Chthonic means "subterranean", but the word in English describes deities or spirits of the underworld in Ancient Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth". Chthonic, a form of khthonie and khthonios, has a precise meaning in Greek; these include, but are not limited to, Persephone and Hades in classical mythology. Nocturnal ritual sacrifice was a common practice in many chthonic cults; when the sacrifice was a living creature, the animal was placed in megaron. In some Greek chthonic cults, the animal was sacrificed on a raised bomos. Offerings were burned whole or buried rather than being cooked and shared among the worshippers. In his book The Mycenaean World and classicist John Chadwick argues that many chthonic deities may be remnants of the native Pre-Hellenic religion and that many of the Olympian deities may come from the Proto-Greeks who overran the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula in the late third millennium BC, he does, note that this may be somewhat of an overgeneralization and that the origins of chthonic and Olympian deities are much more complex.
The German classicist Walter Burkert explicitly rejects the notion of chthonic deities as pre-Greek and the Olympian deities as Indo-European in his book Greek Religion. He comments, "It is the chthonic chaoi which are related to Indo-European, whereas the Olympian sacrifice has connections with Semitic tradition." The myths associating the underworld chthonic deities and fertility were not exclusive. Myths about the Olympian deities described an association with the fertility and prosperity of Earth, such as Demeter and her daughter, who both watched over aspects of the fertility of the land, but Demeter had a Olympian cult while Persephone had a chthonic one due to her association with Hades, by whom she had been captured; the categories Olympian and chthonic were not, however separate. Some Olympian deities, such as Hermes and Zeus received chthonic sacrifices and tithes in certain locations; the deified heroes Heracles and Asclepius might be worshipped as gods or chthonic heroes, depending on the site and the time of origin of the myth.
Moreover, a few deities are not classifiable under these terms. Hecate, for instance, was offered puppies at crossroads – a practice neither typical of an Olympian sacrifice nor of a chthonic sacrifice to Persephone or the heroes – but because of her underworld roles, Hecate is classed as chthonic. In analytical psychology, the term chthonic has been used to describe the spirit of nature within, the unconscious earthly impulses of the Self, one's material depths, not with negative connotations. See anima and animus or shadow; the term chthonic has connotations with regard to gender in cultural anthropology. This was by no means universal. Greek mythology has female deities associated with the sky, such as Dike, goddess of justice, who sits on the right side of Zeus as his advisor, Eos, goddess of dawn – and Hades as god of the underworld; the term allochthon in structural geology is used to describe a large block of rock, moved from its original site of formation by low angle thrust faulting.
From the Greek "allo", meaning other, "chthon", designating the process of the land mass being moved under the earth and connecting two horizontally stacked décollements and thus "under the earth". Burkert, Greek Religion, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-36281-0 Chadwick, John; the Mycenaean World. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 85. ISBN 978-0-521-29037-1. Dillon, Matthew. Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415202728. Media related to Chthonic beings at Wikimedia Commons
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised as Boiotia, or Beotia, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece, its capital is Livadeia, its largest city is Thebes. Boeotia was a region of ancient Greece, since before the 6th century BC. Boeotia lies to the north of the eastern part of the Gulf of Corinth, it has a short coastline on the Gulf of Euboea. It bordered on Megaris in the south, Attica in the southeast, Euboea in the northeast, Opuntian Locris in the north and Phocis in the west; the main mountain ranges of Boeotia are Mount Parnassus in the west, Mount Helicon in the southwest, Cithaeron in the south and Parnitha in the east. Its longest river, the Cephissus, flows in the central part, where most of the low-lying areas of Boeotia are found. Lake Copais was a large lake in the center of Boeotia, it was drained in the 19th century. Lake Yliki is a large lake near Thebes; the earliest inhabitants of Boeotia, associated with the city of Orchomenus, were called Minyans.
Pausanias mentions that Minyans established the maritime Ionian city of Teos, occupied the islands of Lemnos and Thera. The Argonauts were sometimes referred to as Minyans. According to legend the citizens of Thebes paid an annual tribute to their king Erginus; the Minyans may have been proto-Greek speakers, but although most scholars today agree that the Mycenean Greeks descended from the Minyans of the Middle Helladic period, they believe that the progenitors and founders of Minyan culture were an autochthonous group. The early wealth and power of Boeotia is shown by the reputation and visible Mycenean remains of several of its cities Orchomenus and Thebes; the origin of the name "Boeotians" may lie in the mountain Boeon in Epirus. Some toponyms and the common Aeolic dialect indicate that the Boeotians were related to the Thessalians. Traditionally, the Boeotians are said to have occupied Thessaly, the largest fertile plain in Greece, to have been dispossessed by the north-western Thessalians two generations after the Fall of Troy.
