`H.'s translation succeeds admirably in being sensitive both to the needs of a Greek learner who is grappling with the original and to the exigencies of fluent English. In maintaining this balancing-act he manages not to stray from the spirit and content of the Greek. H. treats the original with the respect it deserves. His version is accompanied by detailed notes and an index, together with a clear, concise introduction to the poem and its place in the Alexandrian tradition. Lecturers planning a Classics-in-translation course for Greek epic need look no further than this volume for an accessible translation which will stimulate student interest and imagination. This book will be the standard English-language translation of Apollonius' Argonautica for many years to come.' R.J. Clare, University of Leeds, Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 116, 1996
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About the Author
Apollonius of Rhodes, Latin: Apollonius Rhodius), floruit first half of 3rd century BCE, is best known as the author of the Argonautica, an epic poem about Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. The poem is one of the few extant examples of the epic genre and it was both innovative and influential, providing Ptolemaic Egypt with a "cultural mnemonic" or national "archive of images", and offering the Latin poets Virgil and Gaius Valerius Flaccus a model for their own epics. His other poems, which survive only in small fragments, concerned the beginnings or foundations of cities, such as Alexandria and Cnidus – places of interest to the Ptolemies, whom he served as a scholar and librarian at the Library of Alexandria. A literary dispute with Callimachus, another Alexandrian librarian/poet, is a topic much discussed by modern scholars since it is thought to give some insight into their poetry, athough there is very little evidence that there ever was such a dispute between the two men. In fact almost nothing at all is known about Apollonius and even his connection with Rhodes is a matter for speculation. Once considered a mere imitator of Homer, and therefore a failure as a poet, his reputation has been enhanced by recent studies, with an emphasis on the special characteristics of Hellenistic poets as scholarly heirs of a long literary tradition writing at a unique time in history.
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