Composed in the third century B.C., the Argonautica is the only extant Greek epic between Homer and the later Roman Empire. It tells of Jason's successful expedition with the Argonauts to recover the Golden Fleece from Colchis on the Black Sea. Medea, a young Colchian princess, falls in love with Jason and helps him survive the ordeals imposed by her father. The description of Medea's emotional suffering exercised a profound influence on subsequent writers and especially on Virgil in his account of Dido and Aeneas. Dr. Hunter's edition provides a comprehensive introduction to the poem and its poet, an up-to-date text of Book III and a full commentary that discusses the problems of language and translation. He also delves into the poetic meaning of the work and Apollonius' creative use of the Homeric heritage.
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