The Real Aetia of Myths about Medeia
The epic Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes foully traduces the inherent historicity embedded in Early Greek Mythology, wherein the origination of Jason’s epic voyage both before and after his marriage to Medeia. That most all myths and epics before and since the Hellenistic Age of Greece were so easily traduced makes a pointed contrast to the conservatory role for early Greek myth by Latin Literature and Roman Classical Mythology.
That said for openers, the degree to which we must disdain the wretched epic author Apollonius derives from his reckless dismantlement nigh to perdition of most of the Sun Saga, an opus of three constituent long myths of novella lengths. Refined by the Great Oral Tradition, there’s consensus that they were about (1) Aiëtes & Idyia, (2) Phrixus & Chalkiopë and, at last (3) Jason and Medeia. Fully obliterated are the myths by accretion, (4) aunt-Pasiphai & King Minos II, (5) Medeia & her son Medeios by Aegeus and (6) aunt-Cirkë, mother of Telegonos son-of-Odysseus. Such was once the entire Sun Saga, about the Helioidae, but mostly in particular about marriages respective to each novella epic that worked off mostly graced destinies, despite they led to much unhappiness for the children whom they conceived.
Medeia’s real biography by Early Greek Myth was mostly about a woman of divine gifts and under tutelary goddesses and demi-goddesses who helped her mete out horrid full justice upon wicked men. Much of graciousness and generous benefice, however, Medeia dispensed upon men in whom she found repose of her trust and selflessness. Her dispensations of harshest redress are remembered, of course, far more than her feats of generosity as a steady, judicious counselor to male sovereigns. Nary any redress or divine redemption was exacted upon a mortal woman – regardless her alleged divine pedigree by Helios — who might well have been a chosen mortal incarnation of the Goddess Hekatë. Those kind of themes connote that aetia – primal cause and just reasoning, both as existential myths about her – for all dastardly episodes of Medeia’s long lifetime.
A marriage made by Aphroditë ended most appropriately through the wisdom and wiles of Goddess Hekatë to counteract the lust for Jason induced by the Goddess Desire. That served redress upon the perfidious husband to the union of Jason & Medeia. It was marriage most fit for Jason to exploit after he’d ventured far beyond his powers and means to take on the bride’s brilliant and dauntless father Aiëtes. His promises were hollow, beginning with his boast that he was Medeia’s surest means to escape and travel away from the new and unwanted homeland of her mother Idyia’s marriage to Aiëtes. Her mother had died of it, left behind her sacral legacies upon her birthplace of the Isthmus of Ephyrëa.
I doubt there are many, if any modern Greek Mythologists, who think about these essential premises of the marriage, or that it to lead into so much doom visited upon Medeia by most all the principle men so oddly introduced into her life by the Fates. She’s a major convenience to an epic story line about Jason, not a lead protagonist. Few Greek Mythologists, moreover, would hope her ever living contentedly ever after Jason, first in Attica and finally upon the Isthmus of Ephyrea over all the years in consequence of her once happy and successful marriage to Aegeus — despite that wedlock, her second marriage, was doomed by her malicious stepson Theseus. Such was her destiny notwithstanding that her Fates disposed all her favorable powers to the service of Aegeus’ wants and needs. As we shall declaim about through much later Bardot Blogs than this 181st posting, we’ll vigorously argue, short of rigorously substantiating, the hows and the whys of several a few major episodes within Medeia’s lifetime.
The Early Greek Myth about How the Marriage of Jason & Medeia
and Why it Failed
The name which the Chiron of Magnesia meant “healer” or “atoner” when he granted it to the hero Jason presupposed a young teenager who’d been named Diomedes at his birth. He was born in northeast central Greece, later to be supposed Iolkos below Mount Pelion whose long southward descent by rift nearly envelops Pagasai Bay.1 He received the dub of Jason when Chiron,2 his instructor at war medicine and war strategy, thought his bright student should fit the martial role of master physician, to best maintain thereby the large mobilizations that would affect any major and prolonged warfare. As a matter of generalship at war, hygiene and repair of wounds was part of the logistical demands required of the outstanding War Wanax, the Chief-of-Chiefs.
