Apollonius Rhodius

Easton Press Apollonius of Rhodius books

Argonautica - Jason and the Golden Fleece - Library of Famous Editions - 1988

Apollonius Rhodius biography

Apollonius Rhodius, an esteemed poet of ancient Greece, left an indelible mark on literature with his epic masterpiece, the Argonautica. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in the 3rd century BCE, Apollonius emerged as a prominent figure in the Hellenistic literary world, renowned for his mastery of language, imagery, and narrative. The Argonautica, Apollonius's magnum opus, stands as a testament to his skill as a poet and storyteller. Composed in the epic tradition, this ancient poem recounts the legendary quest of Jason and the Argonauts as they embark on a perilous journey in search of the Golden Fleece. Drawing upon mythological sources and oral traditions, Apollonius weaves a rich tapestry of adventure, romance, and heroism that continues to captivate readers to this day.

In addition to his literary achievements, Apollonius played a significant role in shaping the cultural and intellectual landscape of his time. As a scholar and librarian at the Library of Alexandria, he fostered a spirit of inquiry and learning, preserving and disseminating the works of earlier writers while also contributing his own original compositions to the literary canon. Despite his contributions to Greek literature, Apollonius Rhodius remained a somewhat enigmatic figure, with little known about his personal life or motivations. Nevertheless, his legacy endures through the pages of the Argonautica, which continues to inspire scholars, poets, and storytellers with its timeless tale of adventure and heroism.

Through his epic poem, Apollonius Rhodius invites readers to embark on a journey across the seas of myth and legend, where heroes clash with monsters, gods intervene in the affairs of mortals, and the human spirit soars to new heights of glory and renown. In the Argonautica, Apollonius crafted a literary masterpiece that stands as a testament to the enduring power of myth and the timeless appeal of the epic tradition.


The Argonautica is an ancient Greek epic poem that tells the story of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. The epic is attributed to Apollonius Rhodius, a Hellenistic-era Greek poet, and it is one of the few surviving Hellenistic epics. The Argonautica narrates the adventures of Jason and the Argonauts as they embark on a perilous journey to retrieve the Golden Fleece. The epic begins with the prophecy that foretells the overthrow of King Pelias of Thessaly by a man wearing only one sandal. Jason, the rightful heir to the throne, is sent on a seemingly impossible quest by Pelias to obtain the Golden Fleece from Colchis.

Jason assembles a group of heroes known as the Argonauts, and they set sail on the ship Argo. The crew includes famous mythological figures such as Heracles, Castor, Pollux, Orpheus, and others. The journey takes them through various challenges and encounters with mythical creatures, including the harpies, the clashing rocks (Symplegades), and the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece. In Colchis, Jason meets and falls in love with the princess Medea, who possesses magical abilities. With Medea's help, Jason successfully retrieves the Golden Fleece, and they embark on a perilous return journey.

The Argonautica is an important work in the tradition of Greek epic poetry, and it serves as a bridge between the Homeric epics and later works of literature. It is a significant source for the Jason and Medea myth, contributing to the broader body of Greek mythology.


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