Myths about Aries the Greek god tells us that Athamas, King of Croneus, and his first wife, Nephele (whose name meant "Cloud"), were blessed with two children: a son named Phrixus and a daughter named Helle. Growing tired of Nephele, Athamas sent her away and married Ino, daughter of Cadmus, the King of Thebes.
Together, Ino and Athamas also had two children and, over time, the new queen grew horribly jealous of Nephele's offspring. She wanted the kingdon for her own sons and decided to resort to treachery and deceit in order to obtain it.
As myths about Aries the Greek god goes, corn was the major crop of the realm at this time and a plentiful harvest meant that the people and animals in the region would be well-fed in the months to come.
Knowing this, Ino convinced the women of the kingdom to roast the seeds of corn before the men, unaware of what was happening, planted them in the fields. When the ruined corn failed to grow, nobody imagined that the queen was the originator of the disaster and no blame was laid at her door.
As was the custom of the day, Athamas consulted an oracle in order to find out what could be done to appease the gods and bring back the crops. He sent messengers to the oracle at Delphi, but the devious Ino bribed them into lying about the advice given. According to the message they brought back, Phrixus and Helle were the cause of the famine and would have to be sacrificed to the gods before the kingdom would once again have corn.
The despairing king obeyed. Although he grieved deeply for the fate of Phrixus and Helle, he did not want to cause his kingdom to starve, so he decided to follow what he believed to be the advice of the wise oracle.
As luck would have it, Nephele from her home in the sky had heard rumors of the truth and, fearful for the safety of her beloved son and daughter, had sent a protector to watch over them. This protector was not of humankind, but a ram whose fleece was made of gold.
The ram had been a gift to Nephele from Hermes and the animal was totally faithful to the former queen and her children. As the day of sacrifice dawned, the ram approached the children. It spoke, instructing them to flee the realm immediately. It told them to climb upon its back, which they did. Warning them to hold on tightly, the ram then sprang into the air and flew away across the ocean.
Helle, who was weaker than her brother tumbled from the rams back as it was flying over the strait that divides Europe from Asia. She drowned in the waves below...a body of water the Greeks called the Hellesponte ("Sea of Helle") which is known today as the Dardanelles.
Phrixus, however, managed to survive and was carried to safety on the shores of Colchis, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, where King Aeetes (son of Helius and brother of Circe) received him with kindess and gave him his elder daughter, Chalciope, as a wife. Thus did Phrixus maintain his noble status.