He became an adventurer instead. The chief exploits of this hero are related by the Myth Index through a long article titled Argonautae, Thereby we can confine ourselves to his personal history withal this particular posting, which is deliberately kept as indirectly referent as possible to Medeia’s complicities in Jason’s life.
According to the common tradition of recitations, whereby the ancient consensus, he was a son of Aeson and Polymedë, although the name of his mother varies by different writers—-Polymelë, Amphinomë, Alkimedë, Polyphemë, or Rhoeo. After the death of Kretheus, the appointed High King over Aeoleis, the founded seaport of Iolkos became important to the principality of Haemon vouchsafed to the father Aeson. However, Pelias, an uncle, or according to others, a brother of Jason, came to rule over Iolkos by appointment of Great King Aiakos/(Aeacus lat. lit)3.
Insecure and wary of his told out Fates, Pelias heeded an oracle that he should be killed by a prime descendant of Aeolus, and, therefore, he should put to death all foremost rivals by that nation race, the Aeolidae. Jason, whose grandfather was supposed the late high king Kretheus, was himself an eldest son. He needed to be saved and he was, by close relatives, who lamented over his Fates that had him doomed as though he were already dead. On good and inspiriting advice, which overcome such morbid thoughts, they entrusted young Diomedes to Chiron to be educated upon Mount Pelion, where a school of martial arts. That high chief over the native Magnesians, and the founder of that school already become famous upon Mount Pelion, the Master turned that haunt into a virtual refuge for rejected or disaffected royal sons, by rendering from there suppliant protections over defenceless young men such as Jason.
Pelias, still distraught over his Fates, was advised by a second oracle to be on his guard against a man with only one shoe. Not long after his murderous intrigue against foremost rivals amidst the Aeolians, which feat he deemed sufficiently successful, Pelias offered up fitting sacrifice to Poseidon, whereupon he invited among the congregants partaking of the butchery the grown and mature Jason. Subsequently, moreover, Pelias did not recognize his nephew/brother Diomedes. Until, that is, the newly renamed Jason arrived with only one sandal, having lost the other at crossing the Anauros, a river on the banks of which he was living a lowly tenancy under the high equestrian Minyans – the favored subjects of his grandfather Kretheus.
Another tradition represents Jason as coming into Magnesia directly from Mount Pelion, instead of from the river Anaurus, whereas other rhapsodists mention the Evenus or Enipeus rivers. But adding to the valid designation of the Anauros has been the appearance of Hera, a goddess in love with Jason, before whom she assumed the appearance of an old woman. Standing upon the bank of the river, she requested him to carry her across. Jason in so doing lost one of his sandals, inferring the true design of Hera behind her request, to inevitably have the conjoined cousins/brothers Pelias and Jason clash to the death against each other. Under the training of Chiron, the duel would be impossible for Jason to lose Others rhapsodists relate that Jason was formally disinvited by Pelias, and that foiled the reason why Jason came from Mount Pelion to Iolkos, to find his aged father Aeson still alive, whereupon he could demand outright the throne of the usurping Pelias, that it be surrendered and his sham undertaking as a supposed guardian of Aeson be exposed as a fraudulent means of putting down the superior claim, inherent Jason’s primogeniture over Pelias.
Aeson was alive but in activity for refusing Pelias as the superior choice of king over Haemonia, perhaps as somehow reckoned by grandfather Kretheus before he died. Put somehow upon the defence, Pelias rendered homage to his brother/cousin Jason, but with only conditional consent: Before he would surrender the throne he demanded of Jason proof of a superior succession to his brother Aeson by performing an ordeal. He must remove a curse which rested upon the nuclear family since the Aeolidai. He must fetch a golden fleece, thereby soothing the spirit of Phrixos (the originator of the curse in accordance with the Saga of the Heliodikoi, summarily known best as the Sun Saga]. For that heritage ram of gilded saffron fleece, a token and an heirloom by gift from Hermes, was justly the possession of the royal House of Kretheus, but it had been lost when Phrixos and his sister Hellë had mounted the ram alive whereby to escape the internecine conflicts that their stepmother Ino had fomented and blamed directly upon her stepson……4
[ I shall not say now or here the part of the Sun Saga concerning Phrixos and the bravely surmounted ordeals that lead him through divine agency to Aiëtes’ far away kingdom in the west. Suffice only to say that he married there Chalkiopë, the king’s second born daughter and the half-sister of Medeia, by the marriage of the Aiëtes after the death of his first and greatly loved wife Idyia.]
