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spring out of them. The hero has given up all hope of success, when Aphrodite kindles in the breast of the king's daughter Medea an irresistible love for the stranger. Medea gives him an ointment to protect him from the fiery breath of the bulls, as well as the strength to harness them, and advises him to throw a stone in among the earth-born giants, who will then kill each other. But when all this done, ^Eetes does not give up the flesce. Then Jason with the help of Medea, whom he promises to take home with him as his wife, throws the dragon that guards it into a sleep, takes it down, and escapes with Medea and his comrades. jEetes sends his son Absyrtus in pursuit, whom Jason kills by stratagem. Another story is, that Medea takes her little brother Absyrtus with her, cuts him to pieces, and throws the limbs one by one into the sea, that her father, while pursuing her, might be delayed in picking them up and laying them out.
As to the Return of the Argonauts the legends differ considerably. One of the oldest makes them sail up the Phasis into the river Oceanus, and over that to Libya, where they drag the ship twelve days' journey overland to Lake Tritonis, and get home across the Mediterranean. Other accounts agree with this in substance, while others again mix up the older tradition with the adventures of Odysseus: the heroes sail up the Danube into the Adriatic, and are within hail of Corcyra (Corfu), when a storm breaks out, and the piece of oak from Dodona foretells their ruin unless they have the murder of Absyrtus expiated by Circe. Then they sail up the Eridanus into the Rhone, and so into the Tyrrhenian sea to the island of Circe, who purifies them. They go past the island of the Sirens, against whose magic the songs of Orpheus protect them. All but Butes (q.v.) pass in safety between Scylla and Charybdis with the help of the gods, and reach the isle of the Phseaeians, where Jason marries Medea to evade the sentence of their host AlcInCus, who, in his capacity as umpire, has given judgment that the maid Medea be delivered up to her Colchian pursuers. Already within sight of the Peloponnesus, a storm drives them into the Libyan Syrtes, whence they carry their ship, saved by divine assistance, to Lake Tritonis. Thence, guided by Triton (sec euphemus) into the Mediterranean, they return by way of Crete to lolcos.
During their absence Pelias has put to death jEson and his son Prfimachus, and
Jason's mother has taken her own life. Medea sets to work to avenge them. Before the eyes of Pelias' daughters she cuts up an old he-goat, and by boiling it in a magic cauldron, restores it to life and youth. Promising in like manner to renew the youth of the aged Pelias, she induces them to kill their father, and then leaves them in the lurch. Driven away by Acastus, the son of the murdered king, Jason and Medea take refuge with Creon king of Corinth. But, after ten years of happy wedlock, Jason resolves to marry Creou's daughter Creusa or Glauce. On this Medea kills the bride and her father by sending the unsuspecting maiden a poisoned robe and diadem as a bridal gift, murders her own two sons Mer-merus and Pheres in her faithless husband's sight, and escaping in a car drawn by serpents, sent by her grandfather Helifis, makes her way to .lEgeus king of Athens. (See medea.) Jason is said to have come by his death through the Argo, which he had set up and consecrated on the Isthmus. One day, when he was lying down to rest under the ship, the stern fell off and killed him.
The legend of the Argonauts is extremely ancient; even Homer speaks of it as universally known. We first find it treated in detail in Pindar ; then the Alexandrian poet Apollonius of Rhodes tried to harmonise the various versions, and was followed by the Latin poet Valerius Flaccus and the late Greek Pseudo-Orpheus.
Argus. (1) Son of Inachus, Agenor or Arestor; or, according to another account,, an earthborn giant, who had eyes all over his body, whence he was called Panoptes, or all-seeing. Hera set him to watch lo-(q.v.) when transformed into a cow; but Hermes, at Zeus' bidding, sent all his eyes, to sleep by the magic of his wand and flute, and cut his head off with a sickle-shaped sword, whence his title Argetphontes was explained to mean " slayer of Argus." Hera set the eyes of her dead watchman in the tail of her sacred bird the peacock.
(2) Son of Phrixus and Chalciope, the daughter of jEetes. He is said to have come to OrchSmenus, the home of his father, and to have built the Argo, which was named after him. According to another account he was shipwrecked with his brothers at the Island of Aretias on their way to Greece, and thence carried to Colchis by the Argonauts.