Mount Olympus Presents:

The Quest for the Golden Fleece

Interviews

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Jason Colavito

Hercules: Greetings Jason! I am honored to be interviewing you. Your books on Jason and the Argonauts are among the best I've ever read!


Jason: Thank you! I am honored that you think so highly of them!


Hercules: How early in life did your fascination with this timeless tale begin?


Jason: My parents told me that I was named for Jason of Greek mythic fame, though by way of the 1960s movie. (It beats Jason Vorhees, another popular inspiration for the name in the 1980s.) I’ve always been aware of the Jason story, but I came to love Greek mythology in childhood through Edith Hamilton’s book on the subject and my school studies of Latin.


Hercules: What inspired your thorough and in-depth exploration?


Jason: My exploration of the Argonauts myth came about after I read a couple of academic articles on the subject and was inspired to look into the question of what we know about the story’s origins. In this, I found inspiration in Martin P. Nilsson’s The Mycenaean Origins of Greek Mythology, and I wondered how much we could learn about how the story came together. But the most direct inspiration was Martin West’s article on the question of whether the Homeric corpus betrays origins in a lost Argonaut epic, and whether that in turn reflects knowledge of Near Eastern originals. That article got me looking into the question in greater depth.


Hercules: How did your investigative journey unfold?


Jason: As I mentioned above, a few different academic articles got me started, and that really pulled in a lot of material from different disciplines. Simply organizing it all was the hardest part!


Hercules: What challenges did you face whilst collecting the information?


Jason: One of the biggest challenges is what isn’t known. I’ve spoken with some of the greatest living experts on Greek myth, Mycenaean and Hittite culture, and Classical civilization. One wall I kept running into is that some questions have never been asked and many, answered wrongly, have never been corrected. In one case, I found that an error about Jason’s “real” birth name created from a typo in the 1500s was repeated all the way down to the present because, with one obscure exception, literally no one thought to check the original sources for 500 years.


Hercules: Do you teach classes on this material?


Jason: No, since I am not an academic, I don’t teach.


Hercules: Are you planning on writing any other Jason and the Argonauts themed books?


Jason: I had toyed with the idea of putting together an omnibus of all of the extant ancient and medieval Jason stories, but so far the permissions and translations needed to accomplish it is a bit overwhelming!


Hercules: And what led to your writing career?


Jason: I have always been a writer, though I have never set out with the purpose of producing writing for the sake of writing. I prefer to write to express something I have to say rather than simply for the love of typing out words.


Hercules: You've written a number of very interesting tomes, a few of which are in my library. What inspired your interest in our popular culture's version of ancient mysteries?


Jason: As a teenager, I came across my father’s old 1970s ancient astronaut books, and this sparked my interest in weird claims about the past. As I grew older and learned that these books were full of falsehoods, I became interested in why people would believe them and how their authors were trying to rewrite the past—and for what purpose.


Hercules: Is there an underlying series of questions, issues or understandings that unify all of your works?


Jason: Most of my works revolve around the question of how people try to use appeals to the supernatural (broadly defined) to make sense of the present by re-creating the past. As I put it on my website, my “investigations examine the way human beings create and employ the supernatural to alter and understand our reality and our world.”


Hercules: What do you enjoy doing when you're not exploring mythic arcana?


Jason: Ah, if only I had more free time! I enjoy TV, trying new recipes, and spending time with my cat, Dakota.


Hercules: How would you describe yourself as an individual?


Jason: Robert Burns once said “O wad some Power the giftie gie us. / To see oursels as ithers see us!” I’m afraid any description I gave would be terribly biased!


Hercules: How would those closest to you describe you?


Jason: I hope they would say that I am passionate, dedicated, and tireless. I’d love to say that they would have only good things to say, but if they didn’t I certainly wouldn’t admit it!


Hercules:What projects are you currently working on?

Jason: At the moment I am between projects, though I am in the early planning stages for a book about the Fallen Angels of ancient myth and their impact on ancient, medieval, and modern mythologies.


Hercules: What is next for Jason Colavito?


Jason: For the moment, what’s next is lots of work.


Hercules: Do you have a website or a presence on social media? How can our Guests learn more about you and your work?


Jason: You can find me at JasonColavito.com and on Twitter @JasonColavito.


Hercules: Where can our Guests go to learn more about and purchase your books?


Jason: My books are linked through my website, and they are available through most major retailers’ websites, including Amazon.com.


Hercules: Thank you very much for your time and attention Jason! I wish you great success in all your endeavors!


Jason: Thank you!


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