Who Were the Argonauts in Greek Mythology?

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In the Greek mythological stories, there are certainly plenty of heroes. Tales of valor and heroism are so ingrained in the tales that they have even transcended the ages. These stories are still known and embraced today. One of these tales concerns Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. Who know that Jason was always portrayed as the star of this tale, but the Argonauts were important, as well. Here is a look at who the Argonauts were and the role the played in the overall tale:

Who the Argonauts Were

The Argonauts were a band of heroes who accompanied Jason on his quest for the Golden Fleece. However, the overall tale goes a lot deeper than that. This story takes place before the Trojan War, and historians place the tale itself to around 1300 B.C. The band was named after Jason’s ship, the Argo, and they were instrumental in helping Jason on his quest as he journeyed to Colchis to recover the mythical Golden Fleece. In some tales, the band of heroes weren’t called Argonauts. They were often referred to as Minyans, which referred to a mythological tribe of individuals who lived in the area were Jason originated. It is unclear how many Argonauts there really were, but some sources indicate that there were up to 85 members of the crew. Overall, though, the records were incomplete and this information was actually derived from several sources.

Argonauts and the Golden Fleece

So what role did the Argonauts play in recovering the Golden Fleece? It appears as if they had several purposes. First of all, the Argonauts made up the crew of the Argos, which was a large ship that was too much for Jason to handle alone. However, they also played another important role – The Argonauts offered Jason with much needed support from a warrior’s perspective. Hunting an object like the Golden Fleece was a dangerous quest and Jason needed people on his side. Some famous names in Greek mythology were said to be part of Jason’s crew including Hercules, Orpheus, Nestor, and Theseus. In other words, these Argonauts were more than just crew members. They could fight, as well.

Recovering the Golden Fleece

Jason was the rightful heir to the throne, but after King Cretheus, who was Jason’s father, died, Pelias usurped the throne from his half brother, Aeson. Because this was an unlawful act, an oracle predicted to Pelias that one of Aeson’s descendants would cause his demise. In response, Pelias ordered that all babies who descended from Aeson would be put together. When Jason was born, he was smuggled away from Pelias and therefore spared.

When Jason later learned of his true birthright, he knew he had to do something. An oracle intervened and told him to journey to the court at Iolcus. In response to this, Jason eventually ended up hunting for the Golden Fleece with the Argonauts. Because the goddess Hera aided them on their journey, they were ultimately successful.

The Argonauts played a big part in helping the hero, Jason, recover the Golden Fleece and take hsi rightful place on the throne.


Wikipedia – Argonauts

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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