Valerius Flaccus' unfinished and unjustly neglected epic, recounting the Argonauts' quest for the Golden Fleece and the early stages of the love affair of Jason and Medea, has been relegated to the outer fringes of classical scholarship for many years. No full-length study devoted to the Argonautica has been published in English for over 100 years. This book seeks to redress the balance. The author aims to provide readers who have not yet encountered Valerius Flaccus' work with a general introduction to this multi-faceted epic poem. At the same time Hershkowitz offers those already familiar with the Argonautica an in-depth re-evaluation of the work, contextualizing it within both an historical and a literary framework, and focusing in particular on its intertextual relationship with Apollonius' Argonautica and Virgil's Aeneid. Using Valerius' epic as a test-case, Dr. Hershkowitz hopes to challenge many of the critical assumptions about the nature of Silver Latin literature.
`... should arouse fresh interest in the poem.'
`often penetrating study ... In a subtle and convincing evaluation the author shows how the place of work within a literary tradition, far from being only a deplorable sign of lacking originality, contributes to its value by the very tension between received material and personal response, and the challenge this evokes ... it is certainly an important contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica and by this token of
Silver Latin literature in general.'
A J Keywegt, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 20/07/99
Incompleteness: me talia uelle?
Belatedness: Silver Linings
Recuperations: Better, Stronger, Faster
Digressions: The Road not Taken
Dissimulation: Unlearned in the World's False Subtleties