The Adventures of the Argonauts (III)

This week we’re going to witness the building of the ship that will ferry Jason and his crew across the vast seas of Greece and beyond as they set sail on their adventures together. But first, let’s see if the heralds request by Jason from Pelias have any luck in finding his old hero friends.


Welcome back everyone, to the Legends Myths and Whiskey Podcast, I’m your storyteller Tanner and today I’ll be sharing part three of our six-part series on the Adventures of the Argonauts as written by Charles Kingsley in his 1889 classic “The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my children.”

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Alright, enough of all that. It’s story time. This week we’re going to witness the building of the ship that will ferry Jason and his crew across the vast seas of Greece and beyond as they set sail on their adventures together. But first, let’s see if the heralds request by Jason from Pelias have any luck in finding his old hero friends.

The Story

So the heralds went out, and cried to all the heroes of the Minuai (Min-ay), “Who dare come to the adventure of the golden fleece?”

And Hera stirred the hearts of all the princes, and they came from all their valleys to the yellow sands of Pagasai. And first came Heracles the mighty, with his lion’s skin and club, and behind him Hylas his young squire, who bore his arrows and his bow; and Tiphys, the skilful steersman; and Butes (Beauties), the fairest of all men; and Castor and Polydeuces (Paulidooseeze) the twins, the sons of the magic swan; and Cæneus, the strongest of mortals, whom the Centaurs tried in vain to kill, and overwhelmed him with trunks of pine-trees, but even so he would not die; and thither came Zetes (ZeeTeeze) and Calais (kAlaϊss), the winged sons of the north wind; and Peleus, the father of Achilles, whose bride was silver-footed Thetis the goddess of the sea. And thither came Telamon and Oileus (oh-ill-ee-oose), the fathers of the two Ajaxes, who fought upon the plains of Troy; and Mopsus (Mope-suss), the wise soothsayer, who knew the speech of birds; and Idmon, to whom Apollo gave a tongue to prophesy of things to come; and Ancaios, who could read the stars, and knew all the circles of the heavens; and Argus, the famed shipbuilder, and many a hero more, in helmets of brass and gold with tall dyed horse-hair crests, and embroidered shirts of linen beneath their coats of mail, and greaves of polished tin to guard their knees in fight; with each man his shield upon his shoulder, of many a fold of tough bull’s hide, and his sword of tempered bronze in his silver-studded belt; and in his right hand a pair of lances, of the heavy white ash-staves.

So they came down to Iolcos, and all the city came out to meet them, and were never tired with looking at their height, and their beauty, and their gallant bearing and the glitter of their inlaid arms. And some said, “Never was such a gathering of the heroes since the Hellens conquered the land.” But the women sighed over them, and whispered, “Alas! they are all going to their death!”

Then they felled the pines on Pelion, and shaped them with the axe, and Argus taught them to build a galley, the first long ship which ever sailed the seas. They pierced her for fifty oars–an oar for each hero of the crew–and pitched her with coal-black pitch, and painted her bows with vermilion; and they named her Argo after Argus, and worked at her all day long. And at night Pelias feasted them like a king, and they slept in his palace-porch.

But Jason went away to the northward, and into the land of Thrace, till he found Orpheus, the prince of minstrels, where he dwelt in his cave under Rhodope (Row-doe-pee), among the savage Cicon (kEEkone) tribes. And he asked him, “Will you leave your mountains, Orpheus, my fellow-scholar in old times, and cross Strymon once more with me, to sail with the heroes of the Minuai, and bring home the golden fleece, and charm for us all men and all monsters with your magic harp and song?”

Then Orpheus sighed, “Have I not had enough of toil and of weary wandering, far and wide, since I lived in Cheiron’s cave, above Iolcos by the sea? In vain is the skill and the voice which my goddess mother gave me; in vain have I sung and laboured; in vain I went down to the dead, and charmed all the kings of Hades, to win back Eurydice (Your-id-uh-see) my bride. For I won her, my beloved, and lost her again the same day, and wandered away in my madness, even to Egypt and the Libyan sands, and the isles of all the seas, driven on by the terrible gadfly, while I charmed in vain the hearts of men, and the savage forest beasts, and the trees, and the lifeless stones, with my magic harp and song, giving rest, but finding none. But at last Calliope, my mother, delivered me, and brought me home in peace; and I dwell here in the cave alone, among the savage Cicon (kEEkone) tribes, softening their wild hearts with music and the gentle laws of Zeus. And now I must go out again, to the ends of all the earth, far away into the misty darkness, to the last wave of the Eastern Sea. But what is doomed must be, and a friend’s demand obeyed; for prayers are the daughters of Zeus, and who honours them honours him.”

