Golden Fleece

Golden Fleece

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In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, the Golden Fleece ' onMouseout='HidePop("46241")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Georgian_language">Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

: ოქროს საწმისი) is the fleece
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 of the gold-haired winged ram, which can be procured in Colchis
Colchis
In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolkhis was an ancient Georgian state kingdom and region in Western Georgia, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation.The Kingdom of Colchis contributed significantly to the development of medieval Georgian...

. It figures in the tale of Jason
Jason
Jason was a late ancient Greek mythological hero from the late 10th Century BC, famous as the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus...

 and his band of Argonauts
Argonauts
The Argonauts ) were a band of heroes in Greek mythology who, in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, the Argo, which was named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts", therefore, literally means...

, who set out on a quest by order of King Pelias
Pelias
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology, the son of Tyro and Poseidon. His wife is recorded as either Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Pisidice, Alcestis, Pelopia, Hippothoe, Asteropia, and Antinoe.Tyro was married to Cretheus...

 for the fleece in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

. The story is of great antiquity – it was current in the time of Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 (eighth century BC) – and consequently it survives in various forms, among which details vary. Thus, in later versions of the story, the ram is said to have been the offspring of the sea god Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

 and Themisto
Themisto
In Greek mythology, Themisto , daughter of Hypseus, was the third and last wife of Athamas. According to Apollodorus, she had five children by him: Leucon, Erythrius, Schoeneus, Ptous, and Porphyrion. In other sources there were but two: Sphincius and Orchomenus, or else Schoeneus and Leucon...

 (less often, Nephele
Nephele
In Greek mythology, Nephele was a cloud nymph who figured prominently in the story of Phrixus and Helle.Greek myth also has it that Nephele is the cloud whom Zeus created in the image of Hera to trick Ixion to test his integrity after displaying his lust for Hera during a feast as a guest of Zeus...

 or Theophane
Theophane
Theophane was a daughter of Bisaltes, who, in consequence of her extraordinary beauty, was beleaguered by lovers, but was carried off by Poseidon to the isle of Crinissa. As the lovers followed her even there, Poseidon metamorphosed the maiden into a sheep and himself into a ram, and all the...

). The classic telling is the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes
Apollonius of Rhodes
Apollonius Rhodius, also known as Apollonius of Rhodes , early 3rd century BCE – after 246 BCE, was a poet, and a librarian at the Library of Alexandria...

, composed in mid-third century BC Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, recasting early sources that have not survived. Another, much less-known Argonautica, using the same body of myth, was composed in Latin by Valerius Flaccus
Gaius Valerius Flaccus
Gaius Valerius Flaccus was a Roman poet who flourished in the "Silver Age" under the emperors Vespasian and Titus and wrote a Latin Argonautica that owes a great deal to Apollonius of Rhodes' more famous epic....

 during the time of Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

.

Synthesised plot synopsis



Athamas
Athamas
The king of Orchomenus in Greek mythology, Athamas , was married first to the goddess Nephele with whom he had the twins Phrixus or Frixos and Helle. He later divorced Nephele and married Ino, daughter of Cadmus. With Ino, he had two children: Learches and Melicertes...

 the Minyan
Minyans
According to Greek mythology and legendary prehistory of the Aegean region, the Minyans were an autochthonous group inhabiting the Aegean region...

, a founder of Halos
Halos
Halos was a settlement in Ancient Greece, in the region of Thessaly. It was destroyed by an earthquake and abandoned....

 in Thessaly but also king of the city of Orchomenus in Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

 (a region of southeastern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

), took as his first wife the cloud goddess Nephele
Nephele
In Greek mythology, Nephele was a cloud nymph who figured prominently in the story of Phrixus and Helle.Greek myth also has it that Nephele is the cloud whom Zeus created in the image of Hera to trick Ixion to test his integrity after displaying his lust for Hera during a feast as a guest of Zeus...

, by whom he had two children, the boy Phrixus
Phrixus
In Greek mythology, Phrixus or Frixos or Phryxus was the son of Athamas, king of Boiotia, and Nephele . His twin sister Helle and he were hated by their stepmother, Ino. Ino hatched a devious plot to get rid of the twins, roasting all of Boeotia's crop seeds so they would not grow. The local...

 and the girl Helle
Helle (mythology)
Helle was a character in Greek mythology who figured prominently in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Phrixus, son of Athamas and Nephele, along with his twin sister, Helle, were hated by their stepmother, Ino. Ino hatched a devious plot to get rid of the twins, roasting all the town's crop...

