The death of the children of Medea and the end of Jason’s life

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Their vengeance carried out Jason and Medea left Iolkos, giving the throne to Acastus and settled in Corinth. Some say Medea became its queen.

In some versions a few years later Jason agreed to marry Glauce, the daughter of Creon for the social and political benefits that he could thus obtain.

Many versions exist about the death of the children of Jason and Medea. In one they were killed by the Corinthians. In another Medea was indirectly responsible for their deaths but did not commit the act herself. Only Euripides writes that Medea herself killed her two children as an ultimate act of vengeance against Jason.

In some versions the two children survived: Medeios (sometimes also cited as a son of Aegean) and Polyxena who Medea took with her flewing away on a chariot drawn by winged dragons provided by her grandfather Helios.

Arriving in Athens she healed the Aegean king of his infertility and he proposed to marry her.

As for Jason the end of his life is generally not spoken about (except in second-hand accounts and in the version by Euripides which we have discarded as an unreliable source).


As is very often the case accounts of spiritual experiences do not bother about the end of the hero’s life. Therefore in the narrative by Apollonius there do not appear the elements that mythical history has retained: the separation of Jason and Medea, the death of their children and the departure of Medea to Athens before she finally returns to Colchis, elements which indicate that the realisation is only temporary and that the seeker is not yet able to hold on to the fruits of his experiences.

In fact even if he is no longer in search of a path the experience of psychic contact does not last and the seeker reinstates his unpurified mental personality at the same place from which he had started: Corinth, the symbolic province of Sisyphus. Some say Medea became its queen thereby expressing that for some time the intellect remains focused on the essential purpose and the quest henceforth continues through purification (Acastus, “purity”, is given the throne of Iolcus “the opening of consciousness for liberation”).

The effects of this first psychic experience also cannot be sustained for very long and this is the reason for the death of Jason and Medea’s children.

In spite of his experience in the higher planes of the mind the seeker is still attracted by the “shine” of “incarnation” (Jason weds Glauce, the “shining” daughter of Creon “the flesh, or the incarnation”. This Creon should not be confused with his namesake Thebes.) He is in fact far from being free of desire for a particular result, far from “detachment from the act and its fruits” (Jason considers the social and political benefits of the union with Glauce).

The manner in which Medea’s children died is therefore only of secondary importance, except of course for the dramatic nature of the tragedies.

The version which seems most consistent is one in which they were killed by the Corinthians, representatives of the “logical working of the mind”.

In the version in which two of them survived the first child Medeios is the expression of the “goal of life” and the second, Polyxena, indicates the pursuit of “a greater receptivity (from above)” which will help in reaching the goal here dominated by the mind (they are carried away by winged dragons).

To forge the link with the myths about the kings of Athens “who guide inner growth by rendering the mind spiritual” Medea returned to Athens where she married Aegean.


Summary and Introduction : Jason and the quest of the Golden Fleece >>