translated by Kelk, Christopher (contributor-contact-email),
Composed by Apollonius Rhodius in 3rd-century BC, the Argonautica is the lone Hellenistic epic in existence. It details Jason and the Argonauts' journey to Colchis for the Golden Fleece. Writing contemporaneously with the age of the great Library of Alexandria, Apollonius incorporated his scholarly studies of geography, ethnography, comparative religion, and Homeric literature. A groundbreaking aspect of the work is its nuanced presentation of the romantic love between the protagonist and the Colchian princess/sorceress Medea. The text had a significant role in shaping Latin literature, inspiring translations and influencing poets like Catullus and Ovid, while serving as a template for Virgil’s Aeneid.
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