. Later he became enamored of and married Ino
Ino (Greek mythology)
In Greek mythology Ino was a mortal queen of Thebes, who after her death and transfiguration was worshiped as a goddess under her epithet Leucothea, the "white goddess." Alcman called her "Queen of the Sea" , which, if not hyperbole, would make her a doublet of Amphitrite.In her mortal self, Ino,...

, the daughter of Cadmus
Cadmus
Cadmus or Kadmos , in Greek mythology was a Phoenician prince, the son of king Agenor and queen Telephassa of Tyre and the brother of Phoenix, Cilix and Europa. He was originally sent by his royal parents to seek out and escort his sister Europa back to Tyre after she was abducted from the shores...

, bringing drought upon his land when Nephele removed herself. Ino was jealous of her stepchildren and plotted their deaths: in some versions, she persuaded Athamas that sacrificing Phrixus was the only way to end the drought. Nephele, or her spirit, appeared to the children with a winged ram whose fleece was of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

. The ram had been sired by Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

 in his primitive ram-form upon a nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

, Theophane, the granddaughter of Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

, the sun-god. According to Hyginus
Hyginus
Hyginus can refer to:People:*Gaius Julius Hyginus , Roman poet, author of Fabulae, reputed author of Poeticon astronomicon*Hyginus Gromaticus, Roman surveyor*Pope Hyginus, also a saint, Bishop of Rome about 140...

, he carried her away to an island where he made her into an ewe so that he could have his way with her among the flocks, where Theophane's other suitors could not distinguish the ram-god and his consort.

On the ram the children escaped over the sea, but Helle fell off and drowned in the strait now named after her, the Hellespont. The ram spoke to Phrixus, giving him heart, and took Phrixus, whose name means "curly"—as ram's fleece—safely on to Colchis
Colchis
In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolkhis was an ancient Georgian state kingdom and region in Western Georgia, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation.The Kingdom of Colchis contributed significantly to the development of medieval Georgian...

 (modern-day Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

), on the easternmost shore of the Euxine (Black) Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Phrixus then sacrificed the ram to Poseidon and settled in the house of Aietes, son of Helios the sun-Titan, and lived to a ripe old age. He hung the Golden Fleece reserved from the sacrifice on an oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 in a grove sacred to Ares
Ares
Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent aspect of war, in contrast to the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and...

, where it was guarded by a dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

. There it remained until taken by Jason. The ram became the constellation Aries
Aries (constellation)
Aries is one of the constellations of the zodiac, located between Pisces to the west and Taurus to the east. Its name is Latin for ram, and its symbol is , representing a ram's horns...

.

Evolution of plot


The very early origin of the myth in preliterate times means that during the more than a millennium during which it was to some degree or other part of the fabric of culture its perceived significance can be expected to have passed through numerous developments.

Pindar
Pindar
Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

 employed the quest for the Golden Fleece in his Fourth Pythian Ode (written in 462 BC), though the fleece itself is not in the foreground; when Aeetes challenges Jason to yoke the fire-breathing bulls, the fleece is the prize: "Let the King do this, the captain of the ship! Let him do this, I say, and have for his own the immortal coverlet, the fleece, glowing with matted skeins of gold".

Where the written sources fail, through accidents of history, sometimes the vase-painters preserve the continuity of a mythic tradition. It seems that the story of the Golden Fleece had little resonance for Athenians of the Classic age, for only two representations on Attic painted wares of the fifth century have been identified, a krater
Krater
A krater was a large vase used to mix wine and water in Ancient Greece.-Form and function:...

at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

 and a kylix
Kylix (drinking cup)
A kylix is a type of wine-drinking glass with a broad relatively shallow body raised on a stem from a foot and usually with two horizontal handles disposed symmetrically...

in the Vatican collections. In the kylix
Kylix (drinking cup)
A kylix is a type of wine-drinking glass with a broad relatively shallow body raised on a stem from a foot and usually with two horizontal handles disposed symmetrically...

 painted by Douris, ca 480-470, Jason is being disgorged from the mouth of the dragon, a detail that does not fit easily into the literary sources; behind the dragon, the fleece hangs from an apple tree. Jason's helper in the Athenian vase-paintings is not Medea— who had an untoward history in Athens as the opponent of Theseus
Theseus
For other uses, see Theseus Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were...