They moved south and settled in another rich plain, while others filtered across the Aegean and settled on Lesbos and in Aeolis in Asia Minor. Others are said to have stayed in Thessaly, withdrawing into the hill country and becoming the perioikoi. Though far from Anthela, which lay on the coast of Malis south of Thessaly in the locality of Thermopylae, Boeotia was an early member of the oldest religious Amphictyonic League because her people had lived in Thessaly. Many ancient Greek legends are set in this region; the older myths took their final form during the Mycenean age when the Mycenean Greeks established themselves in Boeotia and the city of Thebes became an important centre. Many of them are related to the myths of Argos, others indicate connections with Phoenicia, where the Mycenean Greeks and the Euboean Greeks established trading posts. Important legends related to Boeotia include: Eros, worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae The Muses of Mount Helicon Ogyges and the Ogygian deluge Cadmus, said to have founded Thebes and brought the alphabet to Greece Dionysus and Semele Narcissus Heracles, born in Thebes The Theban Cycle, including the myths of Oedipus and the Sphinx, the Seven against Thebes Antiope and her sons Amphion and Zethus Niobe Orion, born in Boeotia and said to have fathered 50 sons with a local river god's daughters.
Many of these legends were used in plays by the tragic Greek poets, Aeschylus and Euripides: Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, known as the Theban plays Euripides's Bacchae, Phoenician Women and HeraclesThey were used in lost plays such as Aeschylus's Niobe and Euripides's Antiope. Boeotia was notable for the ancient oracular shrine of Trophonius at Lebadea. Graea, an ancient city in Boeotia, is sometimes thought to be the origin of the Latin word Graecus, from which English derives the words Greece and Greeks; the major poets Hesiod and Pindar were Boeotians. Boeotia had significant political importance, owing to its position on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth, the strategic strength of its frontiers, the ease of communication within its extensive area. On the other hand, the lack of good harbours hindered its maritime development; the importance of the legendary Minyae has been confirmed by archaeological remains. The Boeotian population entered the land from the north before the Dorian invasion.
With the exception of the Minyae, the original peoples were soon absorbed by these immigrants, the Boeotians henceforth appear as a homogeneous nation. Aeolic Greek was spoken in Boeotia. In historical times, the leading city of Boeotia was Thebes, whose central position and military strength made it a suitable capital, it was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other townships into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the outlying cities resisted this policy, only allowed the formation of a loose federation, religious. While the Boeotians, unlike the Arcadians acted as a united whole against foreign enemies, the constant struggle between the cities was a serious check on the nation's development. Boeotia hardly figures in history before the late 6th century BC. Previous to this, its people are chiefly known as the makers of a type of geometric pottery, similar to
Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, appears thus in Homer's Odyssey. Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after four and a half centuries of Ottoman rule. Since 1987 it has formed one of the country's 13 regions and is further sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities; the capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in northern Greece and borders the regions of Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Central Greece on the south and the Aegean Sea on the east; the Thessaly region includes the Sporades islands. In Homer's epic, the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus visited the kingdom of Aeolus, the old name for Thessaly; the Plain of Thessaly, which lies between Mount Oeta/Othrys and Mount Olympus, was the site of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians. According to legend and the Argonauts launched their search for the Golden Fleece from the Magnesia Peninsula.
Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000–2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos and Sesklo. In Archaic and Classical times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Crannon. In the summer of 480 BC, the Persians invaded Thessaly; the Greek army that guarded the Vale of Tempe evacuated the road before the enemy arrived. Not much Thessaly surrendered to the Persians; the Thessalian family of Aleuadae joined the Persians subsequently. In the 4th century BC, after the Greco-Persian Wars had long ended, Jason of Pherae transformed the region into a significant military power, recalling the glory of Early Archaic times. Shortly after, Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly, Thessaly was thereafter associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Thessaly became part of the Roman Empire as part of the province of Macedonia.
