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The Return of the Argonauts

When the "Argo" went out to sea, a tailwind blew. The heroes unfurled their sails and the Argo quickly raced through the waves of the Euxine Pontus. The heroes sailed for three days. Finally, the shores of Scythia appeared in the distance. The Argonauts decided to sail upstream of the Istra, then to descend one of its branches to Adriatic Sea. When the Argonauts sailed to the mouth of the Isthmus, they saw that all its mouth and all the islands were occupied by the army of the Colchians, who sailed there on their ships by the shortest route. Having seen a large army of Colchians, the heroes were convinced that they could not defeat him; there were too few of them to decide on a battle with thousands of well-armed militant Colchians. The Argonauts decided to resort to a trick. They entered into negotiations with the leader of the enemy army Absirt and promised him to conclude Medea in the temple and give her away if the king of the neighboring city decides that Medea should return to Colchis, but the golden fleece should have remained with the Argonauts, since Jason performed exactly the feat for which Eet promised to give him a fleece. But all these negotiations were conducted only to gain time. Medea promised Jason to lure Absirt to one of the islands in the temple.

Jason sent rich gifts to Absyrtus, as if from Medea, and told him to ask him to come to a secluded temple to see Medea there. Absirt came to the temple, but as soon as he appeared at the door of the temple, Jason rushed at him with a drawn sword, and Absirt fell to the ground, struck to death. A terrible crime was committed by Jason and Medea: they killed an unarmed Absyrtus in the temple. Having cut the body of Absirt into pieces, Jason threw it into the waves of Istra. The Colchians were horrified, they rushed to collect the body parts of their leader, while the Argonauts quickly sailed up the Istrian.

The Argonauts sailed for a long time, and finally they descended along the Istrian Arm into the Adriatic Sea to the shores of Illyria. There was a terrible storm. Foam-covered ramparts rise like mountains. The winds, as if broken from their chains, rush over the sea and tear the sail from the Argo. The Argo groans under the pressure of the waves, its sides bend, the oars break in the hands of the mighty rowers. Like a chip, the waves of "Argo" are worn. Death threatens the Argonauts. Then a voice came from the stern. It came from a piece of sacred oak that grew in Dodona inserted into the stern of the Argo. The voice ordered the Argonauts to go to the sorceress Kirke, so that she cleansed Jason and Medea from the Absirt that defiled their murder. As soon as the Argonauts "Argo" turned to the north, the storm subsided, and everyone realized that this was the will of the gods.

Through Eridanus and then along the Rodan, the Argonauts descended into the Tyrrhenian Sea and sailed along it for a long time, until finally they sailed to the magical island of Kirki, the sisters of Aeetes. The pickaxe cleansed Medea and Jason of the taint of murder. She sacrificed to Zeus, who cleanses from the filth of murder, poured sacrificial blood on Jason's hands and conjured at the altar Erinius does not pursue murderers with his anger. Kirka did not refuse Medea to be cleansed from the terrible crime, as the sorceress learned from the brilliance of her eyes that Medea, like herself, comes from the family of the sun god Helios.

The Argonauts set off on their further journey. They still had to overcome many dangers. They sailed between Scylla and Charybdis, where their certain death would have awaited them if the great wife had not helped them Zeus, Hera. They also sailed past the island of sirens and heard their alluring singing, which attracted them to the sirens with an invincible force. But the singer Orpheus struck the strings of the golden kithara, and his song overcame the spell of the siren songs. Finally, the Argonauts sailed to the Plankts, a narrow strait over which huge rocks rose in a vault. The sea beat between the rocks, the waves swirled under the vault in a terrible whirlpool, sometimes rising to the very top of the vault. Even the pigeons that brought ambrosia to Zeus did not fly unharmed under this vault, and one of them died every day. But then Hera helped the Argonauts, she begged Amphitrite to subdue the waves at the Plankt, and the Argonauts passed them unharmed.

