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Iolcos (also known as Iolkos or Iolcus, Greek: Ιωλκός) is an ancient city, a modern village and a former municipality in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Volos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located in central Magnesia, north of the Pagasitic Gulf. Its land area is only 1.981 km². The municipal unit is divided into three communities with a total population of 2,071. Its Ágios Onoúfrios district has a land area of 0.200 km². The district has a population of 506 inhabitants.
The municipal seat is the village of Áno Vólos (pop. 529). The small town of Anakasia (pop. 933) was the seat of the municipality of Iolkos. Anakasia has a school, a lyceum, a gymnasium, banks, a post office and a square (plateia). The only other villages are Ágios Onoúfrios (pop. 506), and Iolkós (103).
According to ancient Greek mythology Aeson was the rightful king of Iolcos, but his half-brother Pelias usurped the throne. It was Pelias who sent Aeson's son Jason and his Argonauts to look for the Golden Fleece. The ship Argo set sail from Iolcos with a crew of fifty demigods and princes under Jason's leadership. Their mission was to reach Colchis in Aea at the eastern seaboard of the Black Sea and reclaim and bring back the Golden Fleece, a symbol of the opening of new trade routes. Along with the Golden Fleece Jason brought a wife, the sorceress Medea, king Aeetes' daughter, granddaughter of the Sun, niece of Circe, princess of Aea, and later queen of Iolcos, Corinth and Aea, and also slayer of her brother Apsyrtus and her two sons from Jason, a tragic figure whose trials and tribulations were artfully dramatized in the much staged Euripides' Medea.
The place of ancient Iolcos is believed to be located in modern-day nearby Dimini, where a Mycenaean palace was excavated recently.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Iolcos. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|