Then Orpheus rose up sighing, and took his harp, and went over Strymon. And he led Jason to the southwest, up the banks of Haliacmon (aleeAkmone) and over the spurs of Pindus, to Dodona the town of Zeus, where it stood by the side of the sacred lake, and the fountain which breathed out fire, in the darkness of the ancient oak wood, beneath the mountain of the hundred springs. And he led him to the holy oak, where the black dove settled in old times, and was changed into the priestess of Zeus, and gave oracles to all nations round. And he bade him cut down a bough, and sacrifice to Hera and to Zeus; and they took the bough and came to Iolcos, and nailed it to the beak-head of the ship.

And at last the ship was finished, and they tried to launch her down the beach; but she was too heavy for them to move her, and her keel sank deep into the sand. Then all the heroes looked at each other blushing; but Jason spoke, and said, “Let us ask the magic bough; perhaps it can help us in our need.”

Then a voice came from the bough, and Jason heard the words it said, and bade Orpheus play upon the harp, while the heroes waited round, holding the pine-trunk rollers, to help her toward the sea.

Then Orpheus took his harp, and began his magic song–“How sweet it is to ride upon the surges, and to leap from wave to wave, while the wind sings cheerful in the cordage, and the oars flash fast among the foam! How sweet it is to roam across the ocean, and see new towns and wondrous lands, and to come home laden with treasure, and to win undying fame!”

And the good ship Argo heard him, and longed to be away and out at sea; till she stirred in every timber, and heaved from stem to stern, and leapt up from the sand upon the rollers, and plunged onward like a gallant horse; and the heroes fed her path with pine-trunks, till she rushed into the whispering sea.

Then they stored her well with food and water, and pulled the ladder up on board, and settled themselves each man to his oar, and kept time to Orpheus” harp; and away across the bay they rowed southward, while the people lined the cliffs; and the women wept while the men shouted, at the starting of that gallant crew.

Whiskey Review

Today I’m reviewing Jim Beams Distiller’s Cut, an Unfiltered Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey distilled by Jim B Beam and bottled in Clarmont, Kentucky.

100 Proof and aged 6 years, Distiller’s Cut is a limited run, aged-to-taste bourbon hand-selected by Fred Noe – Master Distiller at Beam.

The Color is a nice bold copper and the nose reveals notes of caramel, charred oak, and candied fruit, and cinnamon.

The palate is fairly bitey, which I expected from a 100-proof offering. The Oakiness is very present as are the charred barrels. There’s vanilla of course and at first it’s all very pedestrian but about mid-way you get notes of allspice, cinnamon, and chocolate. Then there’s this slow burn of rye which eventually fades and leaves you with a finish that is sweet, oaky, but still pretty hot.

Jim Beam didn’t do a lot to impress me with their Black Extra-Aged offering. But their double oak and now this distiller’s cut, I think I have to admit that, even though I have a plain bias for Scotch and even though I started my bourbon education with Wild Turkey and will always have a soft spot for it, Jim Beam has surprised me and I’ve changed my mind about whether or not I should feature their offerings as part of my own home bar.

The overall experience is good and I’ll give Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut at 85/100. I think it would make a good daily drinker splashed over a few rocks to cut the 100 proof down a bit and I admit, I might have one when I get home from the studio. Pick a bottle up today for just $25 at your local spirit retailers – you’ll be glad you did.

Oh, just a brief aside, You’ve likely marked that this is our third review from Jim Beam and well, that’s because we’ve got a listener over there who was kind enough to send us a selection for review. This is the last one, so if you’re not a Beam guy or gal, bear with us – reviewing a new whiskey every week is mighty expensive and when folks are kindly enough to gift us some to review, we take advantage out of thanks and financial necessity. Which reminds me, if you’ve got a whiskey you’d like us to review, shoot us an email and we’ll add it to the list.

Fare thee well!

I’d like to thank you all for listening this week. I know this part of the series was a bit short but, fear not, the next part is the longest yet and will more than make up for it.

You continued listenership is a great motivation which keeps us going but we need your financial support as well. To become a patron of this show and gain access to extra episodes, live hangouts, and our secret Facebook community, visit and learn more.

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Have a great week, everyone! Thanks for listening.

Show Notes

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Pronunciation disclaimer: Greek pronunciation is hard to pin down if you’re not a linguist or scholar of language (and we are not scholars, though Eric can read Greek fluently). Greek is Greek, Latin is Latin, and English is Germanic. To get Greek from Greek to Latin and from Latin to English isn’t as easy as a quick Google search – we try our best here. Forgive us our transliterate trespasses.

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