The Argonautica – The Forgotten Classical Epic Poem That Changed Literature

Interesting Literature

In his latest Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle considers Apollonius of Rhodes’ classic tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece

In the world of classical Greek epic poetry, two poems are universally renowned: The Iliad and The Odyssey. Both, of course, are attributed to Homer – whoever he may have been. But there is another classical epic poem, written a few centuries later, which has been largely forgotten – although the story it tells is one of the most celebrated tales from Greek mythology. This poem is The Argonautica, an epic poem about Jason and the Argonauts’ search for the Golden Fleece. Its author was a rather intriguing poet named Apollonius of Rhodes.

Well, he’s known as ‘Apollonius of Rhodes’, although here we come upon our first problem. He was more closely associated with Alexandria, it would seem, than Rhodes – and, indeed, rose…

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