The Voyage of Argo

Apollonius of Rhodes

Introduced by Lawrence Norfolk
Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

The poetic account of Jason's quest for the golden fleece, written in the third century BC and now an inspiration for artist Daniel Egnéus.

Published price: US$ 71.95


The Voyage of Argo

The golden fleece guarded by a serpent; the fiery bulls yoked to a plough; the warriors sprung from a serpent’s teeth; a sorceress tormented by love ... The myth of Jason and the Argonauts has woven itself through Western culture, but nowhere is it told with more artistry than in the poem composed by Apollonius of Rhodes in the third century BC: the Argonautica.

Production Details

The Voyage of Argo book
  • Translated from the Classical Greek by E. V. Rieu
  • Pictorial slipcase
  • Full colour binding, bound in cloth.
  • Set in Centaur
  • 208 pages
  • Title page spread and 7 double-page colour illustrations
  • Printed endpapers
  • Book size: 10" x 6¾"

A landmark work of poetry and imagination

‘Farewell, heroic, happy breed of men!
Your blessing on this lay of mine. And
as the years go by, may people find it a
sweeter and yet sweeter song to sing’

Apollonius was undoubtedly influenced by the Homeric tradition – his tale includes brave fights and wild adventures – but in the midst of this heroic action, Apollonius also describes Medea’s turmoil as she struggles between her duty to her family and her love for a stranger, and Jason’s wavering resolution in the face of a new challenge.

'The Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes is one of the strangest classical texts in a field reknowned for strangeness. It is a sea-going travelogue, a blood-curdling horror story, a tale of magic and a (literally) wonderful adventure. This sumptuous new edition does justice to all those aspects, and lures one to do what Apollonius wanted most: to read.'
Lawrence Norfolk

The greatest moments of poetry come when Apollonius describes more intimate scenes, whether it is Eros clinging to his mother’s skirt, or Medea’s first view of Jason: ‘her soul crept out of her, as in a dream, and fluttered in his steps’. No wonder Apollonius is revered as the first author to present the inner thoughts and feelings of his characters. Although little about Apollonius’ life is known for certain, it is clear that his work was hugely popular. This poem has inspired many: for Virgil it was the model for the Aeneid, and numerous artists have been drawn to the story. This edition is illustrated by the award-winning artist Daniel Egnéus. Printed as double-page spreads, his vigorous images evoke the full splendour of the poem. A spectacular printed slipcase and a map tracing the Argonauts’ long wanderings complete one of our most anticipated editions.

Inside the book

Click to read an extract from Lawrence Norfolk's introduction

Norfolk takes us into the text, which has inspired Hollywood films as well as Virgil. (© 2014 Lawrence Norfolk).

Click to read an extract from the book

Beginning with the prophecy of a dreadful fate, read the opening account of the voyage to Cochis.

About Apollonius of Rhodes

Apollonius of Rhodes was a citizen of Alexandria in the time of the Ptolemies. Little is known about his life, and he is remembered today solely for the Argonautica, which was first published in the middle of the third century bc. The poem is one of the few extant examples of the epic genre from the classical period, and it was both innovative and influential, providing a model for succeeding Latin poets including Virgil. At the end of his life Apollonius was director of the famous library of Alexandria, which was the principal storehouse of all literature and learning.


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Review by David Anderson on 13th Jan 2015

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"I second everything that Blackie says in his review. Amazingly, this book, the translation of a poem written in the third century BC, really is a page-turner. I found it to be much more enjoyable than..." [read more]

Review by Blackie on 27th Nov 2014

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Love this book. The story unfolds so compellingly it is hard to put it down and though it is a very good adventure story it contains line after line of ideas and thoughts about life and people. The il..." [read more]

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