Medea

The daughter of Aeetes, the king of Colchis.  Medea was a powerful witch.

When Jason arrived in Colchis, Medea fell instantly in love with him.  This was through the scheming of Hera, who wished to bring Medea back to Greece to kill PeliasHera persuaded Aphrodite to send her son Eros down and shoot  Medea with an arrow, which caused her instantaneous love.

Medea gave Jason a potion of invulnerability to pass the test imposed on him by Aeetes.  When Aeetes still would not hand over the Golden Fleece, Medea went to warn him.  Medea used a potion upon the dragon, which guarded the fleece, so that if fell asleep.  Then she fled with Jason towards Greece, with the understanding that he would marry her upon their arrival.

The first indication that Jason did not quite share her feelings was on the river Danube, where Jason agreed to return her over to her brother Apsyrtus if he was allowed to leave unhindered.  When Medea found out, Jason, who was fearful of her power, insisted that he was only intending to trap Apsyrtus, not turn her over to him.

On the island of the Phaeacians, however, Jason and Medea were married by the wish of Alcinous, who then offered his protection to the couple.  When they finally arrived back in Greece, Medea helped her husband to kill Pelias, who had killed Jason's father.  Pelias was the king of Iolcus, and reason for his whole quest for the Golden Fleece.

Medea went to Pelias' daughters, and gave them a told them that, if they would chop up their father and boil him, she could make Pelias young again.  Medea convinced them by chopping up the dead Aeson, boiling him, and then restoring Aeson to life.  The daughters, wishing to help their father, did as Medea had said.  When they presenter her with the boiled pieces of Pelias, Medea of course refused to perform the spell.

For the murder, Jason and Medea were exiled from Iolcus.  They then traveled to Corinth, where they lived for ten years.  They had two children together, Mermerus and Pheres.  In the tenth year, the king of Corinth, Creon offered his daughter to Jason as his bride.  Wanting to become the heir to the throne, Jason agreed and divorced Medea.

Now without a husband, Medea first plotted revenge.  She sent a cloak laced with poison as a present to Jason's new bride.  When she put the cloak on, she immediately caught fire and burned to death.  Then, Medea killed her children, whom she could not support, and fled to Athens.

In Athens, she met the king Aegeus.  She married him and bore him a son, Medus.  When Aegeus' first-born son Theseus returned to Athens, Medea plotted against him.  Enraged, Aegeus drove Medea and Medus from his kingdom.

Medea and her son at last fled back to her original home in Colchis.  There she found that her father Aeetes had be forced from the throne by his brother.  She killed the usurper, and restored Aeetes.  Medea then spent the remainder of her life under his protection.

Source(s):

  1. Apollonius RhodiusArgonautica.

  2. ApollodorusBibliotece.