The story of Jason and his crew of Argonauts is one of the best-known and most beloved myths of all time. Blockbuster movies have been made about it, and legendary explorer and historian Tim Severin even constructed a replica of the Argo in 1984 and succeeded in sailing it to Colchis (modern-day Georgia).
In the ancient world too, this myth was told and retold time and again. The best source of the myth available to the modern audience (generally considered to be Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautica) comes from the Hellenistic Period (ca. 323-31 BCE), which is very late in terms of most sources available for Greek myth. This means that the story written at that time had already been exposed to centuries of influences and additions. However, mythology is not the study of a story's beginnings alone, and very often, it is the changes and adaptations that provide the story with its most fascinating characteristics.
The vague geography of the Argo's story will become apparent, but it's also important, because there are numerous theories as to why the ancient writers may have charted the journey as they did. The Argo's journey was as revelatory to Jason as it was to the late ancient Greek readers/listeners, since it incorporated many of the mythical, political, and cultural themes that pervaded myths throughout the Mediterranean.
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