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Famous Ancient Mothers


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Medea and Her Children
Medea and Her Children, by Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880) 1870.

Penelope|Medea|Cybele|Veturia|Cornelia|Agrippina|Helena|Galla Placidia|Pulcheria|Julia Domna|Julia Soaemias

Medea, known best from the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, represents the worst in mothers and daughters, as well as, perhaps, obsessive love.

Medea may have killed her brother after she betrayed her father. She fixed it so that the daughters of one king standing in her lover's way killed their father. She tried to get another kingly father to kill his son. It therefore should not be too surprising that Medea, as the woman scorned, did not exhibit what we think of as motherly instincts. When the Argonauts arrived at Medea's homeland of Colchis, Medea helped Jason steal her father's golden fleece. She then fled with Jason and may have killed her brother in her escape. Medea and Jason lived together like a married couple long enough to have two children. Then, when Jason wanted to officially marry a more suitable woman, Medea committed the unthinkable: she murdered their two children.

Read more about Medea.

  1. Penelope
  2. Medea
  3. Cybele
  4. Veturia
  5. Cornelia
  6. Agrippina
  7. Helena
  8. Galla Placidia
  9. Pulcheria
  10. Julia Domna
  11. Julia Soaemias

Picture: Medea and Her Children, by Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880) 1870.
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