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Title: Argonautica (L001)
Author: Apollonius Rhodius, R C Seaton (trans)
Publisher: Harvard University Press; Publication Date: 1990
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780674990012
Volumes: 1; Pages: 448
List Price in Cloth: $26.00 Our price: $26.00
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Apollonius' epic in four books recounts the legend of Jason's expedition on the Argo--the first ship to be built--into unknown territory to capture the prized Golden Fleece from King Aeetes of Colchis. The Argonauts, a band of fifty heroes (including Heracles at the outset, Orpheus, and Peleus), sail from Thessaly, across the Aegean and through the terrifying Clashing Rocks (Symplegades) into the Black Sea to distant Colchis, where--with the help of the King's daughter Medea and her magical gifts--Jason finally succeeds in his mission. The adventures of the homeward journey, by way of the Danube, Po, and Rhone Rivers and Libya, fill the final book. Love is a central theme in Apollonius' heroic tale: the poet tellingly depicts the flowering of Medea's violent passion for Jason. This Hellenistic epic saga reads like an heir to Homer and exerted a profound influence on Virgil's Aeneid as well as on the Latin and Greek romances of the coming centuries.