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Mythic Heroes – ‘cluster’ specifications. Miraculous birth, early threats Disinheritance and/or powerful enemy Quest(s) – impossible tasks requiring strength and courage Helpers – often divine Inability to handle women Difficulty controlling passions Egocentricity.

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mythic heroes cluster specifications

Mythic Heroes – ‘cluster’ specifications

Miraculous birth, early threats

Disinheritance and/or powerful enemy

Quest(s) – impossible tasks requiring strength and courage

Helpers – often divine

Inability to handle women

Difficulty controlling passions


ovid s transitions up to the calydonian boar
Ovid’s transitions up to the Calydonian Boar
  • Pandion died and Erectheus became king of Athens. One daughter was taken by Boreas (North Wind) who had sons Zetes & Calais who had wings and sailed with Jason. Erectheus’ second daughter, Procris, married Cephalus of Athens.
  • Jason and Medea – voyage of the Argonauts
  • Medea flees to Athens
  • Theseus in Athens– Athens at war with Crete
  • Athens’ alliance with Aegina, nearby island

*Story of plague on Aegina and ‘Ant-people’ (Myrmidons)

*Story of Cephalus’ javelin and Laelaps the hunting hound – Cephalus and his wife, Procris

  • Minos, King of Crete, at war with Nisus
  • Minos and Daedalus, who escaped with Icarus from Crete
  • Theseus’ help sought in Calydon against boar
  • Calydonian boar and Meleager
origin of golden fleece
Origin of Golden Fleece
  • Boeotian king, Athamas, married “Nephele” (Cloud)

Two children – Helle and Phrixus

  • 2nd wife, Ino, plotted against first children and arranged they should be sacrificed to end drought
  • Helle & Phrixus escaped on back of flying Golden Ram
  • Helle fell off in what came to be the Hellespont
  • Phrixus arrived in Colchis, sacrificed the ram, and gave the fleece to Aeetes, King of Colchis and father of Medea
king of iolcus inthessaly died
King of Iolcus (inThessaly) died.
  • He had two sons – Pelias (stepson) and Aeson
  • Pelias took throne
  • Aeson sent his son, Jason, to Chiron,the centaur, for rearing and safekeeping
  • Pelias was warned to beware of

stranger with one sandal

  • Jason, grown, came to Iolcus

and met Juno on the way, losing

His sandal

  • Pelias arranged to send Jason

After golden fleece.

  • Ship was built by a craftsman named Argos, using beam from oak of Jupiter at Dodona. Ship named ‘Argo’.
  • Heroes of the day joined the crew: Orpheus, Heracles, Castor & Polydeuces (sons of Jupiter),

Zetes & Calais (sons of Boreas, the North Wind)

  • Stops – Lemnos (women), Cios (Hylas lost), Thrace (Phineus & Harpies), Clashing Rocks—on way to far end of Black Sea
aeetes king of colchis
Aeetes, King of Colchis
  • Gave Jason two tasks:

(1) yoke the bronze-hooved, fire-breathing bull and (2) plow a field and sow dragon’s teeth

  • Medea, a witch and daughter of the king, feel in love with Jason and helped him with every task using her magic and knowledge of herbs.
  • Jason also had to lull to sleep the dragon that guarded the fleece

Jason using a charm against the dragon that guarded the fleece. Medea provided a sleeping potion for the dragon.

jason medea escaped with the fleece
Jason & Medea escaped with the fleece
  • Returning to Iolcus, Medea killed King Pelias
  • Jason and Medea fled to Corinth, where Jason married the daughter of the King of Corinth
  • Medea, angry, killed her sons by Jason and fled to Athens
  • Medea was taken in by the King of Athens, Aegeus, and had one son by him, Medus.
theseus hero of athens
Theseus, hero of Athens
  • Son of Aegeus (or Poseidon?) by Aethra, who lived in the northern Peloponessus
  • When Theseus was grown, he lifted a stone to find the sandals and sword left by his father
  • He made his way to Athens, competing 6 heroic deeds along the route (defeating Periphetes, Sinis, Sow, Sciron, Cercyon, and Procrustes) and making his reputation

Theseus lifting rock.


Theseus’ journey from Troezen, where his mother, Aethra, was princess, to Athens to claim his birthright from his father, Aegeus, King of Athens. There were six events on the trip.


Theseus defeating Periphetes with his club

Theseus tying Sinis to his own tree

Theseus defeating Sciron by throwing him off a cliff

Theseus and man-eating sow


Theseus fitting Procrustes to his bed

Theseus wrestling Cercyron

when theseus came to athens
When Theseus came to Athens
  • Medea attempted to poison him, but failed
  • Medea and her son fled to Asia
  • Theseus was accepted as the heir to King Aegeus
  • Killed the Minotaur, monster of Crete, to whom Athenian youths and maidens were sacrificed as tribute to Minos
  • Theseus was helped by Ariadne, Minos’ daughter
  • In their flight from Crete, he left her on an island where she was found by Bacchus, who married her

Theseus meets his father, Aegeus, King of Athens

stories told on aegina
Stories Told on Aegina
  • Aeacus, King of Aegina, tells about the plague and the Myrmidons (Ant-people)
  • Cephalus, the Athenian, tells about his wife, Procris, daughter of Erectheus, King of Athens, and her fate at his hands.

Cephalus approached by Aurora (goddess of Dawn – Eos to Greeks) who loves him. He refuses to give up his wife, Procris.


Reunion of Cephalus and his wife, Procris, who gives him the divine javelin and special hunting dog, Laelaps, gifts to her from Diana.