— but Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

.

Interpretations


Euhemeristic
Euhemerus
Euhemerus was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedon. Euhemerus' birthplace is disputed, with Messina in Sicily as the most probable location, while others champion Chios, or Tegea.-Life:...

 attempts on the part of readers whose own cultural background dismisses the mythic fleece as a fanciful object have interpreted the Golden Fleece "realistically" as reflecting some actual cultural object or alleged historical practice grounded in economics: for example, in the twentieth century it was suggested that the story of the Golden Fleece signified the bringing of sheep husbandry
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

 to Greece from the east; in other readings more schooled in mythology it would refer to golden grain, or to the sun.


A more widespread interpretation relates it to a method of washing gold from streams that is well attested (but only from c. 5th century BC) in the region of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 to the east of the Black Sea. Sheep fleeces, sometimes stretched over a wood frame, would be submerged in the stream, and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 flecks borne down from upstream placer
Placer mining
Placer mining is the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit or by various surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipment....

 deposits would collect in them. The fleeces would then be hung in trees to dry before the gold was shaken or combed out. Alternatively, the fleeces would be used on washing tables in alluvial mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 of gold or on washing tables at deep gold mines. Judging by the very early gold objects from a range of cultures, washing for gold is a very old human activity. Thus Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 describes the way in which gold could be washed:
  • It is said that in their country gold is carried down by the mountain torrents, and that the barbarians obtain it by means of perforated troughs and fleecy skins, and that this is the origin of the myth of the golden fleece—unless they call them Iberians, by the same name as the western Iberians, from the gold mines in both countries.


Another interpretation rests on references in some versions to purple or purple-dyed cloth. The purple dye extracted from snails of the Murex
Murex
Murex is a genus of medium to large sized predatory tropical sea snails. These are carnivorous marine gastropod molluscs in the family Muricidae, commonly calle "murexes" or "rock snails"...

 and related species was highly prized in ancient times, and clothing made of cloth dyed with Tyrian purple
Tyrian purple
Tyrian purple , also known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a purple-red natural dye, which is extracted from sea snails, and which was possibly first produced by the ancient Phoenicians...

 was a mark of great wealth and high station (hence the phrase “royal purple”). The association of gold with purple is thus natural and occurs frequently in the literature.

However, archeologists have rejected these interpretations as ahistorical. An attempt to construct a most plausible explanation by locating it in what is known of the culture in which the story arose points to the interpretation that the Golden Fleece represents the ideas of kingship and legitimacy; hence the journey of Jason to find it, in order to restore legitimate rule to Iolcos
Iolcos
Iolcos is an ancient city, a modern village and a former municipality in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Volos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located in central Magnesia, north of the Pagasitic Gulf. Its land area is only...

.

Main theories


The following are the chief among the various explanations that have been offered, with notes on sources and major critical discussions:
  1. It represents royal power.
    1. Marcus Porcius Cato
      Marcus Porcius Cato
      Marcus Porcius Cato may refer to:*Cato the Elder , born Marcus Porcius Priscus and then nicknamed Cato*Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus , son of Cato the elder by his first wife...

       and Marcus Terentius Varro
      Marcus Terentius Varro
      Marcus Terentius Varro was an ancient Roman scholar and writer. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus.-Biography:...

      , Roman Farm Management (“A Virginia Farmer” (1918), Roman Farm Management, The Treatises of Cato and Varro, Done into English, with Notes of Modern Instances on-line text)
    2. Braund, David (1994), Georgia In Antiquity, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 21-23
    3. Popko, M. (1974) “Kult Swietego runa w hetyckiej Anatolii” [“The Cult of the Golden Fleece in Hittite Anatolia”], Preglad Orientalistyczuy 91, pp. 225-30 [In Russian]
    4. Newman, John Kevin (2001) “The Golden Fleece. Imperial Dream” (Theodore Papanghelis and Antonios Rengakos (eds.). A Companion to Apollonius Rhodius. Leiden: Brill (Mnemosyne Supplement
      Mnemosyne (journal)
      Mnemosyne is an academic journal of Classical Studies published by Brill Publishers. It was established in 1852 as a journal of textual criticism. It publishes articles in English, French, German, and Latin. The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Current...

