Study Guide

Jason: Birth and Early Adventures Baby Heroes in the Wilderness

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Baby Heroes in the Wilderness

When King Aeson, Jason's father, is kicked off of his throne by his half-brother Pelias, Jason's mother sends him off into the wilderness to be raised by the wise centaur, Chiron. Growing up with Chiron, Jason learns everything he needs to know in order to live the life of a hero. This whole hero-in-the-wilderness thing reminds us of several other myths. One example from Greek mythology is Oedipus whose parents abandoned him on a mountainside. Ironically, another example is Jason's uncle Pelias, who is the one who caused Jason to be sent away. Pelias was abandoned by his mother, Tyro, because she had been tricked into conceiving him by the sea-god Poseidon. Both Oedipus and Pelias were raised for a while by shepherds.

Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome, were also said to have gone through a similar experience. Like Jason, these twins ended up in the wilderness because one power-hungry brother kicked another off of a throne. Romulus and Remus's, grandfather, King Numitor, was killed by his brother, Amulius, who then took over the throne of Alba Longa, a city in ancient Italy. Later, however, Numitor's daughter, Rhea conceived Romulus and Remus by Mars, the Roman God of War. To keep the babies safe from Numitor, Rhea set them adrift on the River Tiber. Romulus and Remus were found by a she-wolf who nursed them with her tasty wolf-milk. Later on, like Oedipus and Pelias, the twins were raised by shepherds. Eventually, like Jason, Romulus and Remus grew up and avenged their grandfather.

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