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The Argonautica

Apollonius Rhodius

Book Overview: 

The story of how Jason and a group of famous heroes of Greece took to sea in the Argos has been told many times, before and after Apollonius of Rhodes, wrote his Argonautica, in the 3rd century b.C.. It is not only the oldest full version of the tale to arrive to our days, but also the only extant example of Hellenistic epic. This was already a popular myth by the times of Apollonius, who makes the story of how Jason and the Argonauts sail to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece, and have to go through a lot of adventures to fulfill their task, a mix of simple narrative and scholarly catalog. The Argonautica had a deep impact on European literature as a whole.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Chytus towards the sea, like men lying in wait for a wild beast within. But there Heracles had been left behind with the younger heroes and he quickly bent his back-springing bow against the monsters and brought them to earth one after another; and they in their turn raised huge ragged rocks and hurled them. For these dread monsters too, I ween, the goddess Hera, bride of Zeus, had nurtured to be a trial for Heracles. And therewithal came the rest of the martial heroes returning to meet the foe before they reached the height of outlook, and they fell to the slaughter of the Earthborn, receiving them with arrows and spears until they slew them all as they rushed fiercely to battle. And as when woodcutters cast in rows upon the beach long trees just hewn down by their axes, in order that, once sodden with brine, they may receive the strong bolts; so these monsters at the entrance of the foam-fringed harbour lay stretched one after another, some in heaps bending their heads. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Aww, Media and Jason are sweet. I sure hope things work out for those crazy kids.

This is a great Greek mythological story of Jason who sets sail with sailers on the argo-ship to find the illusive golden fleece. His trip is raught with hair raising adventures.
I highly recommend this book.

No other version of this will suffice. Not only is the translation simply extraordinary, but the wealth of supplementary material and commentary takes up almost double the space of the text itself, meaning there is more than enough for the amateur. My first reading of this in a prose translation man

This was fun. A really stunning translation.

I enjoy how the tale is at once blatant - no interiority here - but also quite subtle. The boys are described as ‘heroes’ but this seems more of a professional category rather than a moral ideal - especially when they are behaving like a pack of lawless p

Video review

It's like Home Alone, but with Heracles instead of Macaulay Culkin, and an entirely different plot, setting, concept and theme.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Apollonius of Rhodes is no Homer. Hell, he’s even miles away from being a Virgil. This 4 book rendition of Jason and the Argonauts is probably the strangest epic poem you will ever encounter. How Apollonius depicts his heroes is astonishing and complex on many le

A Mythological Pirate Raid
3 November 2015

Well, here I am sitting at home, on a public holiday, writing a review of a book that I have just finished. Well, maybe I should be out doing something else, but sometimes just sitting at home with a hot cup of tea is just as enjoyable. Anyway, apparently th

Las argonáuticas una de mis obras favoritas de los clásicos griegos, quizás mucha parte de ello tiene que ver con la gran información que aporta sobre la leyenda del gran Jasón que considero muchas veces relegado de los mitos por otros héroes.

Jasón es uno de los pocos héroes en no tener origen divin

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