Thessaly remained part of the East Roman "Byzantine" Empire after the collapse of Roman power in the west, subsequently suffered many invasions, such as by the Slavic tribe of the Belegezites in the 7th century AD. The Avars had arrived in Europe in the late 550s, they asserted their authority over many Slavs. Many Slavs were galvanized by the Avars. In the 7th century the Avar-Slav alliance began to raid the Byzantine Empire, laying siege to Thessalonica and the imperial capital Constantinople itself. By the 8th century, Slavs had occupied most of the Balkans from Austria to the Peloponnese, from the Adriatic to the Black seas, with the exception of the coastal areas and certain mountainous regions of the Greek peninsula. Relations between the Slavs and Greeks were peaceful apart from the initial settlement and intermittent uprisings. Being agriculturalists, the Slavs traded with the Greeks inside towns, it is that the re-Hellenization had begun by way of this contact. This process would be completed by a newly reinvigorated Byzantine Empire.
With the abatement of Arab-Byzantine Wars, the Byzantine Empire began to consolidate its power in those areas of mainland Greece occupied by Proto-Slavic tribes. Following the campaigns of the Byzantine general Staurakios in 782–783, the Byzantine Empire recovered Thessaly, taking many Slavs as prisoners. Apart from military expeditions against Slavs, the re-Hellenization process begun under Nicephorus I involved transfer of peoples. Many Slavs were moved to other parts of the empire such as Anatolia and made to serve in the military. In return, many Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor were brought to the interior of Greece, to increase the number of defenders at the Emperor's disposal and dilute the concentration of Slavs. In 977 Byzantine Thessaly was raided by the Bulgarian Empire. In 1066 dissatisfaction with the taxation policy led the Aromanian and Bulgarian population of Thessaly to revolt against the Byzantine Empire under the leadership of a local lord, Nikoulitzas Delphinas; the revolt, which began in Larissa, soon expanded to Trikala and northwards to the Byzantine-Bulgarian border.
In 1199–1201 another unsuccessful revolt was led by Manuel Kamytzes, son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos, with the support of Dobromir Chrysos, the autonomous ruler of Prosek. Kamytzes managed to establish a short-lived principality in northern Thessaly, before he was overcome by an imperial expedition. Following the siege of Constantinople and the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in April 1204, Thessaly passed to Boniface of Montferrat's Kingdom of Thessalonica in the wider context of the Frankokratia. In 1212, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus, led his troops into Thessaly. Larissa and much of central Thessaly came under Epirote rule, thereby separating Thessalonica from the Crusader principalities in southern Greece. Michael's work was completed by his half-brother and successor, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, who by 1220 completed the recovery of the entire region; the Vlachs of Thessaly first appear in Byzantine sources in the 11th century, in the Strategikon of Kekaumenos and Anna Komnene's Alexiad).
In the 12th century, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela records the
In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the golden-woolled, winged ram, held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of kingship, it figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece; the story was current in the time of Homer. It survives among which the details vary. Athamas the Minyan, a founder of Halos in Thessaly but king of the city of Orchomenus in Boeotia, took the goddess Nephele as his first wife, they had the boy Phrixus and the girl Helle. Athamas became enamored of and married Ino, the daughter of Cadmus; when Nephele left in anger, drought came upon the land. 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.
The ram had been sired by Poseidon in his primitive ram-form upon Theophane, a nymph and the granddaughter of Helios, the sun-god. According to Hyginus, Poseidon carried Theophane to an island where he made her into a ewe, so that he could have his way with her among the flocks. There Theophane's other suitors could not distinguish his consort. Nepheles' children escaped on the yellow ram over the sea, but Helle fell off and drowned in the strait now named after her, the Hellespont; the ram spoke to Phrixus, encouraging him, took the boy safely to Colchis, on the easternmost shore of the Euxine Sea. There Phrixus sacrificed the winged ram to Poseidon returning him to the god; the ram became the constellation Aries. Phrixus settled in the house of son of Helios the sun god, he hung the Golden Fleece preserved from the sacrifice of the ram on an oak in a grove sacred to Ares, the god of war and one of the Twelve Olympians. The golden fleece was defended by bulls with hoofs of breath of fire, it was guarded by a never sleeping dragon with teeth which could become soldiers when planted in the ground.
The dragon was at the foot of the tree. Pindar employed the quest for the Golden Fleece in his Fourth Pythian Ode, though the fleece 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, have for his own the immortal coverlet, the fleece, glowing with matted skeins of gold". In versions of the story, the ram is said to have been the offspring of the sea god Poseidon and Themisto; the classic telling is the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, composed in the mid-third century BC Alexandria, 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 during the time of Vespasian. Where the written sources fail, through accidents of history, sometimes the continuity of a mythic tradition can be found among the vase-painters; the story of the Golden Fleece appeared to have little resonance for Athenians of the Classic age, for only two representations of it on Attic-painted wares of the fifth century have been identified: a krater at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a kylix in the Vatican collections.
