THE ARGONAUTS

The Argonauts were
a number of heroes who
participated in the Argonautic Expedition, setting sail for the mythical land
of Colchisunder
the command of their leader Jason,
in order to find the legendary Golden
Fleece.

The story
unravels years before the Trojan War,
when King Cretheus of Iolcus died
and Pelias usurped
the throne from his half-brother Aeson. However, he was told of a prophecy,
according to which a descendant of Aeolus would
seek revenge for his acts. Killing every possible descendant of Aeolus, Pelias spared
his half-brother and incarcerated him. Aeson married Alcimede, who gave birth
to Jason;
faking her newborn’s death to trick Pelias,
Alcimede managed to hide her son in an area near Mount Pelion, where the centaur Chiron raised
and nurtured him.

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As a
young man, Jason returned
to Iolcus under Hera’s
command. He attended a sacrifice to Poseidon where Pelias and
other kings were present, and his uncle recognised him. Unable to kill him in
front of so many guests, Pelias told
him to fetch the Golden
Fleece which was hanging from a tree
somewhere in the far-away land of Colchis.
This venture sounded impossible as the Fleece was guarded by a never-sleeping
dragon. In fact, Pelias was
so certain the mission would fail that he swore he would give up the throne
if Jason returned
with the Golden
Fleece.
Over 80
brave companions signed up for the journey Jason set
out to complete. The expedition eventually succeeded, helped by Hera,
and Jason returned
with his companions to Iolcus,
bringing along the Golden
Fleece.

Source: Greek Mythology

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