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1001 Stories Collection

Jason and the Argonauts

Added on 29th June 2020

Oral tradition Greek myth

Jason's epic adventure was recorded by Apollonius of Rhodes in Argonautica, late third century BC.


When Jason’s uncle Pelias takes over his father’s throne, he sets Jason an impossible quest: he must sail to Colchis and steal the golden fleece of a flying ram. If he succeeds, he can reclaim his father’s kingdom. To help him on his quest, Jason assembles a group of heroes called the Argonauts, named after their ship, Argo…

Why we chose it

This is an epic adventure story featuring a number of famous Greek heroes and monsters.

Where it came from

The definitive account of this myth was recorded by Apollonius of Rhodes in his epic poem Argonautica, written in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late third century BC.

Where it went next

The myth of Jason and the Argonauts appears in many works, including Euripides’s Greek tragedy Medea, 431 BC and Dante’s Inferno, 14th century. The myth was also adapted into a 1963 film directed by Don Chaffey. It is known for its portrayal of the various legendary monsters created in stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen. The famous skeleton scene, in which seven skeletons emerge from the sand, fight the Argonauts and are driven into the sea, lasts only three minutes but took four months to produce. The bones of the skeletons may still be in the sea beneath the cliff where they were thrown for the final shot!

Associated stories

Many of the Argonauts feature in their own myths, including, most famously, Orpheus and Hercules. After the quest of the Golden Fleece, Orpheus is known for his descent into the Underworld to save Eurydice, and Hercules goes on to complete his own “Twelve Labours”.

Added on 29th June 2020

Oral tradition Greek myth