In Greek mythology, Medea (/mɪˈdə/; Ancient Greek: Μήδεια, Mēdeia means "planner / schemer") is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, a niece of Circe and the granddaughter of the sun god Helios. Medea figures in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, appearing in Hesiod's Theogony around 700 BC,[1] but best known from Euripides's tragedy Medea and Apollonius of Rhodes' epic Argonautica. Medea is known in most stories as a sorceress and is often depicted as a priestess of the goddess Hecate.

Medea on her golden chariot, by Germán Hernández Amores
Personal information
ParentsAeëtes and Idyia
SiblingsAbsyrtus, Chalciope
ConsortJason, Aegeus
ChildrenVary according to tradition, names include Alcimenes, Thessalus, Tisander, Mermeros, Pheres, Eriopis, and Medus

She aids Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece out of love, assisting him with her magic and saving his life in several quests, playing the role of an archetypal helper-maiden, before abandoning her native Colchis, marrying him, and fleeing with him westwards where they eventually settle in Corinth. Euripides' 5th century BC tragedy Medea, arguably the best known adaptation of the Medea myth, depicts the ending of said union with Jason, when after ten years of marriage, Jason abandons her to wed king Creon's daughter Creusa while Medea and her sons by Jason are to be banished from Corinth. In revenge, she murders Creusa and the king with poisoned gifts, and later murders her own sons by Jason before fleeing for Athens,[2] where she eventually marries king Aegeus. Other traditions mention several other causes of death for Medea's sons.

What happened afterwards varies according to several accounts. Herodotus in his Histories mentions that she ended up leaving Athens and settling in the Iranian plateau among the Aryans, who subsequently changed their name to the Medes.[3]