A son of Cretheus, the founder of Iolcus, and of Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus. He was excluded by his step-brother Pelias from his share in the kingdom of Thessaly. He was father of Jason and Promachus, but the name of his wife is differently stated, as Polymede, Alcimede Amphinome, Polypheme, Polymele, Arne, and Scarphe.1 Pelias endeavored to secure the throne to himself by sending Jason away with the Argonauts, but when one day he was surprised and frightened by the news of the return of the Argonauts, he attempted to get rid of Aeson by force, but the latter put an end to his own life.2

According to an account in Diodorus,3 Pelias compelled Aeson to kill himself by drinking ox's blood, for he had received intelligence that Jason and his companions had perished in their expedition. According to Ovid,4 Aeson survived the return of the Argonauts, and was made young again by Medea.

Jason as the son of Aeson is called Aesonides.5



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.11 and 16; Homer. Odyssey xii, 258; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 872; Diodorus Siculus, iv, 50; Scholiast on Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 45; Scholiast on Homer's Odyssey xii, 70.
  2. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.27.
  3. iv, 50.
  4. Metamorphoses vii, 163, 250 ff.
  5. Orphic. Argonautica, 55.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.