Jason, Greek hero and great voyager, was the son of Aeson
and Philyra. Aeson, the ruler of Jason's birth place, was
deposed by his half-brother Pelias, and Jason's mother decided
to place her son in the care of a wise centaur in woodlands
of Thessalia. The Delphic Oracle warned Pelias that he would
be turned off the throne by a man wearing only one sandal,
so when one day Jason returned to the city wearing only
one sandal, Pelias was understandably alarmed. To rid himself
of the threat he offered to make Jason his successor if
he could perform what Pelias regarded as an impossible task
- to bring home the Golden Fleece of the fabulous ram, the
gift of Hermes.
Jason immediately built a ship, gather together many famous
heroes, and set out. After many adventures, the ship reached
the kingdom of Aeetes where the Golden Fleece was. The king
agreed to five up the Fleece but imposed a series of conditions.
Jason was to plow a field using two wild bulls with breath
of flame and hooves of bronze, and plant the fields with
dragon's teeth. Medea, who was a magician and the daughter
of Aeetes, fell in love with Jason and helped him overcome
the fierce dragon, which guarded the Golden Fleece, by preparing
a magic potion. The dragon fell into a deep sleep, enabling
Jason to seize the precious trophy.
Historically, the Golden Fleece came from the Golden Ram
that saved Phrixus and Helle from being sacrificed by their
stepmother. The ram flew off with them and over the sea.
Helle fell off and that's why that part of the sea is called
the Hellespont today. Phrixus made it to safety in Colchis.