Stories of the Old world by Alfred John Church

Stories of the Old world

byAlfred John Church

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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THE son of Cretheus, Æson, bequeathed the kingdom of Thessaly to his brother Pelias, to keep for Jason, his son, whom he had sent to be taught by Chiron, the wise Centaur. Now when Jason was returning from Chiron he came to Anaurus, which is a river of Thessaly, and would have crossed it; but there was an old woman on the river bank, and she entreated of Jason that he would carry her over the river, for she feared herself, she said, to cross it. But the old woman was in truth the goddess Heré, who had taken upon herself the likeness of an old woman to try the young man’s heart. Jason therefore carried her over, but in crossing he lost one of his sandals, for it cleaved to the sand that was in the river; and so he came to the dwelling of King Pelias, where they were preparing a great sacrifice and feast to Poseidon and the other gods. Now there had come an oracle aforetime to Pelias, saying, “Beware of him who shall come to thee with one sandal only, for it is thy doom to die by his means.” Therefore, when Pelias saw Jason come in this plight, he was afraid; also he would fain keep the kingdom for himself. He dared not slay him; but he set him a task from which he might win great renown, hoping that he should never return therefrom; and the task was this: to fetch the fleece of gold from the land of the Colchians. Now the story of the fleece is this: To Athamas, that was brother to Cretheus, were born two children of Nephele, his wife, and the names of these two were Phrixus and Helle. But Ino, whom Athamas had taken to wife when Nephele was dead, laid a plot against the children to cause them to be put to death, and the plot was this. She persuaded the women of the land to parch with fire the seed of the corn that their husbands sowed in the earth. And when the seed bare no increase, King Athamas sent to inquire of the oracle at Delphi what the cause might be. But Ino persuaded the messengers that they should bring back this message, as though it were the answer of the god, “Sacrifice the two children, Phrixus and Helle, if ye would be rid of this barrenness.” So Athamas, being persuaded, brought the children to the altar to sacrifice them; but the gods had pity on them, and sent a winged ram with a fleece of gold to carry them away. So the ram carried them away; but Helle fell from it and was drowned (for which cause the sea in those parts is called the Sea of Helle to this day), but Phrixus came safe to the land of the Colchians. There he sacrificed the ram as a thankoffering to Zeus, and afterwards married the daughter of the king of that land, and then died. And now Pelias would have Jason fetch the fleece of gold as belonging of right to his own house. To this Jason consented, and he sent messengers through the land of Greece to gather the heroes, that they might be his companions in this labor; and the heroes hearkened to his word.
Title:Stories of the Old worldFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465610812

ISBN - 13:9781465610812