Mount Olympus Presents:

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.

Throughout 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...

Knowledgeable 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.

Jason 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. 

Just about 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 recognize.

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 my enjoyment.

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.

Part 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 and Index.

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.


Hercules Invictus

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The Quest for the Golden Fleece

Books: Non-Fiction