In the kylix painted by Douris, ca 480-470, Jason is being disgorged from the mouth of the dragon, a detail that does not fit into the literary sources. Jason's helper in the Athenian vase-paintings is not Medea— who had a history in Athens as the opponent of Theseus— but Athena; the early origin of the myth in preliterate times means that during the more than a millennium when it was to some degree part of the fabric of culture, its perceived significance passed through numerous developments. Several euhemeristic attempts to interpret the Golden Fleece "realistically" as reflecting some physical cultural object or alleged historical practice have been made. For example, in the 20th century, some scholars suggested that the story of the Golden Fleece signified the bringing of sheep husbandry to Greece from the east. A more widespread interpretation relates the myth of the fleece to a method of washing gold from streams, well attested in the region of Georgia to the east of the Black Sea. Sheep fleeces, sometimes stretched over a wood frame, would be submerged in the stream, gold flecks borne down from upstream placer deposits would collect in them.
The fleeces would be hung in trees to dry before the gold was combed out. Alternatively, the fleeces would be used on washing tables in alluvial mining of gold or on washing tables at deep gold mines. Judging by the early gold objects from a range of cultures, washing for gold is a old human activity. Strabo describes the way in which gold could be washed: "It is said that in their country gold is carried down by the mountain torrents, that the barbarians obtain it by means of perforated troughs and fleecy skins, 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 is based on the references in some versions to purple
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the second-century AD, who lived in the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece, a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from his first-hand observations; this work provides crucial information for making links between classical literature and modern archaeology. Andrew Stewart assesses him as: A careful, pedestrian writer...interested not only in the grandiose or the exquisite but in unusual sights and obscure ritual. He is careless or makes unwarranted inferences, his guides or his own notes sometimes mislead him, yet his honesty is unquestionable, his value without par. Pausanias was born in 110 AD into a Greek family and was a native of Lydia. Before visiting Greece, he had been to Antioch and Jerusalem, to the banks of the River Jordan. In Egypt, he had seen the pyramids. While at the temple of Ammon, he had been shown the hymn once sent to that shrine by Pindar. In Macedonia, he appears to have seen.
Crossing over to Italy, he had seen something of the wonders of Rome. He was one of the first known to write of seeing the ruins of Troy, Alexandria Troas, Mycenae. Pausanias' Description of Greece is in each dedicated to some portion of Greece, he begins his tour in Attica, where the city of its demes dominate the discussion. Subsequent books describe Corinthia, Messenia, Achaea, Boetia and Ozolian Locris; the project is more than topographical. Pausanias digresses from the description of architectural and artistic objects to review the mythological and historical underpinnings of the society that produced them; as a Greek writing under the auspices of the Roman empire, he was in an awkward cultural space, between the glories of the Greek past he was so keen to describe and the realities of a Greece beholden to Rome as a dominating imperial force. His work bears the marks of his attempt to navigate that space and establish an identity for Roman Greece, he is not a naturalist by any means, although from time to time, he does comment on the physical realities of the Greek landscape.
He notices the pine trees on the sandy coast of Elis, the deer and the wild boars in the oak woods of Phelloe, the crows amid the giant oak trees of Alalcomenae. It is in the last section that Pausanias touches on the products of nature, such as the wild strawberries of Helicon, the date palms of Aulis, the olive oil of Tithorea, as well as the tortoises of Arcadia and the "white blackbirds" of Cyllene. Pausanias is most of Delphi, yet in the most secluded regions of Greece, he is fascinated by all kinds of depictions of deities, holy relics, many other sacred and mysterious objects. At Thebes he views the shields of those who died at the Battle of Leuctra, the ruins of the house of Pindar, the statues of Hesiod, Arion and Orpheus in the grove of the Muses on Helicon, as well as the portraits of Corinna at Tanagra and of Polybius in the cities of Arcadia. Pausanias has the instincts of an antiquary; as his modern editor, Christian Habicht, has said, In general, he prefers the old to the new, the sacred to the profane.
