One of the biggest challenges and one of the most crucial elements was
identifying a clear chronology of key events. Greek mythology is
composed in general terms of separate stories. Although it is possible
to place some stories in a clear order, based on the participants or
their genealogies, there was no clearly-defined chronology across the
whole corpus. However, using the participants to date myths can be a
double-edged sword, because individual city-states would associate
their heroes and, by implication, their cities with certain myths
particularly larger myths like the Argonaut expedition, the lives of
Heracles and Theseus, the Calydonian Boar Hunt and the Trojan War.
Moreover different versions of the myths included different heroes and
this is never more true than in the Argonaut expedition. To give an
example of the contradictions that can plague an attempt to build a
chronology of events, Caeneus the Lapith is named as an Argonaut in the
versions by Diodorus Siculus and Hyginus, whereas Apollonius of Rhodes
names Coronus, Caeneus' son. Caeneus is killed by the centaurs in the
Centauromachy - the battle of the centaurs and Lapiths - so if Diodorus
Siculus and Hyginus are to be believed, the Argonaut expedition must be
dated before the Centauromachy. But the seer Mopsus son of Ampycus,
also a Lapith, dies during the Argonaut expedition and yet, according
to Ovid in Metamorphoses Book XII, Mopsus also takes part in
the Centauromachy. Ovid also mentions Mopsus as one of the heroes
taking part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt (Metamorphoses Book
VIII), but Meleager and his uncle Laocoon are among the Argonauts
according to Apollonius of Rhodes. Yet Meleager is the central
character of the Calydonian Boar Hunt, during which he kills this same
Laocoon and is immediately brought to death by his mother Althaea.
Theseus is also named as one of the Argonauts, a key combatant in the
Centauromachy, as well as a participant in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.
But for the purposes of this saga, that also becomes problematic,
because of events that must take place at least five years after the
assembly of heroes for the Argonaut expedition.
Such are the trials besetting one who wishes to compose a story that spans myths.