Monday, December 5, 2011

"I saved your skin"

I will lighten my grief by reviling you
and you will feel the sting in hearing it.
I will begin at the beginning.

I saved your skin, as all the Greeks know
who boarded the Argo with you,
when you were sent to master the fire-breathing bulls
with yokes and to sow the deadly field;
and the dragon which guarded the golden fleece
and, never sleeping, protected it with its many coils,
I killed it and held up the light of safety for you.

As for me, after betraying my father and my home
I came to Iolcus near Pelion
with you, eager but not prudent.
Then I killed Pelias, in the way that he would die most tragically
at the hands of his own children and I confounded their entire house.

And you, after receiving this from me, you, the vilest man alive,
you have betrayed me, and you have made a new marriage,
though you already have children. If you were still childless
you could be excused for craving another marriage bed.
Gone is the faith of oaths. I cannot understand
whether you believe the old gods are no longer in power
or that new covenants are established for men today,
since you must know that you have not kept your oath to me...

~ Medea to Jason (Medea 472-494)

Medea, the curse of Pelias 1, is the princess, priestess, and witch, whom Jason brought to Hellas on his return from Colchis. Medea has been called daughter of Hecate since she served this goddess as her priestess, but otherwise her mother is said to have been Idyia, one of the OCEANIDS. Her father Aeetes, [son of Helios] who had been king of Ephyraea (Corinth) before he emigrated to Colchis, was brother of Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos 2 of Crete, and of the witch Circe. And whereas the latter lived in the island of Aeaea in the Mediterranean, Aeetes ruled in the city of Aea in Colchis.

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