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The myth of the Golden Fleece

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Chapter Summary

One of the best known Greek myths is that of Jason and his Argonauts, who sailed to Colchis to fetch the Golden Fleece. The myth is already mentioned in the Odyssey as ?world famous' and is a good illustration of both how the Greeks appropriated oriental motifs and the roads along which these motifs reached them. This chapter looks at the events leading up to the sacrifice of the ram with the golden fleece; the Hittite background of the Fleece; the connection of the Fleece with the aegis of Zeus and Athena, the killing of the dragon, and the escape of Jason with Medea's help. The chapter concludes with a study of the routes along which the myth of the Golden Fleece reached Greece.

Keywords: aegis of Zeus and Athena; Argonauts; golden fleece; Greek myth; Hittite; Odyssey; ram sacrifice



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