In Greek mythology
, the Argonauts
were a band of heroes, before the Trojan War
, who accompanied Jason
in his quest for the Golden Fleece
. They sailed the ship the Argo
, hence their name, which literally means "Sailors of the Argo". They were sometimes called Minyans
because Jason came from Minya.
The ship was named after its builder, Argus, son of Phrixus.
Pelias, king of Iocus in Thessaly, had been warned to be on his guard against a man with one shoe, and seeing his nephew Jason one day with only one sandal (the other having been lost in crossing a stream), he bade him to go and fetch the Golden Fleece, hoping that he would be killed in the attempt.
Jason was accompanied by some of the principle heroes of ancient Greece. The number of Argonauts vary but usually number 40-55 people total - traditionally there were 50.
The Argonauts were: (Jason and Medea are sometimes not counted)
- Atalanta (others claim Jason forbid her because she was a woman)
- Theseus (others claim he was still in the underworld at the time)
for more details on the quest for the Golden Fleece.
See also Argo Navis.
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica I, 23-227; Apollodorus, Bibliotheke I, ix, 16.