Jason and the Golden Fleece by Apollonius of Rhodes
Finished reading on May 23rd, 2015
This is the classic tale of the Argonauts who go out to get the Golden Fleece as Jason was ordered to do. Among his companions are Heracles and the twins Kastor and Polydeukes and countless others whose names didn’t say much to me.
Basically it’s a long naval expedition where the heroes meet quite a lot of challenges and are saved many a time by the intervention of goddesses Athena and Hera who for some reason support Jason.
It was more interesting than I dared to hope and quite clever as well – accidentally leaving behind Heracles, their strongest hero and then coming across a ruler who wants to box with one of the members of the crew.
My favourite part however was where the little boy Eros came in – where he has apparently just cheated when playing with Ganymede – now that’s an ingenious part!
It’s just another one of the stories with a fancy fellowship on a mission, not unlike what came along more than two thousand years later.
Although a piece of classical literature, you shouldn’t be afraid of reading it – it’s a manageable length, although there seem to be hundreds of characters, you don’t really have to follow along with them all.
I’d even consider it quite suitable as a bedtime story if it weren’t for Jason cutting down the earth-born men who grew out of dragon-teeth and Jason and Medea’s wedding night…