Argonautica was written in the 3rd Century BC by the Greek epic poet Apollonius Rhodius.

It is a mythological story of Jason, Prince of Iolcus and a band of sailors (Greek: ναύς) aboard a ship named the Argos (Greek: Αρλώ, literally ‘the sailors of the Argos’ = Αρλόναύτς).

Sent by the King Pelias to retrieve the golden fleece from the island of Colchis, Jason and his crew sailed the Argos from Iolcus (located near modern day Volos in Magnesia, Thessaly) on the eastern coast of Greece through the northern Aegean Sea, through the Dardanelles (Hellespont) in Turkey and across the Black Sea to the western coast of Asia Minor at Colchis (now western Georgia) and then back again.

Along the journey the Argonauts encounter many trials including shipwreck: washed up on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea where, for a time, they succumb to the powers of the women-only island; are attacked by Harpies (a mythological demon-like creature with the body of a bird and a human face), and ingeniously pass through the ‘clashing rocks’ beyond the Bosphorus which crushed ships as the two rock faces closed together.


On arriving at Colchis, the King’s daughter Medea, a sorceress and a priestess of Hecate (the goddess of magic) falls in love with Jason, the work of the god Eros and his flaming arrow. Medea protects Jason ensuring he safely retrieves the golden fleece and all travel back to Iolcus, where Jason and Medea marry.


To read the epic – http://www.theoi.com/Text/ApolloniusRhodius1.html