In Greek mythology the “Wise One,” a powerful
witch who was the niece of the great witch Circe and
a priestess of Hecate, the Goddess of witchcraft and
magic. Herodotus called Medea the Great Goddess of the
Aryan tribes of Parthia. Her magic, according to Pliny,
controlled the Sun, Moon and stars.
Medea aided Jason, the adventurer who set out to get
the Golden Fleece in order to win a kingdom in Greece
that was rightfully his but had been taken over by Pelias.
The Golden Fleece was possessed by the King of Colchis
in Asia Minor. Medea was his daughter. When Jason and
his band of Argonauts appeared, Medea fell madly in love
with Jason and helped him win the Golden Fleece.
Medea’s father set what he thought was an impossible
task for Jason: he could have the fleece if he yoked two
bulls with bronze hooves and flaming breath, plowed a
field and sowed it with dragon’s teeth. The teeth would
spring immediately into an army of fierce warriors, all of
whom had to be slain.
Medea prepared a magic ointment that made Jason
and his men invulnerable for a day. The task was accomplished.
Then Medea bewitched the serpent who guarded
228 Mather, Increase
the Golden Fleece, and she and Jason stole it and, with
the Argonauts, fled to Greece. To delay the pursuit of her
father, Medea cut the throat of her brother and scattered
pieces of his dismembered corpse after them. Jason promised
to marry her.
In Greece, they discovered that Pelias had forced Jason’s
father to kill himself, and Jason’s mother had died
of grief. Once again, Jason turned to Medea for witchcraft
so that he could have revenge. Medea demonstrated
her magical powers of rejuvenation by cutting up an old
ram and boiling it while she recited incantations. A young
lamb sprang up out of the cauldron. Medea convinced
Pelias’ daughters to cut him up so that she could make
him young again. This they did, but she vanished without
saying the necessary magic words.
Jason and Medea were forced to go to Corinth in exile,
where they had two sons. Then Jason fell in love with
the daughter of the King of Corinth and married her. Betrayed
and enraged, Medea gave the princess a gift of a
poisoned robe, and the girl burst into flames as soon as
she put it on. Medea killed her two sons and escaped in a
Medea was made immortal by Hera, and in Elysium,
the afterworld of heroes, she became the wife of Achilles
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