……The common story asserts a surreptitious arrival of Jason to Iolkos, but he soon provoked Pelias’ to remember the oracle about the man with one shoe, and knew thereby his imminent great peril from his ill-disguised guest. Feigning ignorance, Pelias duly asked Jason what he should do if he were told by an oracle that he would be killed by one of his subjects, perhaps a closest relative? Jason, on the suggestion of Hera, who hated Pelias, answered, “I would send him out to fetch the golden fleece, whereby his utmost peril from which he can easily survive because he’s innocent of any genuine threat against you.”
Pelias accordingly ordered Jason to fetch the golden fleece, which was in the possession of king Aiëtes, under guard of an ever-watchful dragon amidst a land inhabited by other greatest beasts.
Upon Jason’s desperate recourse to propitiation, wherefrom an endowment from Hera, Argos, a son of Phrixos’s youth, or another man, Arestor, built the gloriously fated ship The Argo. He invited aboard the principal heroes of Greece to form crew in support of his just and numinous expedition. Those companions embarked from Iolkos, Jason holding the helm oar but well counseled by many fine pilots. This company first landed at Lemnos Island, which was governed by Hypsipylë, whose enticements had him at sojourn with her over two winters and a very fair voyaging season in between. By her carnal comforts of his needs of manhood, Jason became the father of Euneus and Nebrophonus (or, as others would call him, Deiphilos, or Thöas). After many adventures beyond the next embarkation, in resumption of his expedition, Jason and his companions arrived to the kingdom of Aiëtes.
He brought that king to declare what was the just compensation for a daring deed to win promise of the Golden Fleece should its guarding dragon be subdued. The king’s daughter Medeia presiding, she attested for her father’s conditional promise. Upon meditating the manner in which Jason might best fulfill the surrender of the Golden Fleece, the sorceress Medeia divulged her arts of sorcery, and while hatching a conspiracy, Aphroditë intervened to cause the maiden to fall rapturously in love with Jason. Under the spell, she explained how dangerous was her father’s imposed ordeal, lest he should be easily killed by brazen-hoofed, fire-breathing bulls – seemingly docile despite their immensity – whom Jason was meant to yoke to a plough, Medeia promised to assist him variously until the fleece was yielded to him as soon as purloined from the dragon guarding it.
In return Jason would take an infernal oath that he would honestly make her his wife, then take her down to Greece and have her installed there to her mother Idyia’s abandoned great estate(s) upon the Isthmus. When Jason promised to do so, Medeia gave him an ointment, with which he was to anoint his body, shield and spear. Its concoction was meant to make him for a single day invulnerable to searing fire or wound by molten iron. She further informed him that from the dragon, which he had to slay, he was to sow its teeth in a field ploughed with the above-mentioned yoked bulls. Thereupon armed men of chthonic force would rise up against him, and so she commanded Jason to throw stones among the teeth, explaining that as the bulls would alight upon those stones to possess them selfishly and viciously, bulls and armed warriors would destroy one another—or else it would be easy for Jason to destroy their either remnant few survivors.
So brilliantly counseled, including the cautious steps by steps to undertake, Jason succeeded in doing the ordeal he’d been bidden to perform at Aiëtes behest. The king, of course, refused to give up the golden fleece, for, besides knowing himself tricked thus duped, Aiëtes had formed his own secret plan, that to burn the ship Argo and destroy the Argonauts at their encampment where Medeia had escaped to upon discovery of her brilliant treason. Alerted of her father, of course, in the night she conducted her beloved Jason to the fleece, sent the dragon into deepest slumber by a potion, and having taken possession of the fleece by her blessed act to have saved the dragon, she hauled the prize woolen carcass up the mast and embarked hastily well away with Jason in the ship now saved from her father.
