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Frix and Gella

In the ancient Minian Orchomen in Boeotia was ruled by the son of the wind god Aeola, king Afamant. He had two children with the goddess of clouds Nephele - son Frix and daughter Gella. He cheated on Nefele Afamant and married his daughter Cadma, Eno. Ino disliked the children from her husband's first marriage and plotted to ruin them. She persuaded the orchomenians to dry the seeds harvested for sowing. Orchomenians sowed the fields with dried seeds, but nothing sprang up in their always fertile fields. The Orchomenians were threatened with famine. Then Athamanthus decided to send an embassy to the sacred Delphi to ask the oracle of the archer Apollo about the cause of infertility of the fields. Insidious Ino bribed the ambassadors, and they, returning from Delphi, brought the false answer of the oracle.

Frix and Gella
Phrixus and Hella on a golden-fleeced ram; on the left is their mother, the goddess Nephele.
(Drawing on a vase.)

- This is the answer given by the oracle pythia, - the bribed ambassadors told Afamant. - Sacrifice your son Phrixus to the gods, and the gods will restore fertility to the fields.

In order to avoid the great calamity that threatened Orchomenus, Athamanthus decided to sacrifice his beloved son. Eno was triumphant: her plan to ruin Frix was successful.

Everything was ready for the sacrifice. The young Frix was supposed to fall under the knife of the priest, but suddenly a golden-haired aries appeared, a gift from god Hermes. The mother of Phrixus, the goddess Nephele, sent aries to save her children. Frix and his sister Hella sat on the golden-haired ram, and the ram carried them through the air far to the north.

Aries was rushing fast. Fields and forests stretched far below, and rivers meandered like silver between them. Aries rushes above the mountains. Here is the sea. Aries is rushing over the sea. Hella was scared, because of fear she can't stay on aries. Hella fell into the sea, and was swallowed up by the ever-noisy sea waves. Couldn't save Frix sister. She died. Since then, the sea where Hella died has been called Hellespont.

Aries was rushing further and further with the Frix and finally descended on the banks of the Phasis in the distant Colchis, where the son of god ruled Helios, the magician eet. Raised Eet Frix, and when he matured, married him to his daughter Halkiope. The golden ram, who saved Phrixus, was sacrificed to the great cloudmaker Zeus. The golden fleece of aries Eet hung in the sacred grove of the god of war Ares. Guarding the fleece was supposed to be a terrible, flame-spewing dragon, who never closed his eyes with sleep.

Word of this golden fleece spread throughout Greece. The descendants of Afamant, the father of Phrixus, knew that the salvation and prosperity of their family depended on the possession of the rune, and they wanted to get it at any cost.