      217), 309-40)
    5. Otar Lordkipanidze (2001), “The Golden Fleece: Myth, Euhemeristic Explanation and Archaeology”, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 20, pp. 1-38 http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/ojoa/2001/00000020/00000001/art00121
  2. It represents the flayed skin of Krios (‘Ram’), companion of Phrixus
    Phrixus
    In Greek mythology, Phrixus or Frixos or Phryxus was the son of Athamas, king of Boiotia, and Nephele . His twin sister Helle and he were hated by their stepmother, Ino. Ino hatched a devious plot to get rid of the twins, roasting all of Boeotia's crop seeds so they would not grow. The local...

    .
    1. Diodorus Siculus
      Diodorus Siculus
      Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

       4. 47; cf. scholia on Apollonius Rhodius 2. 1144; 4. 119, citing Dionysus’ Argonautica
  3. It represents a book on alchemy.
    1. Palaephatus
      Palaephatus
      Palaephatus was the original author of a rationalizing text on Greek mythology, the work of paradoxography On Incredible Tales , which survives in a Byzantine edition....

       (fourth century BC) ‘On the Incredible’ (Festa, N. (ed.) (1902) Mythographi Graeca III, 2, Lipsiae, p. 89
  4. It represents a technique of writing in gold on parchment.
    1. Haraxes of Pergamum (c. first to sixth century) (Jacoby, F. (1923) Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker I (Berlin), IIA, 490, fr. 37)
  5. It represents a form of placer mining
    Placer mining
    Placer mining is the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit or by various surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipment....

     practiced in Georgia, for example.
    1. Strabo
      Strabo
      Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

       (first century BC) Geography I, 2, 39 (Jones, H.L. (ed.) (1969) The Geography of Strabo (in eight volumes) London on-line text)
    2. Tran, T (1992) "The Hydrometallurgy of Gold Processing", Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (UK), 17, pp. 356-365
    3. "Gold During the Classical Period" http://www.minelinks.com/alluvial/goldClassic.html
    4. Shuker, Karl P. N. (1997), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings, LLewellyn
    5. Renault, Mary
      Mary Renault
      Mary Renault born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece...

       (2004), The Bull from the Sea, Arrow (Rand)
    6. refuted in: Braund, David (1994), op. cit., p. 24 and Otar Lordkipanidze (2001), op. cit.
  6. It represents the forgiveness of God
    1. Müller, Karl Otfried
      Karl Otfried Müller
      Karl Otfried Müller , was a German scholar and Philodorian, or admirer of ancient Sparta, who introduced the modern study of Greek mythology.-Biography:...

       (1844), Orchomenos und die Minyer, Breslau
    2. refuted in: Bacon, Janet Ruth
      Janet Ruth Bacon
      Janet Ruth Bacon was the daughter of a barrister and was Principal of Royal Holloway College, University of London from 1935-44. She was unmarried.-Education:...

       (1925), The Voyage of the Argonauts, London: Methuen, p. 64 ff, 163 ff
  7. It represents a rain cloud.
    1. Forchhammer, P. W. (1857) Hellenica Berlin p. 205 ff, 330 ff
    2. refuted in: Janet Ruth Bacon|Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  8. It represents a land of golden grain.
    1. Faust, Adolf (1898), Einige deutsche und griechische Sagen im Lichte ihrer ursprünglichen Bedeutung. Mulhausen
    2. refuted in: Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  9. It represents the spring-hero.
    1. Schroder, R. (1899), Argonautensage und Verwandtes, Poznań
    2. refuted in: Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  10. It represents the sea reflecting the sun.
    1. Vurthiem, V (1902), “De Argonautarum Vellere aureo”, Mnemosyne
      Mnemosyne (journal)
      Mnemosyne is an academic journal of Classical Studies published by Brill Publishers. It was established in 1852 as a journal of textual criticism. It publishes articles in English, French, German, and Latin. The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Current...

      , New Series, XXX, pp. 54-67; XXXI, p. 116
    2. Mannhardt
      Wilhelm Mannhardt
      Wilhelm Mannhardt was a German scholar and folklorist. He is known for his work on Baltic mythology, as a collector, and for his championing of the solar theory....

