Argonauts Roll Out!

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Argonatus were a group of men who served as heroes in Greek mythology.  They roamed Greece before the Trojan War (approximately 1300 BC).  They also accompanied Jason to Colchis when he went on an adventure to look for the Golden Fleece.  The group’s name comes from the name of their ship, Argo, which was built by Argus.  The term “Argonauts” means “Argo sailors.”

When King Cretheus died, the Aeolian Pelias took over the Iolcan monarchy from his half-brother Aeson.  He declared his was king of Iolcan in Thessaly.  Thessaly was located near the modern Greek city of Volos.  The Aeolian Pelias’s monarchy grab was an illegal move.  An oracle warned that a Aeolus descendant would seek revenge against the Pelias.  Pelias ordered that every important descendant of Aeolus be killed.  Tyro, mother of Aeson, pled the Pelias to spare Aeson.  Pelias granted this request but imprisoned Aeson and forced him to disclaim any inheritance.

Aeson went on to marry Alcimede.  Alicimede became pregnant and gave birth to Jason.  Pelias moved to kill the baby as it was a threat to his security over the crown.  Alcimede got her friends to cry and act like the baby was stillborn.  Alicimede faked a funeral and smuggled Jason to Mount Pelion.  There, Jason was raised by Chiron. A well known hero trainer.

Jason turned 20 and an oracle told him to dress as a Magnesian and travel tot he Iolcan court.  Jason lost his sandal as he crossed the Anavros river.  He was helping an old woman at the time.  Hera had disguised herself as this old woman.  Hera was upset with Pelias because he killed his stepmother Sidero.  Sidero attempted to seek refuge in Hera’s temple.

Pelias’s oracle warned him to be on the lookout for a man with only one shoe.  Jason got to the Iolcan court and at the time Pelias was supervising a sacrafice to Poseidon.  Neighboring kings were in attendance.  Jason was dressed in leopard skin and only had on sandal.  Pelias recognized Jason but could not kill Jason because

Pelias recognized that Jason was his nephew. He could not kill him because prominent kings of the Aeolian family were present.  Rather than killing him, he asked Jason what he would do if his oracle announced that one of your own citizens were predicted to hill you? Jason replied that he would tell him to go look for the Golden Fleece. Jason did not know that Hera had put a spell on him and had gotten him to say that without knowing it.

 

Jason then learned that a ghost of Phrixus was haunting Pelias.  Phrixus was riding a divine ram to avoid sacrafice at Orchomenus.  He hid in Colchis and was later was refused a proper burial.  An oracle predicted that Iolcus would only be successful if  the ghost was taken back in a ship with the Golden Fleece.

The Golden Fleece was in a tree in the grove in the Colchian Ares, which was protected 24 hours a day by a dragon that didn’t sleep. Pelias promised Zeus that he would if Jason returned he would give up the crown.  He believed that Jason would be killed if he tried to get the Golden Fleece.  What Pelias didn’t know is that Hera ensured that Jason made it back safely with the Golden Fleece.

The Greeks never wrote a complete list of Argonauts.  A researcher said that having an Argonautic ancestor was an addition to the best of Greek lineages.

  1. Acastus
  2. Actor, son of Hippas
  3. Admetus
  4. Aethalides
  5. Amphiaraus
  6. Amphidamas
  7. Amphion, son of Hypersaius
  8. Ancaeus, son of Poseidon
  9. Ancaeus, son of Lycurgus
  10. Areius
  11. Argus, who build the Argo
  12. Argus, son of Phrixus
  13. Ascalaphus
  14. Asclepius
  15. Asterion, son of Cometes
  16. Asterius, brother to Amphion
  17. Atalanta
  18. Augeas
  19. Autolycus, son of Deimachus
  20. Bellerophon
  21. Butes
  22. Calaïs, son of Boreas
  23. Caeneus (son of Coronus)
  24. Canthus
  25. Castor (son of Tyndareus; twin and half-brother of Pollux)
  26. Cepheus, King of Tegea
  27. Clytius (son of Eurytus)
  28. Coronus (son of Caeneus)
  29. Cytissorus
  30. Deucalion of Crete
  31. Echion
  32. Eribotes
  33. Erginus (son of Poseidon)
  34. Erytus (brother of Echion)
  35. Euphemus
  36. Euryalus
  37. Eurydamas
  38. Eurymedon (son of Dionysus)
  39. Eurytion
  40. Eurytus (son of Hermes)
  41. Heracles (son of Zeus)
  42. Hippalcimus
  43. Hylas
  44. Idas
  45. Idmon
  46. Iolaus (nephew of Heracles)
  47. Iphitos
  48. Jason
  49. Laërtes (Father of Odysseus)
  50. Laokoön (half-brother of Oeneus and tutor of Meleager)
  51. Leitus
  52. Leodocus
  53. Lynceus
  54. Medea (joined when the Fleece was recovered)
  55. Melas
  56. Meleager
  57. Menoetius
  58. Mopsus
  59. Nauplius
  60. Neleus (son of Poseidon)
  61. Nestor
  62. Oileus
  63. Orpheus
  64. Palaemon
  65. Palaimonius (son of Hephaestus)
  66. Peleus
  67. Peneleos
  68. Periclymenus (grandson of Poseidon)
  69. Phalerus
  70. Phanus (brother of Staphylus and Eurymedon)
  71. Philoctetes
  72. Phlias (son of Dionysus)
  73. Phocus
  74. Phrontis
  75. Poeas
  76. Pollux (son of Zeus)
  77. Polyphemus
  78. Prias (brother of Phocus)
  79. Staphylus
  80. Talaus
  81. Telamon
  82. Thersanon (son of Helios and Leucothoe)
  83. Theseus (son of Poseidon and slayer of the Minotaur)
  84. Tiphys
  85. Zetes (son of Boreas)

In honor of the Argonauts, this blog will seek to discuss and highlight modern day heroes, whether real or in fiction.  Hopefully this blog will inspire and encourage appreciation for the heroes in our lives.