After a long journey, the Argonauts arrived at the island of the Phaeacians. The tsar welcomed them there Alkina. The Argonauts could rest from the dangers of the way, but they had not stayed a day with the Phaeacians when a fleet of Colchians appeared near the island and they demanded to give them Medea. A bloody battle would have started if Alkinoy had not been rooting enemies. Alcinous decided that Medea should be given to the Colchians if she was not Jason's wife. Alcinous' wife sent a messenger at night, Aretha, to Jason, so that the messenger would inform him of the decision of Alcinous. The same night Jason and Medea performed the wedding rites, and the next day Jason gave a solemn oath to the assembled Phaeacians and Colchians that Medea was his wife. Then Alkina decided that Medea should stay with her husband, and the Colchians had to return to Aetos without taking possession of Medea.

After resting with the hospitable Phaeacians, the Argonauts went on. They sailed safely for a long time. Now the shores of the Peloponnese have already appeared in the blue distance of the sea. Suddenly a terrible whirlwind arose and rushed the Argo into the sea. For a long time the whirlwind carried the "Argo" across the boundless sea and finally threw the "Argo" onto the deserted shore. The Argo is deeply stuck in the mud of the bay, completely covered with algae. Despair gripped the Argonauts. Helmsman Linkey, with his head down, sat astern, having lost hope of returning to Greece. The Argonauts wandered sadly along the shore, as if they had lost all their strength, all their courage. Everyone saw death in their face. The nymphs came to Jason's aid. They revealed to Jason that the vortex brought "Argo" to Libya and that the Argonauts should carry the Argo on their shoulders across the Libyan desert, lifting it out of the mud when Amphitrite unharnessed the horses from her chariot. But when does Amphitrite unhitch her horses from the chariot? The Argonauts didn't know that. Suddenly they saw a snow-white horse run out of the sea and quickly dashed across the desert. The Argonauts realized that this was Amphitrite's horse. The Argonauts lifted the Argo on their shoulders and carried it through the desert for twelve days, exhausted from heat and thirst. At last they reached the land of the Hesperides. There the Hesperides pointed out to them a source knocked out of the rock Hercules. The heroes quenched their thirst, stocked up on water and set off for their homeland. But the Argonauts could not find a way out to sea. They were not in the sea, but in Triton Lake. But on the advice of Orpheus, they dedicated a tripod to the god of the lake. A beautiful young man appeared before the Argonauts. He gave the hero Euphemism a lump of earth as a sign of hospitality and pointed the Argonauts out to sea. The Argonauts sacrificed a ram. The god himself appeared in front of the "Argo" Triton and led the "Argo" past the white rocks, through the whirlpool into the open sea. From Lake Triton, the Argonauts sailed to the island of Crete and wanted to stock up on water there for further navigation. But they were not allowed on the coast of Crete by the copper giant Talos, given to Minos by the thunderer Zeus himself. Talos guarded Minos' possessions, running around the entire island. But Medea put Talos to sleep with her charms. Talos fell to the ground, and a copper nail fell out from him, closing the only vein through which Talos' blood flowed. Talos' blood gushed to the ground like molten lead, and the giant died. The Argonauts could now safely land on the shore and stock up on water.

On the way from Crete to Greece, the hero Euphemus dropped a lump of earth given to him by Triton into the sea, and from this block an island was formed, called Callista by the Argonauts. This island was later settled by the descendants of Euphemus, and it became known as Feroy.

After that, the storm caught the Argonauts at sea. A storm raged on a dark night. The Argonauts were afraid of running into an underwater rock every minute or crashing on coastal rocks. Suddenly, a golden arrow flashed over the sea with a bright light and illuminated everything around, followed by another, a third. It was god Apollowho illuminated the path of the Argonauts with his arrows. They also landed on the island Anafe and waited out the storm. The storm finally subsided, the waves of the sea calmed down, and a tailwind blew. The Argo calmly raced across the azure of the sea. The Argonauts met no more dangers on their way and soon arrived at the coveted harbor of Iolka.

When the Argonauts arrived in Iolcus, they offered a rich sacrifice to the gods who helped during the dangerous voyage. Everyone in Iolca rejoiced and celebrated the return of the Argonauts; everyone praised the great heroes and their leader Jason, who had mined the golden fleece.