Jason and Argonaut: Part II

In Iolcus; Pelias, son of Poseidon and Tyro, had anger the Goddess Hera, by murdering his stepmother, Sidero, at the goddess' altar! To further anger Hera, when Pelias became king of Iolcus, he banned people from worshipping her. Talk about a death sentence. Hera is Queen of the Gods and tormentor of Hercules and Zeus’s other illegitimate children. So can you say royally screw?

Let back up a bit. Tyro (Pelias’s mother) married her uncle Cretheus, king of Iolcus in Thessaly years ago. Tyro bore him three sons: Aeson, Amythaon and Pheres. When her husband died; Aeson, being Cretheus' eldest son, should have inherited the throne from his father. Pelias seized the throne and had his half-brother Aeson thrown into prison. But Aeson had a son, Jason, who as baby was send to be in the care of Chiron,  a wise Centaur and Trainer of Heroes. Pelias learned from Delphi that a man (Aeolid) with one sandal would cause his death.

Many years later, Pelias was holding games in honor of the Sea god and his father, Poseidon, when Jason arrived in Iolcus and lost one of his sandals in the river Anauros, while helping an old woman to cross (the Great lady Hera in disguise). She blessed him for she knew, as gods do, what Pelias had up his sleeve. When Jason entered Iolcus, he was announced as a man wearing one sandal.
Jason demanded that he had more right to the throne than his uncle, the usurper. The evil Pelias pretends to accept but says that the gods have told him that the Golden Fleece must be retrieved for the kingdom first. What Pelias has told him was a complete lie, and he believes anyone sent on a dangerous journey will never come back. Jason, however, glad to accept the challenge.
Jason understood that the journey to Colchis would be long and arduous. He knew that he would need a strong and swift vessel to make such a long trip. Only one man in the land could build him such a craft, Argos, who was famous for his skill as a shipwright. Argos readily complied with his request and, with the help of Goddess Athena, they built the largest and sturdiest ship the ancient Greeks had ever seen a ship that could withstand the ravages of the open sea. Built of oak and pine and over 22 meters in length, the ship had fifty oars and a low draught that allowed her to approach shallow waters without floundering. The construction was such that the mast, the rudder, the anchor and the oars could be removed and the ship then hauled ashore on cylindrical logs. This was significant, since it would prevent the ship from being destroyed or stolen. As a gift from Zeus, Jason received the Dodona, a piece of speaking timber from the God’s enchanted forest which was affixed to the prow. The Dodona had important roles to play, as an oracle offering the seafarers guidance on the best course of action and as a compass. The Dodona was oriented north and the ship’s rudder, south, to help in navigation. The imaginary line that extended from the Dodona to the rudder had coordinates aligned with the stars above, helping Jason plot the ship’s course with precision. The ship was named Argo after its builder and the crew was the Argonauts.
The idea of a great adventure, especially a quest to an unknown land, appeal to every heroes in Greece. Many of them, noble and brave, wanted to participate in the greatest adventure of them all. Jason had also won the favor of the goddesses Hera and Athena.

His 50 crew included:

Heracles (better known as Hercules): Strongest man in the world 

Castor and Polydeuces: Divine twin and sons of Zeus  

Orpheus: Greatest musician in Greece 

Calais & Zetes: Wind brothers sons of Boreas

Autolycus: Son of Hermes and great thief 

Atalanta: Adopted Daughter of Artemis and Greatest hunter 

Caeneus: transgender hero more information on him in June ;). 

Before they left, most of the heroes gathered, wanted Heracles to lead them as their captain. But Heracles declined the honour in favour of Jason. Tiphys, son of Hagnias, piloted the ship. And off they sail for the Golden Fleece.


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