The Seizure of the Fleece

On the following day, Jason, with his allies at dawn, sailed their ship away, and the weather having become suitable, hastened with their oars to that place, in which Medea indicated the fleece to be hidden. After they had arrived at that place, Jason disembarked onto land, and with his allies left behind on the shore, to guard the ship, he himself made his with Medea into the woods. After having advanced a few miles through the forest, he saw the fleece which he sought hanging from a tree. To take it away, however, was extremely difficult; for not only had the place itself been exceptionally well fortified both by nature and by human skill, but also a certain dragon of horrible appearance was guarding the tree. Then Medea, who, as we demonstrated above, had a great knowledge of medicine, turned a branch, which she had torn down from the nearest tree, into a poison. After this was accomplished, she approached the place and sprinkled poison on the dragon, who was awaiting her arrival with open jaws; then, while the dragon, overcome with drowsiness, slept, Jason snatched the golden fleece from the tree, and returned on foot with Medea as quickly as possible.

Latin text


  1. tempestatem idoneam nacti — the weather having become suuitable
  2. ad mare — prepositional phrase meaning “on the shore” or “at the seaside”
  3. sociis relictis (ablative absolute) — his allies having been left
  4. praesidio navi — double native, meaning, “to guard the ship”
  5. se contulit — made his way
  6. venenum, veneni — poison, venom
  7. faucibus apertis (ablative absolute) — with his jaws open
  8. pedem referre — to retrace one’s steps, to retreat, go back

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