Some magnificent and dominating structures, such as the Stoa of King Attalus in the Athenian Agora or the Exedra of Herodes Atticus at Olympia are not mentioned. Unlike a Baedeker guide, in Periegesis Pausanias stops for a brief excursus on a point of ancient ritual or to tell an apposite myth, in a genre that would not become popular again until the early nineteenth century. In the topographical part of his work, Pausanias is fond of digressions on the wonders of nature, the signs that herald the approach of an earthquake, the phenomena of the tides, the ice-bound seas of the north, the noonday sun that at the summer solstice, casts no shadow at Syene. While he never doubts the existence of the deities and heroes, he sometimes criticizes the myths and legends relating to them, his descriptions of monuments of art are unadorned. They bear the impression of reality, their accuracy is confirmed by the extant remains, he is frank in his confessions of ignorance. When he quotes a book at second hand he takes pains to say so.
The work left faint traces in the known Greek corpus. "It was not read", Habicht relates. The only manuscripts of Pausanias are three fifteenth-century copies, full of errors and lacunae, which all appear to depend on a single manuscript that survived to be copied. Niccolò Niccoli had this archetype in Florence in 1418. At his death in 1437, it went to the library of San Marco, Florence it disappeared after 1500; until twentieth-century archaeologists concluded that Pausanias was a reliable guide to the sites they were excavating, Pausanias was la
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology. The son of Tyro and the god Poseidon, he was the one who sent Jason on the quest for the Golden Fleece. Pelias was the son of Poseidon, his wife is recorded as daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Alcestis, Hippothoe, Evadne, Asteropeia and Medusa. Tyro was married to King Cretheus of Iolcus, with whom she had three sons, Pherês, Amythaon, but she loved Enipeus, a river god, she pursued Enipeus. One day, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus and lay with her - from their union were born twin sons and Neleus. Tyro exposed her sons on a mountain to die, but they were found by a herdsman who raised them as his own, as one story goes, or they were raised by a maid; when they reached adulthood and Neleus found Tyro and killed her stepmother Sidero for having mistreated her. Pelias was power-hungry and he wished to gain dominion over all of Thessaly. To this end, he banished Neleus and Pherês, locked Aeson in the dungeons in Iolcus.
While in the dungeons, Aeson married and had several children, most famously, Jason. Aeson sent Jason away from Iolcus in fear that Pelias would have him killed as a potential heir to the throne. Jason grew in the care of Chiron the centaur, on the slopes of Mount Pelion, to be educated while Pelias, fearing that he would be overthrown, was warned by an oracle to beware a man wearing one sandal. Many years Pelias offered a sacrifice by the sea in honor of Poseidon. Jason, summoned with many others to take part in the sacrifice, lost one of his sandals in the flooded river Anaurus while rushing to Iolcus. In Virgil's Aeneid and Hyginus' Fabulae, Hera/Juno disguised herself as an old woman, whom Jason helped across the river when he lost his sandal; when Jason entered Iolcus, he was announced as a man wearing one sandal. Fearful, Pelias asked Jason. Jason responded. Pelias sent him to retrieve the Golden Fleece, it would be found in a grove sacred to Ares, the god of war. Though the Golden Fleece hung on an oak tree, this was a impossible task, as an ever-watchful dragon guarded it.
Jason made preparations by commanding the shipwright Argus to build a ship large enough for fifty men, which he would call the Argo. These heroes who would join his quest were known as the Argonauts. Upon their arrival, Jason requested the Golden Fleece from the king of Aeëtes. Aeëtes demanded that Jason must first yoke a pair of fire-breathing bulls to a plough and sow dragon's teeth into the earth. Medea, daughter of Aeëtes, fell in love with Jason, being endowed with magical powers, aided him in his completion of the difficult task, she cast a spell to put the dragon to sleep, enabling Jason to obtain the Golden Fleece from the oak tree. Jason and the Argonauts fled Colchis and began their journey home to Thessaly. During Jason's absence, Pelias thought the Argo had sunk, this was what he told Aeson and Promachus, who committed suicide by drinking poison. However, it is possible that the two were both killed directly by Pelias; when Jason and Medea returned, Pelias still refused to give up his throne.
Medea conspired to have Pelias' own daughters kill him. She told them she could turn an old ram into a young ram by boiling it. During the demonstration, a live, young ram jumped out of the pot. Excited, the girls cut their father into pieces and threw them into a pot, in the expectation that he would emerge rejuvenated. Pelias, of course, did not survive; as he was now an accessory to a terrible crime, Jason was still not made king. Pelias' son Acastus banished Jason and Medea, to Corinth, so reclaimed the kingdom. An alternate telling of the story has Medea slitting the throat of Jason's father Aeson, who she really does revive as a much younger man. Media related to Pelias at Wikimedia Commons