Classics 430:
Greek and Roman Mythology
25 February 2002

I.   House of Aeolus / Jason and the Argonauts

1. Places: Orchomenos, Iolcus (Greece), Thessaly, Colchis, Aia
2. People:  Aeolus, Athamas, Nephele, Phrixus and Helle, Ino, Aeetes (Circe, Pasiphae), Pelias, Aeson (Jason's father), Chiron, Medea, Apsyrtos
3. Gods:  Helios (Aeetes' father), Hera

II. Athamas, Phrixus, and Helle

1. Athamas: one of the SEVEN sons of Aelous.
2. Athamas and Nephele (Cloud) have two children:  Phrixus and Helle
3. Athamas grows tired of Nephele; marries Ino
4. Ino bears a son, but is jealous of Phrixus
5. Ino devises plot: ruins the crops and produces a famine (women and fertility!)
6. Athamas sends messengers to Delphi, but they are intercepted and bribed to give a ëfalse oracleí to Athamas.  They tell him to sacrifice Phrixus.
7. Athamas agrees to sacrifice Phrixus, but the boy is saved at the last minute by the appearance of a GOLDEN RAM (cf. Abraham and Isaac!)
8. Phrixus and Helle jump on back of the ram and it flies East.
9. Helle falls off the ram at PROPONTIS; thereupon named, 'Hellespont' ("the sea of Helle")
10. Phrixus rides ram to Colchis; sacrifices ram to Zeus; gives golden fleece to Aeetes.

III. Pelias, Aeson, Jason

1. Pelias wanted power over all of Thessaly.
2. He drives out his brother Neleus, imprisons his half-brother Aeson (Jason's father)
3. Aeson and his wife give birth to Jason; send him to the centaur CHIRON to be educated.
4. At adulthood, comes to Iolchis for a festival of Poseidon.  He helps a disguised HERA cross a stream, and so Hera decides to use Jason to get her revenge on Pelias (who ignored her) through Jason.  (the whole "one-sandaled man will destroy you" oracle)
5. Pelias recognizes Jason as his destroyer by the sandal; sends him off to get golden fleece.
6. He gathers his ARGONAUTS!  (to be continued.)