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The largely neglected characterization of Aeëtes and the function of Ares in the 'Argonautica' may heighten the insight into Apollonius' intentions. Regarded more closely, the plot shows that Aeëtes, though being the son of Helios, is marked as an Ares-hero, and not only in the scene in which he arms himself (3. 1225-45). Already in book 2 his close connection with the war-god is hinted at repeatedly, and in book 3 it is further intensified by the adaptation of the Cadmus-and-dragon myth (as told by Pherecydes). Jason, who was compared to both Ares and Apollo at the beginning of his aristeia, proved to be a match for the cruel Aeëtes when he finally performs the shocking massacre of the earthborn. He wins, but he owes his success to Aphrodite. In Apollonius, Ares and Aphrodite rule over human beings and their fates; however, the outcome of their power is not harmonia (as in the Cadmus myth), but at the very end of his poem (book 4) crime, blood and death.

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