The Golden Fleece Picture
"Athamas, king of the city of Orchomenus in Boeotia (a region of southeastern Greece), took as his first wife the cloud goddess Nephele, by whom he had two children, the boy Phrixus and the girl Helle. Later he became enamored of and married Ino, the daughter of Cadmus. Ino was jealous of her stepchildren and plotted their deaths. (In some versions, she persuades Athamas that sacrificing Phrixus is the only way to end a famine.) Nephele, or her spirit, appeared to the children with a winged ram whose fleece was of gold. On the ram the children escaped over the sea, but Helle fell off and drowned in the strait now called after her the Hellespont. The ram took Phrixus safely on to Colchis (modern-day Georgia), on the far (eastern) shore of the Euxine (Black) Sea. Phrixus then sacrificed the ram and hung its fleece on a tree (sometimes an oak tree) in a grove sacred to Ares, where it was guarded by a dragon. There it remained until taken by Jason. The ram became the constellation Aries."