I have an entire shelf of books devoted to the published adventures
of Jason and the Argonauts, both ancient and modern, and a spill-over
shelf with tomes that attempt to explain, or explain away, this ancient
maritime adventure that was on everyone's lips when Homer composed the
Iliad and the Odyssey.
Being a Lemnian Greek, my connection with this particular story is deep and very personal.
my life, I have voyaged with the Argonauts through the vehicles of
bedtime stories, books, audio tapes, magazines, movies, television shows,
comic books and video games. I have run Role Playing Games, Guided
Visualizations, Shamanic Journeys and other imaginal excursions modeled
on the tales. The Voyage of the Argo is one of my life's Guiding Myths
and it has inspired my efforts to help people throughout my nearly forty
year career in the human services. I have recently named 2017 the Year
of the Golden Fleece and decided to go all out...
as I am, I must admit that Jason Colavito is far better versed and has
ventured forth and explored a much wider circle of Argonaut related
material than I perhaps ever will. If I had to reduce my entire Argonaut
library to one single book, his Jason and the Argonauts Through the Ages, published by McFarland would undoubtedly be the tome I would choose to keep.
Calavito was actually named after the legendary Greek hero, which
explains a great deal. And his work, though rich with information and
quite scholarly, remains highly personal. Jason's reactions to the
quality of the lore he is sharing are very clearly stated. Though he
delights in the details, he clearly dislikes imprecision, fuzzy thinking
and sloppy reasoning.
everything it took me a lifetime to learn is covered in this book. This
Voyage of the Argo starts in the eerie mist of myths that are older than
Greece in search of Jason's origins. We travel through the history of
the tale and the Hellenic people who molded it into the form we can now
Next comes an in-depth look at Jason
himself. Was he originally a A) God B) Hero C) Man D) All of the Above
E) None of the Above F) A Unique Amalgam of the Above? Though I had
encountered many of these speculations before, Part Two provided a
panoramic overview of the source material and the arguments. Jason's
scholarship and informed opinions greatly contributed to the clarity and
Following that is a look at the tale
and its protagonists through a variety of contexts. This section was of
special interest to me as the Archetypal and Occult aspects of the
Argonaut adventure were given a succinct voice. There were also several
attempts to catch a glimpse of the reality behind the legend.
Four explores the various ways that Jason's journey has permeated our
culture and the many forms it has assumed to perpetuate itself. Knightly
Orders, Scholarly Debates, Bible Studies, Popular Culture... all of
these have played their part. The Twelfth and final chapter focused on
one of my favorite playgrounds: Ancient Civilizations and Mythic Space
Gods. Even though I spend much of my time interacting with that
material, I learned a great deal in that chapter as well.
The Conclusion ends this wonderful voyage rather tidilyly. The Notes were extremely helpful. And as Jason and the Argonauts Through the Ages will serve as one of my primary resources for 2017's Year of the Golden
Fleece activities, I will soon be best buddies with the Bibliography
Jason Colavito has a wealth of material about Jason and the Argonauts on his Jason Colavito and Argonauts Book websites. He is also the author of The Orphic Argonautica.
As I will be reviewing all of these shortly, and Jason has agreed to
grant us an interview, we will become increasingly more familiar with this intriguing
author and his work for many months to come.
Larger Than Life Living in the World Today
(c) 1975-2017 Hercules Invictus
The Quest for the Golden Fleece