The Golden Fleece And The Golden Rule

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“Do unto others what you want them to do to you”. These words have been ingrained in the heads of children for years, a saying that is supposed to keep the children from fighting and annoying their parents with the petty squabbles of youth. The fact that it is known as “The Golden Rule” demonstrates its high status among the rules taught to children. In ancient Greece, a similar rule was forced upon children and can be found as a common theme woven into many ancient Greek myths, but the punishment for disobeying was far more severe. In ancient Greece, one of the main goals in life was to gain approval of the gods. If one were to make the gods unhappy, terrible pain and suffering were almost always the outcome. If someone were to treat a…show more content…
His servants hastened to make ready, build fires and heat water for the baths, and prepare food”(165). This high and powerful king, the most powerful in all of Colchis even offered the strange men as much as possible before even asking them any questions, showing how important xenia was to him. The mpst compelling evidence comes right after the aforementioned, however, when the king realizes these men want to take from him his city’s most prized possession, the Golden Fleece, he says to himself, “If these strangers had not eaten at my table I would kill them”(165). The devotion all people had to keeping the gods appeased kept the king of Colchis from killing the Argonauts directly. Without the king’s worry for Zeus’ happiness, the Argonauts would definitely have been brutally slaughtered. Xenia is the major theme in the myth of “Baucis and Philemon”, and the myth largely serves as a cautionary tale to children, demonstrating Zeus’ mighty wrath. When Zeus and Hermes came to the town of Phrygia to test the people’s hospitality, and all doors were kept shut to them except that of Baucis and Philemon. The gods respond in a way that shows how much they value xenia. When Zeus and Hermes explain, “‘You have been hosts to gods’ they said, ‘and you shall have your reward. This wicked country which despises the poor stranger will be bitterly punished, but not you’”(149). This statement and just

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