The plot deepened, most nefarious schemes ensuing. Her brother Absyrtos Medeia inveigled into accompanying her at flight. Then, according to some rhapsodists, at saying of the departure, Jason fought with Aiëtes, and killed him. Jason, who was wounded but was soon cured by Medeia, a far better healer by medicine that the Chiron had educated Jason to concoct. And yet, according to the common story, by the consensus of many bards, Aiëtes was only delayed at pursuing the fugitives, and soon enough, or anyway, he was nearly to overtaking The Argo. Medeia promptly killed her brother Absyrtos, and scattering the parts of his body upon the ship’s wakes she fled away and ahead for every part staggered and dropped overboard. For the collecting of those scattered limbs detained the bereaved Aiëtes…….
[Jason and Medeia supposedly escaped with a few last remnants of Apsyrtos. The Argonauts were subsequently purified by Medeia’s aunt-Cirkë from the blood crime of murdering the lad. She’s also supposed to have wisely reversed the itinerary of escape, changing it to a northwest passage around the Greek Peninsula and then down to Pagasai Bay where Iolkos was tucked at its head. But that round-about itinerary was only a make believe escape, a plot motif or emendation of the Saga, to explain why Jason and Medeia made a first formal return to the Great Land, whereby their most unreasonable deliverance possible by the journey back to Pelias.]
What actually happened next was a first layover of the journey down the Ionian Gulf at Scheria, the fantastic island of the Phaeacians. But then a turn of fortunes so utterly amazing! Some of Aiëtes able seafarers and warriors at pursuit found a way to overtake the Argo! By threat of invasion full force to wreak utter mayhem, the pursuers demanded the surrender of Medeia. Alcinous of Scheria Island promised to give her up, but only righteously, such as Medeia could not be until she was formally married to Jason. He then hosted Aiëtes’ lieges to abide time to discover the true situation. Duly Aretë, the wife of Alcinous, contrived to hurry the marriage, in order to avoid the necessity of her husband surrendering Medeia.6 Releasing their young guests as their worthy suppliants, Jason and Medeia achieved the west shore of the Isthmus of Ephyrëa under strong and fair following winds, first the Boreades, and down the Great Gulf with Zephyra and his zesty Harpy Winds blowing strongly abaft…..
[What happened next, by way of explaining how the married couple resolved a conflict between themselves, is lost recitation from the Great Oral Tradition – upon which is based these original Early Greek Myths that composed the Sun Saga of three parts, each of novella length. For the conflict entailed Medeia’s desire to assume governance over her matrimonial lands by her mother Idyia, whereas Jason was all in a dither to cross the Isthmus, organize a next expedition upon its other side with whomever of the Argonauts still wished to continue on as crew. The supposition was Jason’s prevalence over Medeia on account of her love for him by divine enchantment, and natural willingness to be selfless about her own best interests through waiver of her considerable enrichment of inherited large demesne upon the Isthmus. Such selflessness was likely persuasive of the Argonauts to brave themselves onward, knowing too well how essential the assistance of Medeia to effect bold triumphs over all adversities. But let it be emphasized, there’s no means to proofs of what’s been lost from Early Greek Mythology. Instead, please pay heed, we resume the most reasonable plotting by affording strongest contrast to the final and fraudulent Classical and Hellenistic Greek Mythography.]7
….At a juncture that required next most circuitous means to onward progress, Jason and Medeia arrived at Iolkos. Here the poet Ovid proves the most astute of mythologists by what he contrives from his own lost sources to have been the most reasonable further plotting of the Sun Saga’s final novella. The Poet states that Jason found his aged father Aeson miraculously alive. Medeia rendered him restoratives to affect the father’s further vigor, whether real or only convincing by appearances. Accordingly, the mission changed into a just restoration of Aeson, regardless of the accomplished ordeal of the golden fleece. This quirk of plot would allow Medeia and Jason to return to the Isthmus and resume the resettlement and refurbishment of her mother’s estates. She also would have secured her superior place over the commerce of Aiëtes brought ashore the Isthmus through agency of her nephews, the sons of Phrixos.
According to the common tradition, by circumvention of Ovid’s likely correct mythography, the voyage of the Argo become too excessive of duration. Pelias reasonably believed that the Argonauts would never return with Jason. Besides, he had in the meantime resolved to kill his brother Aeson or, according to another version’s recital, entrap and incarcerate Jason. Amazingly, Aeson begged to be permitted to put an end to his own life to spare Jason, but he was refused. Forthwith he drank the blood of a bull which he’d sacrificed, and thus (for some befuddling reason) he died after so long lingering his pathetic life. Jason’s mother publically cursed Pelias for this crime, and hied herself smartly away from Haemonia. Pelias ruthless killed her surviving young son Promachus. Just after these heinous blood crimes, and only then as the common tradition has it, Jason arrived and presented the Golden Fleece to Pelias.
