Medeia and the Golden Fleece (page 361)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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Herodoros 31F52 FGrHDie Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, pp. 225-6, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

AR 3.597-600 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

for once he had heard a baleful prophecy from his father Helios, that he must avoid the secret treachery and schemes of his own offspring and their crafty mischief.  Greek Text

AR 3.1246-1345 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

Meanwhile, prompted by Medea, Jason steeped the charm in water and sprinkled with it his shield and sturdy spear, and sword; and his comrades round him made proof of his weapons with might and main, but could not bend that spear even a little, but it remained firm in their stalwart hands unbroken as before. But in furious rage with them Idas, Aphareus’ son, with his great sword hewed at the spear near the butt, and the edge leapt back repelled by the shock, like a hammer from the anvil; and the heroes shouted with joy for their hope in the contest. And then he sprinkled his body, and terrible prowess entered into him, unspeakable, dauntless; and his hands on both sides thrilled vigorously as they swelled with strength. And as when a warlike steed eager for the fight neighs and beats the ground with his hoof, while rejoicing he lifts his neck on high with ears erect; in such wise did Aeson’s son rejoice in the strength of his limbs. And often hither and thither did he leap high in air tossing in his hands his shield of bronze and ashen spear. Thou wouldst say that wintry lightning flashing from the gloomy sky kept on darting forth from the clouds what time they bring with them their blackest rainstorm. Not long after that were the heroes to hold back from the contests; but sitting in rows on their benches they sped swiftly on to the plain of Ares. And it lay in front of them on the opposite side of the city, as far off as is the turning-post that a chariot must reach from the starting-point, when the kinsmen of a dead king appoint funeral games for footmen and horsemen. And they found Aeetes and the tribes of the Colchians; these were stationed on the Caucasian heights, but the king by the winding brink of the river.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

AR 4.83-182 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

“Save me, the hapless one, my friends, from Aeetes, and yourselves too, for all is brought to light, nor doth any remedy come. But let us flee upon the ship, before the king mounts his swift chariot. And I will lull to sleep the guardian serpent and give you the fleece of gold; but do thou, stranger, amid thy comrades make the gods witness of the vows thou hast taken on thyself for my sake; and now that I have fled far from my country, make me not a mark for blame and dishonour for want of kinsmen.”

[92] She spake in anguish; but greatly did the heart of Aeson’s son rejoice, and at once, as she fell at his knees, he raised her gently and embraced her, and spake words of comfort: “Lady, let Zeus of Olympus himself be witness to my oath, and Hera, queen of marriage, bride of Zeus, that I will set thee in my halls my own wedded wife, when we have reached the land of Hellas on our return.”

[99] Thus he spake, and straightway clasped her right hand in his; and she bade them row the swift ship to the sacred grove near at hand, in order that, while it was still night, they might seize and carry off the fleece against the will of Aeetes. Word and deed were one to the eager crew. For they took her on board, and straightway thrust the ship from shore; and loud was the din as the chieftains strained at their oars, but she, starting back, held out her hands in despair towards the shore. But Jason spoke cheering words and restrained her grief.

[109] Now at the hour when men have cast sleep from their eyes~huntsmen, who, trusting to their bounds, never slumber away the end of night, but avoid the light of dawn lest, smiting with its white beams, it efface the track and scent of the quarry — then did Aeson’s son and the maiden step forth from the ship over a grassy spot, the “Ram’s couch” as men call it, where it first bent its wearied knees in rest, bearing on its back the Minyan son of Athamas. And close by, all smirched with soot, was the base of the altar, which the Aeolid Phrixus once set up to Zeus, the alder of fugitives, when he sacrificed the golden wonder at the bidding of Hermes who graciously met him on the way. There by the counsels of Argus the chieftains put them ashore.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

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Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2022.

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