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date: 26 November 2022


, mythical Greek hero


, mythical Greek hero
  • Richard Hunter


Jason (1), in mythology, son of Aeson and Alcimede, and leader of the *Argonauts in their quest for the golden fleece; Ἰάσων was sometimes etymologized in antiquity as ‘the healer’. In the most common version, Jason was brought up in the Thessalian countryside by the *Centaur Chiron after *Pelias took the throne of *Iolcus in place of Aeson. When Jason returned to Iolcus to claim his inheritance, Pelias, forewarned by an oracle to beware of a man wearing only one sandal, recognized the danger and devised the expedition to recover the golden fleece from the kingdom of Aia in the extreme east (cf. Pind.Pyth. 4; Ap. Rhod.Argonautica). The expedition itself follows a familiar pattern of *rite-of-passage stories in which young men must undergo terrible ordeals before claiming their rightful inheritance; *Apollonius' Jason, in particular, resembles the tragic *Orestes in the hesitation he feels in the face of what he must do. The expedition is successfully completed with the assistance of *Hera, who wishes to punish Pelias for neglecting to honour her, and Aphrodite who makes the Colchian princess *Medea fall in love with Jason.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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