Jason (lower right), returning to his hometown, is recognized during a festival by his uncle Pelias.

                         Jason learned later that Pelias was being haunted by the ghost of Phrixus. Phrixus had fled from Orchomenus riding on a divine ram to avoid being sacrificed and took refuge in Colchis where he was later denied proper burial. According to an oracle, Iolcus would never prosper unless his ghost was taken back in a ship, together with the golden ram's fleece. This fleece now hung from a tree in the grove of the Colchian Ares, guarded night and day by a dragon that never slept. Pelias swore before Zeus that he would give up the throne at Jason's return while expecting that Jason's attempt to steal the Golden Fleece would be a fatal enterprise. However, Hera acted in Jason's favour during the perilous journey.
Jason and Argonauts with the boat Argo

                                          Jason assembled Greece's bravest heroes and together they sailed in the Argo in quest of the fleece. On their journey the Argonauts were seduced by beautiful women, attacked by warriors, buffeted by storms, and challenged by monstrous creatures. Finally the blind prophet Phineus told them how to make their way safely to Colchis, where the Golden Fleece was kept. When they arrived there, King Aeetes demanded that before Jason take the fleece he yoke together two fire-breathing bulls, plow the field of Ares, and sow it with dragon's teeth obtained from Cadmus. Aeetes' daughter Medea fell in love with Jason and gave him magical protection that allowed him to complete the tasks. In return Jason swore an oath of fidelity and promised to take her with him to Greece. When Aeëtes still refused to relinquish the fleece, Medea revealed its hiding place and drugged the guardian dragon. The Argonauts then fled Colchis with the fleece, pursued by Aeëtes. But Medea killed and cut to pieces his son Absyrtus, scattering the parts of his body in the sea. Aeëtes stopped to retrieve them. In another version, Absyrtus led the pursuit and, when Medea tricked him into an ambush, was killed by Jason. (The Quest of Golden Fleece)
Jason and Medea
                                               Jason and Medea stopped to be purified of the murder by Circe at Aeaea, and there they were married. When they returned to Iolcus they found that Pelias had continued his tyrannical rule. Medea persuaded Pelias that he could be rejuvenated by having pieces of his body boiled in a magical brew. She then convinced his daughters that they should perform the task of cutting up their father. Pelias was thus murdered by his innocent daughters. Jason seized the city, but he and Medea were expelled by Acastus, the son of Pelias.

Jason with golden fleece

                                           They sailed on to Orchomenses in Boeotia, where they hung the fleece in a temple. Then they went to Corinth. There Medea had rights to the throne, and Jason reigned for many years. But he forgot his oath and tried to divorce Medea so that he could marry Creusa, daughter of King Creon. 

                                   In revenge, Medea, by magic and trickery, burned to death both the father and daughter. Because Jason had broken his oath, the gods caused him to wander homeless for many years. As an old man he returned to Corinth, where, resting in the shadow of the Argo, he was killed when the prow toppled over on him.

Related Posts
  Argonauts : Iynx The island of LemnosThe Quest of the Golden Fleece :


Wednesday, 23 April 2014


In Greek mythology, Echo (or Ekho) was a mountain nymph of Mount Cithaeron in Boiotia. Due to her talkativeness, she was given the task to distract Zeus wife Hera so that Zeus could freely enjoy his love affairs with the other Nymphs.The goddess Hera discovered Echo’s deceit and cursed her with the voice of the echo, to only repeat the last words of what was said before, as punishment for distracting her with chatter.

                       Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus, who was the son of the Nymph Liriope of Thespiae. Echo often waited in the woods to see Narcissus hoping for a chance to be noticed. One day as she lingered in the bushes he heard her footsteps and called out “Who's here?” Echo replied “Here!” Narcissus called again "Come", Echo replied "Come!". Narcissus called once more “Why do you shun me?... Let us join one another.” Echo was overjoyed that Narcissus had asked her to join him. She longed to tell him who she was and of all the love she had for him in her heart but she could not speak. She ran towards him and threw herself upon him.
Echo and Narcissus

 Narcissus became angry “Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!” and threw Echo to the ground. Echo left the woods a ruin, her heart broken. Ashamed she ran away to live in the mountains yearning for a love that would never be returned. The grief killed her. Her body became one with the mountain stone. All that remained was her voice which replied in kind when others spoke.
Echo and Narcissus

                                            According to other version of the Echo and Narcissus story depicts that Narcissus later came to a still pool and caught sight of his own reflection. He became enamored of his own beauty and didn't realize that he was looking at himself. Any words of love he would mutter to his reflection Echo would repeat around him. From then he either withered until he became a narcissus, still bending over to look at himself, or he realized that he loved his own image which resulted in Narcissus killing himself out of despair with his hunting knife. From the drops of his blood were spawned the first narcissi.
Echo and Narcissus

                                  According to some versions Echo lived in the woods and denied the love of any man or god. Pan, a lecherous god, fell in love with Echo, but she ran away from him. He became so angry when she refused him he created such a "panic" causing a group of shepherds to kill her. Echo was torn to pieces and spread all over the Earth.The goddess of the earth, Gaea, received the pieces of Echo, whose voice remains repeating the last words of others. In some versions, Echo and Pan had two children: Iambe and Iynx.