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The Voyage of Argo : Penguin Classics - Apollonius of Rhodes

The Voyage of Argo

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 30th April 1959
ISBN: 9780140440850
Number Of Pages: 224
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Written in the third century BC in Alexandria, this is the only full surviving account of Jason's legendary quest for the Golden Fleece. It describes the thrilling adventures of the Argonauts on their voyage to Colchis to plead with king Aeetes for the fleece, his greatest treasure - and the Eros-inspired passion felt by his daughter, the beautiful witch-princess Medea, for the scheming Jason. Chronicling a journey that sees Jason and his crew traverse perilous seas, negotiate the treacherous Cyanean Rocks, and confront the lure of the Sirens' song, The Voyage of Argo is a masterful depiction of distinctly human heroism and betrayal caused by love. An eloquent marriage of romance and realism, it tells the definitive version of one of the greatest legends of the classical age: an epic tale of bravery, prophecy and magic.

About The Author

Little is known of the life of Apollonius of Rhodes. Despite his surname he was a citizen of Alexandria in the time of the Ptolemies. His fame rests solely on the Argonautica, a poem which was from the first unfairly compared with Homer's epic The Odyssey, but which Virgil was not ashamed to borrow from. Unlike his life-long rival Callimachus, Apollonius developed the classical traditions of the Homeric epic, expanding them to include a flair for romance and psychological insight which were entirely his own.

He published his first version of the Argonautica sometime in the middle of the third century B.C. He was met with derision both from the public and the influential Callimachus, and Apollonius prepared a second and probably shorter version. This was so well received by the Rhodians that he was honoured with their franchise and for some years lived on that island. Later he returned to Alexandria to find his work now held in high esteem. At the end of his life he was Director of the famous library of Alexandria, which was the principal storehouse of all pagan literature and learning.

Industry Reviews

Written in the third century BC by Apollonius of Rhodes, who despite his surname was a citizen of Alexandria, The Voyage of the Argo is the only complete account that we have of the ancient quest of Jason, on his ship the Argo, to discover the golden fleece. Taking his inspiration from Homer, Apollonius breathes fresh spirit into his account of the ancient voyage by taking a humanist approach, writing from a personal point of view as intimately as if he was a passenger on the Argo himself. From his descriptions of the gathering crew, to Jason's meeting with the enchanting Medea, Apollonius infuses his account with psychological insight and even gives the Argo a human voice. (Kirkus UK)

Book I. Preparation and Departure
Book II. Onward to Colchis
Book III. Jason and Medea
Book IV. Homeward Bound
Notes on the Text
Map WIth Notes

ISBN: 9780140440850
ISBN-10: 0140440852
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 30th April 1959
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.1  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.16
Edition Number: 1

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