Medea was a powerful witch. She fell in love with Jason and promised to help him, but only on the condition that if he succeeded, he would take her with him and marry her. Jason agreed. Aeëtes promised to give him the golden fleece, on the condition that he perform certain tasks. In the first task, Jason had to plough a field with fire-breathing oxen that he had to yoke himself.
Medea gave him an potion with which to anoint himself and his weapons, to protect him from the bulls' fiery breath. Then, Jason had to sow the teeth of a dragon in the ploughed field (compare the myth of Cadmus). The teeth sprouted into an army of warriors. Jason was forewarned by Medea, however, and knew to throw a rock into the crowd. Unable to determine where the rock had come from, the soldiers attacked and defeated each other. Finally, Aeëtes made Jason fight and kill the sleepless dragon that guarded the fleece. Medea put the beast to sleep with her narcotic herbs. Jason then took the fleece and sailed away with Medea, as he had promised.
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