Thursday 20 April 2017


In Greek mythology, Pelias was described as the king of Iolcus, and son of  Tyro and sea god, Poseidon.  Pelias was either married to Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Pisidice, Alcestis, Pelopia3, Hippothoe, Amphinome, Evadne, Asteropeia, and Antinoe.
Pelias and Jason

                           According to Greek legend, Tyro loved Enipeus, a river god. She pursued Enipeus, who refused her advances. One day, Poseidon, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus and from their union were born Pelias and Neleus, twin boys. Tyro exposed her sons on a mountain to die, but they were found by a herdsman who raised them as his own. In other version, Tyro revealed she was pregnant by the god, her father Salmoneus refused to believe her, instead suspecting his wicked brother Sisyphus was involved. So he commanded her to expose the children as soon as they were born. Tyro later married Cretheus, King of Iolkos, and she bore him three sons (Aison, Amythaon and, Pheres)
                            When Pelias and Neleus reached adulthood, they found Tyro and sought revenge against Tyro stepmother Sidero, for mistreated their mother. Sidero hid in a temple to Hera but Pelias killed her anyway, causing Hera's undying hatred of Pelias. Pelias was power-hungry and he wished to gain dominion over all of Thessaly. To this end, that he banished Neleus and Pherês, and locked Aeson in the dungeons in Iolcus . While in the dungeons, Aeson married and had several children, most famously, Jason. Aeson sent Jason away from Iolcus in fear that Pelias would kill him as an heir to the throne. Jason grew in the care of Chiron the centaur, on Mount Pelium, to be educated while Pelias, paranoid that he would be overthrown, was warned by an oracle to beware a man wearing one sandal.

                          When Jason was 20 years old, an oracle ordered him to dress as a Magnesian and head to the Iolcan court. While traveling Jason lost his sandal crossing the muddy Anavros river while helping an old woman (Hera in disguise). Pelias was presiding over a sacrifice to Poseidon with several neighboring kings in attendance. Among the crowd stood a tall youth in leopard skin with only one sandal. Pelias recognized that Jason was his nephew. He could not kill him because prominent kings of the Aeolian family were present. Instead, he asked Jason: "What would you do if an oracle announced that one of your fellow-citizens were destined to kill you?" Jason replied that he would send him to go and fetch the Golden Fleece, not knowing that Hera had put those words in his mouth.
Jason (lower right), returning to his hometown, is recognized during a festival by his uncle Pelias

                                        Jason learned later that Pelias was being haunted by the ghost of Phrixus. Phrixus had fled from Orchomenus riding on a divine ram to avoid being sacrificed and took refuge in Colchis where he was later denied proper burial. According to an oracle, Iolcus would never prosper unless his ghost was taken back in a ship, together with the golden ram's fleece. This fleece now hung from a tree in the grove of the Colchian Ares, guarded night and day by a dragon that never slept. Pelias swore before Zeus that he would give up the throne at Jason's return while expecting that Jason's attempt to steal the Golden Fleece would be a fatal enterprise. However,

Jason gathered a party of heroes, collectively called the Argonauts, and they all set sail on Jason's ship, the Argo. They successfully managed to retrieve the Golden Fleece  (Goddess Hera acted in Jason's favour during the journey) and bring it back to Pelias. (see The Quest for the Golden Fleece.)

Medea conspired Pelias daughter to kill him

When they returned, Pelias refused to give his throne to Jason, so Medea, the daughter of King Aeetes who fell in love with Jason and followed him, made a plan to have Pelias killed by his daughters. She said she could give the youth back to anyone by cutting them up and boiling them. The daughters believed her after seeing a demonstration with an old ram; excited, they cut their father to pieces and threw him in a pot. Of course, Pelias did not come back to life. According to other version, Medea cut the father of Jason into pieces, and indeed brought him back to life at a much younger age. She then promised she would do the same for Pelias, but after his daughters killed him, she simply ignored them. Because of this, Medea and Jason were banished from Iolcus, as murderers.


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