      , in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, VII, p. 241 ff, 281 ff
    3. refuted in: Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  11. It represents the gilded prow of Phrixus’ ship.
    1. Svoronos, M. (1914), in Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, XVI, pp. 81-152
    2. refuted in: Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  12. It represents a breed of sheep in ancient Georgia.
    1. Ninck, M. (1921), “Die Bedeutung des Wassers im Kult und Leben der Alten,” Philologus Suppl 14.2, Leipzig
    2. Ryder, M.L. (1991) "The last word on the Golden Fleece legend?" Oxford Journal of Archaeology 10, pp. 57-60
    3. Smith, G.J. and Smith, A.J. (1992) “Jason's Golden Fleece,” Oxford Journal of Archaeology 11, pp. 119–20
  13. It represents the riches imported from the East.
    1. Bacon, Janet Ruth (1925), op. cit.
  14. It represents the wealth or technology of Colchis.
    1. Akaki Urushadze (1984), The Country of the Enchantress Medea, Tbilisi
    2. Colchis http://www.lazuri.com/kolheti/en_index.php
    3. Colchis, Land of the Golden Fleece http://www.great-adventures.com/destinations/rep_georgia/colchis.html
  15. It was a covering for a cult image of Zeus in the form of a ram.
    1. Robert Graves
      Robert Graves
      Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

       (1944/1945), The Golden Fleece/Hercules, My Shipmate, New York: Grosset & Dunlap
  16. It represents a fabric woven from sea silk
    Sea silk
    Sea silk is an extremely fine, rare and valuable fabric produced from the long silky filaments or byssus secreted by a gland in the foot of several bivalve molluscs by which they attach themselves to the sea bed....

    .
    1. Verrill, A. Hyatt (1950), Shell Collector’s Handbook, New York: Putnam, p. 77
    2. Abbott, R. Tucker (1972), Kingdom of the Seashell, New York: Crown Publishers, p. 184
    3. History of Sea Byssus Cloth http://www.designboom.com/eng/education/byssus_history.html
    4. Mussel Byssus Facts http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/mcdb/labs/waite/byssus.html
    5. refuted in:
      1. Barber, Elizabeth J. W. (1991), Prehistoric textiles : the development of cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with special reference to the Aegean, Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press
      2. McKinley, Daniel (1999), “Pinna And Her Silken Beard: A Foray Into Historical Misappropriations,” Ars Textrina 29, pp. 9-29
  17. It is about a voyage from Greece, through the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic to the Americas.
    1. Bailey, James R. (1973), The God Kings and the Titans; The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times, St. Martin's Press
  18. It represents trading fleece dyed murex-purple for Georgian gold.
    1. Silver, Morris (1992), Taking Ancient Mythology Economically, Leiden: Brill http://members.tripod.com/~sondmor/index-4.html

See also


  • List of Mythological Objects
  • Aeetes
    Aeëtes
    In Greek mythology, Aeëtes , , , was a King of Colchis , son of the sun-god Helios and the Oceanid Perseis , brother of Circe and Pasiphae, and father of Medea, Chalciope and Apsyrtus...

  • Apsyrtus
  • Argonauts
    Argonauts
    The Argonauts ) were a band of heroes in Greek mythology who, in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, the Argo, which was named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts", therefore, literally means...

  • Gold mining
    Gold mining
    Gold mining is the removal of gold from the ground. There are several techniques and processes by which gold may be extracted from the earth.-History:...

  • Golden Takin
    Golden Takin
    The Golden Takin is an endangered goat-antelope native to the People's Republic of China.Takins are adapted to staying warm and dry during winters in the Himalayan Mountain regions they inhabit. A thick, secondary coat is grown to keep out the cold...

  • Jason
    Jason
    Jason was a late ancient Greek mythological hero from the late 10th Century BC, famous as the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus...

  • Medea
    Medea
    Medea is a woman in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and later wife to the hero Jason, with whom she had two children, Mermeros and Pheres. In Euripides's play Medea, Jason leaves Medea when Creon, king of...

  • Placer mining
    Placer mining
    Placer mining is the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit or by various surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipment....

  • Sea of Monsters
  • Order of the Golden Fleece
    Order of the Golden Fleece
    The Order of the Golden Fleece is an order of chivalry founded in Bruges by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy in 1430, to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Infanta Isabella of Portugal, daughter of King John I of Portugal. It evolved as one of the most prestigious orders in Europe...


External links