The myth of Jason
The myth of Jason and the Argonauts is one of the happiest myths of ancient Greek mythology. It is an epic of courageous seafarers and symbolises companionship and the longing to find new places. Jason, son of king Aeson, organised this expedition after being asked to do so by his uncle Pelias who had murdered his brother Aeson and had taken over the throne. When Jason turned 18, Pelias told him that only if he brought the Golden Fleece from the faraway land of Colchis would he take the throne that was rightfully his. Pelias of course was hoping that the young man would perish during the difficult journey.
Jason sent messengers all over Greece calling for lovers of adventure to join him in the journey. Very soon 50 fine lovers of travelling arrived and boarded Argo, the famous ship that had magical powers. Also joining them was Orpheus so that he could protect them from the song of the Sirens with his divine lyre and the semi-God Hercules. The journey was difficult but victorious. Jason stole the Golden Fleece, guarded in the mouth of a dragon, but he also stole Medea, the princess of Colchis.
He returned home and took the throne that was rightfully his. According to interpreters, the myth of Jason and the Argonauts honours Greek seafarers who were the first to find the route toward Hellespont and Bosporus and the first who dared explore those unknown countries. In other words, it honours the first Greeks who contributed to the spreading of Hellenism in the shores of Bosporus (the coast of Turkey) and the Black Sea.