Appalled by Aeson’s death, owing to his own unnecessary procrastination and tardiness at dedicating the ship Argo to Poseidon while upon the Isthmus, Jason had also dismissed the Argonauts. He became thereby powerless of any means to a just redress of his father’s suicide perforce. His propitiation was mismanaged, moreover, by failure of rites of thanksgiving to include what was owed to the boons of Hera and Medeia’s tutelary goddess Hekatë. That dedication had him desperate for manpower after the fantastic Argonauts went home. Jason then took on a new crew that was composed, of course, of Medeia’s best hirelings off the Isthmus, so that his expedition could proceed valiantly. All else of challenges far above his head, yet again, he too typically called upon Medeia to overcome any next tribulations and, forthwith, sought somehow to wreak sure vengeance upon Pelias. He made some kind of retreat into hiding to allow her brilliant methods by which to implement the uncle’s ruin.
The Ruse? Medeia managed covert means and disguise by which she earned employ in the royal household of Pelias. Serving well, both obsequiously and covertly, she inveigled the daughters of Pelias to perform what she had done for Aeson to rejuvenate him……
[Here, though, please notice the contradiction that’s so promptly realized here, that she could not have both restored Aeson for no time granted her to do so]
…… By her bidding, the maiden princesses must cut their father into hunks and simmer them in a pot, pretending thereby that they would reassemble by magic and restore Pelias to youth and vigor as so recomposed. She demonstrated her own efficacy by changing a ram sheep back into a wee lamb, by boiling the dissected parts of his aged body in a cauldron. Commanded by Pelias to replicate the same means to rejuvenation, he took a potent narcotic to overcome his brief submission to his daughters while bathing in private within the large crater pot. He did not emerge from that privacy alive, of course.
of the Rejuvenated Ram
Jason was so appalled by the atrocity committed that he gave a way his wife’s machinations to affect the blood crime. He did not need Akastos the son of Pelias to drag Medeia away from Iolkos. According to other acceptable traditions, Jason, having taken for granted Medeia’s vengeance upon Pelias, spared the other members of the family, and even raised Akastos, [his first cousin], to the throne of his father and uncle. For the earliest legends failed for any mention ever of Jason’s expulsion from Iolkos. The greatly respected Hesiod even related that Jason, once restored as king over Iolkos, became by Medeia the real father of Medeios, who also was educated by Chiron upon close neighboring Mount Pelion.
According to the finale of the common tradition, though, Jason cravenly fled from the sure consequence of Medeia’s designed means to affect Pelias’ virtual self-suicide. He abetted her escape, therefore, by returning to the Isthmus of Ephyrëa. There they lived in marriage to a sacramental term of a Great Year, 100 solar months, or eight and two-third years.
Five or six years then passed.
As the term of wedlock neared expiration, Kreon, a high priest of supreme offices by Thebes, betrothed his daughter Glaukë to Jason, whom he inveigled into an annexation, a very considerable part of the Isthmus to be conjoined to her border estates of Thebes. Medeia, who had made Jason the Keeper of the Isthmus on account of her own great contributions to Ephyrëa, was irate over the conspiracy, but she kept her silence in order to sleuth out the Kreon’s comprehensive strategies.8
Incented nonetheless to desert Medeia, Jason lay low and stayed reticent of the plot. His good wife was not about to be humbled and abused by yet another man who would reduce or debase her. Invoking Hekatë and the deities by whom Jason had sworn to be faithful to her, she sent to Glaukë her children bearing her gift of a poisoned garment and diadem. When the latter put on the garment composed of lethal filaments, she, together with her father Kreon, was consumed by the poisonous incendiary substance that issued from the gifted vestment upon its any content with the skin of the wearer. The daidem flashed ablaze around the skull of the would-be bride! Medeia had her children by Jason killed – after agonizing over their lives for being accursed by her very own blood crime. She then fled in a chariot drawn by four winged dragons. Supposedly the gift of her grandfather Helios she was accompanied by a large entourage of champions-at-arms to Athens. Her younger children, whom she’d spared, she placed as suppliants upon the altar of Hera Akraia, but the most overwrought of the Isthmians wrenched them off that refuge and put them to death…..
