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Jason and the Golden Fleece (The Argonautica) (Oxford World's Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Apollonius of Rhodes , Richard Hunter
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Argonautica is the dramatic story of Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece and his relations with the dangerous Colchian princess, Medea. The only extant Greek epic poem to bridge the gap between Homer and late antiquity, it is a major product of the brilliant world of the Ptolemaic court at Alexandria, written by Apollonius of Rhodes in the 3rd century BC.

Apollonius explores many of the fundamental aspects of life in a highly original way: love, deceit, heroism, human ignorance of the diven, the limits of science. This volume offers the first scholarly translation into English prose for many years, combining readability with accuracy and an attention to detail that will appeal to readers both with and without Greek.

`Based on a deep understanding of the text, this translation, with informative notes and an excellent introduction, will bring Apollonius to the audience he deserves....' (TLS)
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Description


Based on a deep understanding of the text, this translation, with informative notes and an excellent introduction, will bring Apollonius to the audience he deserves. (TLS)

About the Author

Richard Hunter is a Fellow of Pembroke College, and University Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1480 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (26 Feb. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #290,523 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what it says it is 29 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This review relates to the Kindle version of Jason and the Golden Fleece: I say this in case anyone is unaware of Amazon's bad habit of aggregating the reviews for all versions of a book, and sometimes for different translations. This is unhelpful if you are interested in finding the best translation or in how well a book has been digitised for Kindle. This particular case is more serious, as it specifically claims to be the Oxford World's Classics version translated by Richard Hunter, but it is NOT. Neither the translator nor OUP are mentioned, the introduction is quite different, and judging by the content it is a very much older translation, probably out of copyright. I realised in time to have it removed for a refund, but buyer beware! It appears that the real Oxford World's Classics version is not available on Kindle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Initiation Quest 4 July 2013
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the Oxford World Classics edition of 1998, originally published in 1993. It has been translated and edited by Richard Hunter.

As usual with classic texts, I disregarded Hunter's introduction, vowing to read it after I had read Apollonius's words first. Instead, I went straight to the three maps supplied and was straightaway surprised. For someone like me who comes to the work after having watched avidly as a child (and many times thereafter as an adult) the Harryhausen movie of 1963, I was curious and intrigued to see the maps depicting Jason's return journey from Colchis by a roundabout route via the Danube, Croatia, Lombardy, Provence, Corfu, Libya, and Crete.

"The `Argonautica' is a difficult poem" is Hunter's opening and daunting remark in his preface, perhaps referring to his translation rather than problems for the reader. He continues, "Nevertheless, its importance within ancient literary history is not in doubt, even for those who do not actually like it."

First of all, the prospective reader should be assured that the text is presented in prose form. The first eight pages are indeed, not `difficult' as such, but a chore, a listing of names, ancestry, place of origin, and claim to fame. I'm not sure that the content of Hunter's endnotes makes matters easier for the reader. (Indeed, since there are quite a number of notes per page - seven on the first alone - footnotes would have been better.)

But after sailing, the text of the journey starts to flows in a jerking rhythm. Soon we arrive at Lemnos, where all the women have murdered the males - husbands, fathers, and sons - and now seek to `combine' with the Argonauts to repopulate their society. Hardly Hollywood material!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a trip to Colchis.... 7 Feb. 2005
I bought this book out of curiosity after having been a big fan of the Ray Harryhausen 'Jaon and the Argonauts' movie for many years. It's surprisingly readable and provides a whole host of mythological wonders and scenarios for the heroes to overcome. The introduction and notes are excellent. The references to Greek mythology and culture in this text are great, but they're more than adequetely explained by the notes (you do need to keep your thumb in the back section as you're reading). I read this purely for interest in Mythology, but I was surprised to find the story becomes quite gripping, particularly toward the end. Overall, a big thumbs up to both Apollonius and Richard Hunter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A revision of Homeric epic 16 Feb. 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Written in the C3rd BCE Apollonius' Argonautica revisits and revises Homeric epic and takes a cynical look at the concept of heroism. Here Jason is frequently at a loss, only manages the heroic task through a combination of magic and Medea, and ends up murdering a pursuer - a far cry from either the warlike Achilles or the resourceful Odysseus of epic past.

While being immensely-literarily learned (as is the case with other Hellenistic literature) this is still a good read: full of wonders, magic, adventures and exotic set pieces. But a sense of both past versions of these stories (Euripides' Medea, and his Andromache for the future of the marriage between Peleus and Thetis) as well as future texts which deliberately recall Apollonius (Catullus' c.64, Vergil's Aeneid for another version of the epic hero in Aeneas, and even another Medea in Dido) contextualise this text far better than reading it in isolation.

But even if you're not interested in its literary place, it's still a great mythic tale, well told.
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