The Library of History

Page 156

Page 156 the Witnesses of his Oath and Vows. However it's said, Jason without any further regard to her, marry'd the King's Daughter.

Medea therefore being commanded to leave the City, having only one Day allow'd her by Creon to prepare for her Departure, by the Art of Witchcraft she chang'd the Form of her Countenance, and enter'd the Palace in the Night, and by a Root found out by Cerces her Sister (which being kindled, was of such a nature, as it could not be extinguish'd) she set the Palace on Fire. And now all being in a Flame, Jason sprang out from the Burning, and escap'd, but Glance and her Father Creon hem'd in on every side by the Fire, were both consum'd. Some Historians say, that Medea's Sons presented the new Bride with poyson'd Plasters, which she applying to her self, miserably perish'd, and her Father together with her, by only touching her Body in endeavouring to help her. Medea thus succeeding in her first Attempt, proceeded still to be further reveng'd upon Jason; for she was so far transported with Rage and Jealousie, yea, with implacable Cruelty, that notwithstanding Jason's narrow Escape, and the Destruction of the Bride, she further inhanc'd his Misery, by murdering his Sons he had by her; for she cut all their Throats (except one who made his Escape by Flight) and bury'd them in the Temple of Juno; and when she had done, at Midnight fled with some of her Faithful Maid-servants from Corinth to Hercules at Thebes, who undertaking as a Surety for Jason, that he should perform his Vows made to her in Colchis, promis'd to assist her in taking Revenge. In the mean time, every one judg'd Jason was justly punish'd in this loss, both of his Wife and Children: Not being therefore able to bear the insupportable weight of his Calamities he kill'd himself. The Corinthians were even astonish'd at the extremity of his Misery, and were especially perplext concerning the Burying of the Children. Therefore they sent to Delphos to inquire of the Oracle how their Bodies were to be dispos'd of: And it's said, the Oracle ordered them to be bury'd in Juno's Temple, and that they should for ever after be worship'd as Demy Gods. The Corinthians accordingly observ'd what was commanded; and Thessalus, who escap'd the cruel Hands of his Mother, was brought up by them.

Afterwards he return'd to Iolcus, his Father's Country, and found Acastus the Son of Pelius, then lately dead; and thereupon (as next Heir to the Crown) took upon him the Sovereign Authority, and call'd the People within his Dominion after his own Name, Thessalians. But I am not ignorant that there are other Accounts given concerning the naming of them Thessalians, of which we shall speak in their proper Place.

In the mean time they say, Medea finding Hercules at Thebes distracted, and his Children a little before by him murder'd, she cur'd him with her Medicinal Applications. But because there was no hope of Assistance for her from Hercules at the present, by reason of the Labours impos'd upon him by Eurystheus, she fled to Aegeus the Son of Paedion at Athens, who marry'd her, and begat of her Medus, afterwards King of the Medes. Others say, she was brought to her Trial by Hippotus the Son of Creon, and fairly acquitted.

Some small time after, when Theseus return'd from Traezene to Athens, she was expell'd the City for Witchcraft; and Aegeus sent her away by Messengers, with Orders to conduct her to what Place soever she had a mind to go; and it's said, she went into Phaenicia; and that from thence she past into the upper Parts of Asia, and being Marry'd there to a certain famous King, she had a Son by him call'd Medus, who after the Death of his Father, succeeded in the Kingdom, and became renown'd for his Valour, and after his own Name, call'd the People Medes.

But by reason of the Monstrous Stories feign'd by the Tragedians, there's great variety and difference in the History concerning Medea. Others in favour to the Athenians say, that she return'd safe to Colchis, and took along with her Medus the Son of Aegeus: And that about that time, Aeetes was by force of Arms depriv'd of his Kingdom by Perses his Brother, and was restor'd by his Nephew Medus, who kill'd Perses.

Afterwards Medeus having rais'd a great Army, overran many Parts of Asia above Pontus, and subdu'd that Part now call'd from him Media: But it would be here unnecessary and too tedious to relate all the Stories that they have written

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books