Word of the Day – Tuesday, August 13th



Word of the Day


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MEDEA (mih-DEE-uh)

A princess and sorceress who helped Jason obtain the Golden Fleece
Common clues:
Jason's wife; Sorceress of mythology; Golden fleece seeker; Euripides tragedy; Greek sorceress; Jason jilted her; She helped Jason get the Golden Fleece
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Frequency in English language: 49463 / 86800
Medea (full movie)

Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass ~ Euripedes

In Greek mythology, Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, niece of Circe, and later wife to Jason.

Medea figures in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, a myth we know best from a late literary version worked up by Apollonius of Rhodes in the 3rd century BCE and called the Argonautica. But for all its self-consciousness and researched archaic vocabulary, the late epic was based on very old, scattered materials.

Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, and is most often described as a priestess of Hecate. She is related on her father's side to Helios the sun God, and to Circe, the witch who Odysseus famously encounters.

Medea's role began after Jason arrived from Iolcus in Colchis to claim the Golden Fleece as his own. In a familiar mythic motif, King Aeetes of Colchis promised to give it to him only if he could perform certain tasks. First, Jason had to plough a field with fire-breathing oxen that he had to yoke himself. Then, Jason had to sow the teeth of a dragon in the ploughed field (compare the myth of Cadmus). The teeth sprouted into an army of warriors. Jason was forewarned by Medea, however, and knew to throw a rock into the crowd. Unable to decipher where the rock had come from, the soldiers attacked and defeated each other. Finally, Aeetes made Jason fight and kill the sleepless dragon that guarded the fleece. Medea put the beast to sleep with her narcotic herbs. Jason then took the fleece and sailed away with Medea, who had fallen in love with him. (Some accounts say that Medea only helped Jason in the first place because Hera had convinced Aphrodite or Eros to cause Medea to fall in love with him.) Medea distracted her father as they fled by killing her brother, Apsyrtus. She is said to have dismembered his body and tossed the limbs into the sea, knowing her father would stop to retrieve them for proper burial. In the flight, Atalanta was seriously wounded, but Medea healed her.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Medea".