Episode #6 of the course “Heroes of Greek Legend”
Though Jason was rightful heir to the throne of Iolcus, Jason’s uncle had taken the kingdom. His mother hid him with the centaur Chiron, who raised Jason. On the way to reclaim his throne, Jason helped the goddess Hera, disguised as an old woman, to forge a torrential river. Hera granted him her favor and promised to aid his quest.
Jason’s uncle tricked the young man into taking up a journey to retrieve the mythical Golden Fleece from the land of Colchis. At the edge of the world, the Fleece was in the sacred temple to Ares, God of War, and guarded by a dragon. With other heroes, including Heracles and Atalanta, and aided by the magical ship Argo with blessings from Aphrodite, Jason set sail.
In their travels, Jason and his crew helped King Phineus rid himself of the curse of monsters with birds’ bodies and women’s heads, called Harpies. In turn, the king told them how they could escape the crushing Symplegades rocks on the way to Colchis. When they arrived, the king’s daughter Medea, a sorceress, fell in love with Jason and helped him defeat her father’s challenges to reach the Golden Fleece. Medea helped Jason harness two fire-breathing bulls and defeat enchanted soldiers. She also distracted the dragon while Jason stole the Fleece.
After fleeing Colchis, Jason avoided the Sirens’ entrapment and defeated the bronze man Talos of Crete. He and Medea returned to Iolcus, but they were later driven to Corinth because of Medea’s sorcery. In Corinth, Jason betrayed Medea after becoming engaged to the princess Creusa. Medea kills Creusa, her father, and the two sons she had with Jason before fleeing to Athens on a chariot pulled by dragons. Enraged at Jason’s betrayal of Medea, the goddess Hera withdrew her support, and although he reclaimed Iolcus, Jason died alone and miserable.
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