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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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by Apollonius Rhodius

(fl. 3rd Century B.C.)

Originally written in Ancient Greek sometime in the 3rd Century B.C. by the Alexandrian poet Apollonius Rhodius ("Apollonius the Rhodian"). Translation by R.C. Seaton, 1912.

PREPARER'S NOTE: Words in CAPITALS are Greek words transliterated into modern characters.



Seaton, R.C. (Ed. & Trans.): "Apollonius Rhodius: Argonautica" (Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1912). Original Greek text with side by side English translation.


Rieu, E.V. (Trans.): "Apollonius of Rhodes: The Voyage of the Argo" (Penguin Classics, London, 1959, 1971).


Euripides: "Medea", "Hecabe", "Electra", and "Heracles", translated by Philip Vellacott (Penguin Classics, London, 1963). Contains four plays by Euripides, two of which concern characters from "The Argonautica".


Much has been written about the chronology of Alexandrian literature and the famous Library, founded by Ptolemy Soter, but the dates of the chief writers are still matters of conjecture... Continue reading book >>

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