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date: 09 December 2023


, mythical hero group from Greek epic


, mythical hero group from Greek epic
  • Richard Hunter


Argonauts, one of the earliest (cf. Hom. Od. 12. 69–72) and most important Greek sagas, set in the generation before the Trojan War and involving heroes particularly associated with *Thessaly, central Greece, and the *Peloponnese. The main Greek literary sources are *Pindar's Fourth Pythian, the Argonautica of *Apollonius (1), and *Apollodorus (6) 1. 9. 16–26 (largely based on *Pherecydes (2) and Apollonius); certain incidents were treated by *Callimachus (3) in the Aitia.King *Pelias of Iolcus sought to rid himself of the threat to his kingship posed by the legitimate heir, *Jason (1), by sending the young man off to recover the fleece of a golden ram upon which Phrixus had fled to the fabulous kingdom of the sun, Aia, ruled over by King Aeëtes. At least as early as the *Epic Cycle Aia was identified with the kingdom of *Colchis at the eastern end of the Black Sea.


  • Greek Literature
  • Greek Myth and Religion

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