Medea  (mē-dē´a ).—Daughter of Æëtes, king of Colchis; celebrated for her skill in magic. She assisted Jason in obtaining the Golden Fleece (see “Argonautæ”), and accompanied him to Greece. She effectually stopped her father's pursuit by killing her brother Absyrtus (q.v.), and strewing his body cut in pieces on the seashore. See “Jason.”
Medea  (mē-dē´ä).—A play by Euripides. The Medea  came out in 431 B. C. along with the poet's PhiloctetesDictys, and the satiric Reapers  (the last was early lost). It was based upon a play of Neophron's, and only obtained the third prize, Euphorion being first, and Sophocles second. It may accordingly be regarded as a failure in its day—an opinion apparently confirmed by the faults (viz., Ægeus and the winged chariot) selected from it as specimens in Aristotle's Poetica. There is considerable evidence of there being a second edition of the play, and many of the variants, or so-called interpolations, seem to arise from both versions being preserved and confused. Nevertheless, there was no play of Euripides more praised and imitated.