John R. Salverda says: :
The Argonauts were all the heroes from the various places within the Greek sphere of influence, written into a story that puts them all “in the same boat” accomplishing the same task, which was a religious quest. This was done, much like the contemporaneous story of the twelve labors of Heracles, (where the one hero performs all the various versions of the Messianic task) in order to propagate the idea of an amphictyonic league among the many Greek city states.
They all agreed to seek the relic of the sacrificed “lamb” of god who hangs in a tree, in a sacred grove. It was guarded by serpent that they would have to overcome. An obvious Messianic theme, which they shared through their Israelite/Phoenician heritage as descendants of Abraham, whom they called Athamas.
The prototype to the Greek Argonautica was probably the Hebrew story of Jonah (Sept. Jonas = Jason) and his famous sea voyage. Ginzberg’s legends makes all the companions of Jonah out to be representatives of every nation on Earth, each carrying their respective idols which they all forsake in favor of the one God of Jonah, because of the sea serpent episode.
See the famous image of Jason being regurgitated after he was swallowed by the serpent;
February 22, 2011 at 6:14 am(6) ancienthistory says: :
I got rid of the the “a poet.” Thanks for the comment.
February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm(7) Bill says: :
I liked that comparison of Jason to Jonah, even acknowlegding that the image of Jason in the dragon’s mouth is rare. So John R. Salverda please tell us more about Ginzberg’s legends Thanks
February 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm(8) John R. Salverda says: :
Thanks Bill, the pertinent quote from Ginzberg’s “legends” runs thus; “On the same vessel were representatives of the seventy nations of the earth, each with his peculiar idols. They all resolved to entreat their gods for succor, and the god from whom help would come should be recognized and worshipped at the only one true God. … Jonah confessed to the captain that he was to blame for the whole misfortune, and he besought him to cast him adrift, and appease the storm. The other passengers refused to consent to so cruel an act. … they first tried to save the vessel by throwing the cargo overboard.”
Elsewhere in Ginzberg we may glean more clues to Jonah’s “Messiahship.” For instance, he had died and was resurrected by Elijah (the forerunner of the Messiah); “God resorted to the expedient of causing him pain through the death of the son of the widow with whom Elijah was abiding, and by whom he had been received with great honor. When her son, who was later to be known as the prophet Jonah, died, … Elijah supplicated God to revive the child.” And that he had achieved a kind of immortality; “God exempted him from death: living he was permitted to enter Paradise.”
There is much more to the story of Jonah than the Scriptures have afforded us. (The Jews often downplayed the role of any “supposed” character of Messianic attributes, such as Jesus or Jonah, making them out to be “merely” a prophet. In the case of Jonah, the Jews referred to him as “the false prophet.”) Jesus, the Christian Messiah, compared his Messianic attributes to that of Jonah; “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mat 12:40, See also Luke 11:29-32). It seems that the “swallowing and regurgitation” of Jonah was known, in the days of Jesus, to be an allegory to the “death and resurrection” of the Messiah.
Taken from: http://ancienthistory.about.com/b/2011/02/14/myth-monday-who-were-the-argonauts.htm
for movie, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ2ljAPBIVc&feature=watch-now-button&wide=1