Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica: Abbreviated Voyages in Silver Latin Epic

Synopsis

Valerius Flaccus' unfinished and unjustly neglected epic, recounting the Argonauts' quest for the Golden Fleece and the early stages of the love affair of Jason and Medea, has been relegated to the outer fringes of classical scholarship for many years. No full-length study devoted to the Argonautica has been published in English for over 100 years. This book seeks to redress the balance. The author aims to provide readers who have not yet encountered Valerius Flaccus' work with a general introduction to this multi-faceted epic poem. At the same time Hershkowitz offers those already familiar with the Argonautica an in-depth re-evaluation of the work, contextualizing it within both an historical and a literary framework, and focusing in particular on its intertextual relationship with Apollonius' Argonautica and Virgil's Aeneid. Using Valerius' epic as a test-case, Dr. Hershkowitz hopes to challenge many of the critical assumptions about the nature of Silver Latin literature.