[According to the Hellenistic Age historian Diodorus, the violence was all in part to a mutual casting aside of the marriage by husband and wife. Medeia set the marriage palace at Thebes on fire, wherein Kreon and Glaukë were burnt alive. Jason somehow escaped. Medeia reconciled with him, even to delivering three more sons by him – Thessalos, Alkimenes, and Thersandros – the last two of whom died later because killed, whereas Thessalos became the eventual ruler over Iolkos and Haemonia. The historian also states off contradictory sources, that Medeia first escaped to Thebes, where she cured the son of Amphitryon and Alkmenë, their boy named Alkeios/Alkëos. [If so, she spared the mortal life of the far future Herakles, who was the honorific name granted to Alkeios before his apotheosis into immortality]. Only after that act of salvation did Medeia flee to Athens, to become a suppliant to King Aegeus, by their agreement already composed when first she’d first sleuthed out the foul intentions and precise machinations of her treacherous husband.
Making Sense of a Mess
There are numerous errata throughout the Hellenistic Greek Mythology from which Apollonius of Rhodes extracted his Argonautika. You have noticed them by the numbers placed in subscript throughout the summary version of Jason’s biography, itself inherent the story of Medeia and himself.
Here I explain further by those numbers:
1…….. The mythically designated, original birthplace of Jason – in Iolkos of the petty kingdom of Haemonia – is unlikely to have had him born royal there. Both toponyms presuppose the non-existence as yet of the Kingdom of Magnesia, which was an important subrealm realm of Kretheus’ High Kingdom of Minya. The port and the petty kingdom were, by contrast, insignificant entities, unformed beneath the sway of the greater kingdom that Magnesia became subsequent to the 1370s BC. It had been until then an important matriarchate under Minyan martial occupation until emancipated, we think, by Aiakos at reconquest. By then, it agreeable, that its matrilineal dynasty had been debased by Minyan invaders during the 15th century BC. In fact Kretheus became a high king rewarded with the restoration of that matriarchate’s confiscated lands, in a regent caretaker capacity that endeared Kretheus and his taken wife Tyro to his liege sovereign, the Great King Aiakos, the son-of-Aegina, a displaced matriarch herself.
2…….. Chiron/Cheiron was a name title for the high chief over the indigenous Magnetes, “pony people” of Pelasgian descent from which the Kingdom of Magnesia took its name. The success of one particular high chief was to found a school of martial arts and sports medicine, leading, it seems, to a precedence of alternating “head masters,” all named Chiron, who were either champions-at-field and –at-Horse or most masterful physicians-at-field. Such was the reputation of the school that it lured royalty of highest equestrian culture and caste.
3…….. We believe that Pelias was a step-brother of Aeson, born of a forced marriage imposed upon Tyro, of an anonymous sire who had debased her. So Pelias is an uncle of Jason, the son of an incompetent father, Aeson, so that Jason’s primogeniture as the only licit grandson by Tyro was of no account whatsoever to render him superior claim upon a petty kingdom, perhaps only a chieftainate, located somewhere within Aeoleis (but more likely westward from Pagasai Bay). There’s inference that we should heed that Pelias was ambitious, thus a serious rival to his Aeolian contemporaries amidst the petty royal enclaves whom the MYTH INDEX dubs Aeolidës. It seems credible to us that Pelias the uncle greatly exceed Jason in promise, if not in licit pedigree, so he had to earn by merit grant and title of high chief over Haemonia. That grant compelled Jason into fortune seeking abroad of his birthplace, and into missions abroad by which he could court or vie for a foreign bride of substantial legacies. His circumstance was usual for the sons of early Greece’s most important women by primordial legacies.
