by Padraic Colum
IV. THE ASSEMBLING OF THE HEROES AND THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP
First there came the youths Castor and Polydeuces. They came riding on white horses, two noble-looking brothers. From Sparta they came, and their mother was Leda, who, after the twin brothers, had another child born to her--Helen, for whose sake the sons of many of Jason's friends were to wage war against the great city of Troy. These were the first heroes who came to Iolcus after the word had gone forth through Greece of Jason's adventuring in quest of the Golden Fleece.
And then there came one who had both welcome and reverence from Jason; this one came without spear or bow, bearing in his hands a lyre only. He was Orpheus, and he knew all the ways of the gods and all the stories of the gods; when he sang to his lyre the trees would listen and the beasts would follow him. It was Chiron who had counseled Orpheus to go with Jason; Chiron the centaur had met him as he was wandering through the forests on the Mountain Pelion and had sent him down into Iolcus.
Then there came two men well skilled in the handling of ships-- Tiphys and Nauplius. Tiphys knew all about the sun and winds and stars, and all about the signs by which a ship might be steered, and Nauplius had the love of Poseidon, the god of the sea.
Afterward there came, one after the other, two who were famous for their hunting. No two could be more different than these two were. The first was Arcas. He was dressed in the skin of a bear; he had red hair and savage-looking eyes, and for arms he carried a mighty bow with bronzetipped arrows. The folk were watching an eagle as he came into the city, an eagle that was winging its way far, far up in the sky. Arcas drew his bow, and with one arrow he brought the eagle down.
The other hunter was a girl, Atalanta. Tall and brighthaired was Atalanta, swift and good with the bow. She had dedicated herself to Artemis, the guardian of the wild things, and she had vowed that she would remain unwedded. All the heroes welcomed Atalanta as a comrade, and the maiden did all the things that the young men did.
There came a hero who was less youthful than Castor or Polydeuces; he was a man good in council named Nestor. Afterward Nestor went to the war against Troy, and then he was the oldest of the heroes in the camp of Agamemnon.
Two brothers came who were to be special friends of Jason's-- Peleus and Telamon. Both were still youthful and neither had yet achieved any notable deed. Afterward they were to be famous, but their sons were to be even more famous, for the son of Telamon was strong Aias, and the son of Peleus was great Achilles.
Another who came was Admetus; afterward he became a famous king. The God Apollo once made himself a shepherd and he kept the flocks of King Admetus.
And there came two brothers, twins, who were a wonder to all who beheld them. Zetes and Calais they were named; their mother was Oreithyia, the daughter of Erechtheus, King of Athens, and their father was Boreas, the North Wind. These two brothers had on their ankles wings that gleamed with golden scales; their black hair was thick upon their shoulders, and it was always being shaken by the wind.
With Zetes and Calais there came a youth armed with a great sword whose name was Theseus. Theseus's father was an unknown king; he had bidden the mother show their son where his sword was hidden. Under a great stone the king had hidden it before Theseus was born. Before he had grown out of his boyhood Theseus had been able to raise the stone and draw forth his father's sword. As yet he had done no great deed, but he was resolved to win fame and to find his unknown father.
EtextPart I The Voyage to Colchis
I. The Youth Jason
II. King Pelias
III. The Golden Fleece
IV. The Assembling of the Heroes and the Building of the Ship
V. The Argo
The Beginnings of Things
VI. Polydeuces' Victory And Heracles' Loss
VII. King Phineas
VIII. King Phineus's Counsel; the Landing in Lemnos
IX. The Lemnian Maidens
Demeter and Persephone
X. The Departure from Lemnos
XI. The Golden Maiden (Pandora)
The Passage Of The Symplegades
XII.The Mountain Caucasus and Prometheus
Part II Return to Greece
Medea The Sorceress
The Winning Of The Golden Fleece
The Slaying of Apsyrtus
Medea Comes to Circe
In The Land of the Phaeacians
They Come to the Desert Land
The Carrying of the Argo
The Story of Perseus
Part III The Heroes
Atalanta the Huntress
Peleus and His Bride From the Sea
Theseus and the Minotaur
The Life and Labors of Heracles
How Orpheus the Minstrel Went Down to the World of the Dead
Jason and Medea