GOLDEN FLEECE, in Greek mythology, the fleece of the ram on which Phrixus and Helle escaped, for which see Argonauts.
Jason's uncle Athamas had two children, Phrixus and Helle, by his wife Nephele, the cloud goddess.
But before the sacrifice the shade of Nephele appeared to Phrixus, bringing a ram with a golden fleece on which he and his sister Helle endeavoured to escape over the sea.
Helle fell off and was drowned in the strait, which after her was called the Hellespont.
Others treat it as a solar myth; the ram is the light of the sun, the flight of Phrixus and the death of Helle signify its setting, the recovery of the fleece its rising again.
His first wife was Nephele, the cloud-goddess, by whom he had two children, Phrixus and Helle (see Argonauts).