4……… We must wonder why a curse upon the Aeolides because Phrixos lost his beloved sister Hellë. Both of them escaped a homicidal stepmother by mounting together Hermes’ gift of flying ram. It had dumped her into a fatal pledge while flying over the strait which would be named the Hellespont for her. Given that a curse was to be reckoned with nonetheless, Jason manifests his true character by dawdling with his preeminent Argonauts along the way to Cholkis where the golden fleece. Upon which disclosure we can have no further credibility from Apollonius. The real reason for the dawdling was recruitment of crew for a voyage to the realm of Aiëtes at the head of the Adriatic Sea. But the epic couldn’t be about a realm of Italy when the epic poem was written with the geography of that peninsula well known. A fantasy setting, including fierce monsters and surprising wonders, had to be made up as new mythography utterly unalike a voyage along the east shore of the Adriatic. The recruited Argonauts also amply demonstrate that all knowledge of when they lived had become smashed broken eggs scrambled before cooked in the pan. For the most part they were second sons of dynasts newly ascendant, such as describes Kastor and Pollux by Tyndareos, Laertes by Arceisius, Alkeios/Herakles by Amphitryon, et al
5…….. We won’t disdain the very good stories about Medeia’s assistance of Jason once she’d been made to fall in love with him by Aphroditë. The lack of credibility resumes, however, once the Argo becomes too overladen for swift flight and must delay the more rapid pursuit fleet that Aiëtes has dispatched. This episode was meant to enthrall Apollonius’ audiences with the unimaginable vastness of the Euxine or Black Sea. Instead, most bardic renditions of the epic induced ridicule from audiences because every time that Medeia had to delay pursuit she had to drop overboard a hunk of her brother Absyrtos; and for every part of him sent afloat, Aiëtes must pause to pick it up less he lose it for a proper laying to rest by funeral rituals still utterly unknown. It was all too impossible to imagine; The Argo had no difficulty at out-distancing the pursuit fleet given the Heroes composing her crew.5
6……. We must dismiss the entire diversion of the escape itinerary by the Phaeacians of Scheria Island (modern Corfu). That race of seafarers was named for Phaiax, a man born early in the 14th century BC, and who lived almost a generation later than Jason. Medeia’s years of age would have exceeded Phaiax’ by at least fifteen years, if only that amount because she’s such a young heroine of Early Greek Myth. She would have passed Scheria Island 60 years earlier that his instatement as High Chief over the Scherians in 1349 BC.
7…….. We have already objected to the Saga’s lack of reasonable plotting of how the divided self-interests of new husband Jason and wife Medeia were resolved. Her entire purpose was to restore herself to her beloved mother’s homeland of the Lower Isthmus, before Ephyrëa had become named Corinth after a pinnacle named the Acro-Korinth. The end of the voyage would have greater likelihood of an arrival to the Isthmus where Medeia was allowed a brief beginning of a full restitution—of herself as sole heiress to Idyia’s landed matrimony. Enabled of competent assistants, she could then have met Jason’s terms of marriage by making an informed expedition to deliver the Golden Fleece. Well prepared to dethrone Pelias, such plotting, we think, was the likely original last part novella of the Sun Saga. The time spent in restoring Medeia to full matriarchal estate would, we emphasize, be time also well spent at sleuthing out Pelias, whether or not the voyage of the Argo could be protracted as Apollonnios would have so.
8……… After Jason and Medeia had become joint accomplices to her heinous blood crimes to destroy Pelias, we have a final absurdity by Apollonius for citing Kreon as a sovereign over Corinth – meaning the entire Isthmus – and not just a foremost dignitary at offices by Thebes. This blunder of his identity with an entirely improper realm is inexcusable, implying that Thebes has somehow been annexed by Corinth.
Our Emphasis Hereon upon Medeia
The Sun Saga’s last part of novella length, when originated and recited as Early Greek Mythology, had not so much to do with Jason as it did with Medeia. Classical Greek Mythology revised the emphasis in Jason’s favor, although the preeminent role in the Saga concerns Medeia from after she’s completed her coming-of-age and had proved a wily and precocious murderess.
In closing this posting, therefore, we leave readers with our promise to bring Medeia to her proper illustrious characterization, which began with her supplication and subsequent marriage to Aegeus. Even at that, though, we presume that there was some additional Early Greek Mythography that sufficed to explain how Medeia was rendered legitimate as a consort to her new sovereign liege.
We’ll resume our story of her with those justifications, albeit with sufficient premise and lead-ins to her ultimate exoneration as a mother capable of having her children by Jason killed – all of them!