The World’s Best English Epic Poetry – Apollonius’ Argonautica (in English Translation)

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The world’s best English epic and narrative poetry most definitely includes ApolloniusArgonautica (in translation).

Jason, accompanied by his band of intrepid heros, the Argonauts – journey to far-off Colchis to win the golden fleece. They arrive in Colchis after many adventures: discovering the golden fleece is well-guarded by the guile of King Aeëtes and the strength of a watchful dragon.

Fortune’s scales are tipped when the beautiful Medea – Aeëtes’ daughter – falls in love with Jason. Receiving Jason’s professions of love, Medea agrees to use her magic arts and black enchantments on Jason’s behalf in the coming trials of strength demanded by Aeëtes.

  • Can Jason survive the trials set by Aeëtes: to harness a yoke of bronze-hooved bulls, to plow the plain of Ares, and reap the harvest of sown dragon’s teeth?
  • Will Medea – with all the power of the black arts at her disposal – ultimately help or harm Jason’s cause – and that of the  Argonauts?

Want to know more?

For this epic, there exist an unusual number of good English verse translations online.

Follow the links to read verse translations by:

  1. Edward Burnaby Greene: The Argonautic Expedition
  2. Francis Fawkes: The Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius
  3. William Preston: The Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius
  4. Arthur S. Way: The Tale of the Argonauts

The Argonauts

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