What the Golden Fleece in Greek Mythology

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The Golden Fleece in Greek mythology is mainly associated with the story of Jason and the Argonauts, was one of the most coveted objects of that time period. This object was a symbol of wealth and kingship, and it was a coveted object by the royalty of the day. King Pelias of Thessaly commission Jason and the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece for him so that they could bring it back to Thessaly. This journey was filled with difficulties, and obtaining the Golden Fleece is one of the most beloved tales in Greek mythology. Here’s more detail about what the Golden Fleece was and why people wanted it:

What the Golden Fleece Was

The Golden Fleece was a ram that had hair that was made of gold. This was incredibly unique and rare, and this Golden Fleece came to represent everything that was royal and noble in Greek mythology. As a result of the ram’s unique, golden hair, the fleece itself became a highly coveted object because it came to represent royalty and true kingship. As the legend states, anyone who possessed the fleece would be considered a true ruler.

King Pelias Takes the Throne

Although Jason was considered to be the true ruler of Thessaly, King Pelias, Jason’s uncle, takes the throne. Because Jason was the rightful heir to the throne, King Pelias did everything that he could in order to prevent Jason from taking his rightful place. Since the Golden Fleece was looked at as the ultimate symbol of royalty, King Pelias did what he could to make sure that the fleece came to Thessaly. Not only that, but Pelias had imprisoned Jason’s father and he feared that Jason would come to claim the throne one day. However, he wasn’t initially aware that Jason had survived. Jason’s mother mourned him as an infant, but instead shipped him off to Chiron, who raised him in secret where he grew to be a formidable warrior.

Jason Tries to Claim the Throne

When Jason came of age, he decided to travel to Thessaly to claim his birthright. Hera, the queen of the gods, decided to send him a series of tests to see if he really had what it took to become a true hero. Once he passed the test, he finally arrived in Thessaly to claim the throne. His uncle appeared to welcome him, but this was all an act. He sent Jason off in search of the Golden Fleece with his band, referred as the Argonauts, set out on a quest to retrieve it. King Pelias’ desired the fleece for himself and once he had it in his possession, he felt as if he would be considered the true king.

Things didn’t quite turn out the way King Pelias expected. Once Jason successfully retrieved the fleece after besting the dragon who guarded it, his journey back to Thessaly was filled with difficulties. Ultimately, although he was in possession of the fleece, he died alone.


Wikipedia – Golden Fleece

Wikipedia – Jason

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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