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Jason and the Golden Fleece (Penguin Epics)

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0141026329
ISBN-10: 0141026324
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Apollonius of Rhodes 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. but was met with derision and 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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Epics (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141026324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141026329
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.3 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Harper on November 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I teach a classics in translation course at the University of Washington and I have had a few students who buy this edition of "Jason and the Golden Fleece" through Amazon.com. While I have no problem with the translation, I do have a problem with the fact that this edition does not state clearly that it is an abridged version of the epic. It is essentially books 2 and 3 of the four book epic. If you are buying this to read Apollonius' epic then get a different version like the Oxford World Classics version which is complete. You can find this much better edition under: Jason and the Golden Fleece: (The Argonautica) (Oxford World's Classics). Please be aware that this Penguin version is ONLY books 2 and 3 of Apollonius' epic.
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This is underwhelming. To some extent, the dry, long paragraphs of Hunter's translation remodel the intense academic dexterity of Apollonius' original verse, but the fact remains that Apollonius is exciting, and Hunter fails to capture his energy. I recommend the Green's verse translation, which has a few problems of its own, but is genuinely a better specimen.
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Format: Paperback
As a classical studies major, I have a great appreciation for classical epics. Familiar with Greek and Latin, and having read several translations of Vergil and Homer, I was rather disappointed with this edition.

Apollonius's Argonautica is the most complete version of the myth, and deserves a more poignant translation than this Oxford World's Classic. Changing the epic from poetry to prose definately does not do this tale justice. Apollonius, an Alexandrian scholar, is already complex enough, but to have a translation that fails to capture the full aspect of the myth makes it even more confusing.

It's one redeeming quality, however, is a very useful map of Jason's voyage, as well as fairly complete set of notes. The notes refer mainly to allusions to myths, however, and it would have been nice if they had more on the Homeric references found throughout the epic.

Overall, for a translation, it's not the best, and it is fairly confusing to read. Still, until someone comes out with a better translation (hopefully retaining the poetic format), this will just have to do.
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Format: Paperback
Oxford delivers yet another classic in true form. The introduction, translation, and footnotes provide the reader with the complete experience of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The maps included are also really helpful in understanding the storyline. As for the story itself; it too does not disappoint. If you like The Odyssey then you'll definitely like this.
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Hunter's translation of the "Argonautica" proves that it is not only classical scholars that are his concern, but also many modern readers who are interested in understanding the poem's aesthetic framework and meaning. Hunter's introductory essay (pp. ix-xxxi) is a masterpiece of condensation, such as only specialists can write; by adding a bibliography, three maps, notes and an index, Hunter has given his readers all they could possibly expect from a modern translation. Hunter's translation is clear and readable. In the preface he states that the Arg. is a difficult poem; its Greek is often obscure, it "was never an 'easy read' ". , Thus his clear and readable translation will be appreciated by scholars and non-specialists alike.
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Just a small slice of a much larger tale. This is best for a younger reader, but I'd recommend getting the complete tale (from Penguin Classics or Oxford world Classics) if you want some context and analysis.
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