The Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, Book 4, 1-481

Hulse, Peter (2015) The Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, Book 4, 1-481. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Before the publication of Professor Richard Hunter’s Cambridge Classics edition in August 2015, the last large-scale commentary on Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica Book 4 was that of Enrico Livrea in Italian in 1973, though mention should be made of the Budé volumes edited by Vian (1974–81). During this period the literary study of the poem has undergone a virtual revolution. The present thesis is an attempt to update and advance the work of the poem’s previous editors. It is intended as a prolegomenon to a commentary on the whole Book.

Apollonius’ epic is an outstanding example of Hellenistic poetic practice, embodying all of its allusive qualities. It draws on the entire tradition of previous Greek literature, while maintaining an innovative point-of-view. This commentary tries to elucidate Apollonius’ experiments with respect to all aspects of style and narration, viewing him both as an important literary critic, closely involved in maintaining the inheritance of Classical Greece, and as a creative artist intent on developing an individual voice.

The section chosen for commentary exhibits many aspects of Apollonius’ artistry: passages of atmospheric description, action sequences which speed the narrative, speeches, in some of which irony predominates while in others rhetoric prevails, similes which often contain fine images and a macabre climax of chilling power which achieves its effects through a number of striking and original details. There are, therefore, many reasons why the poem as a whole was enormously influential on Latin epic, especially on Virgil’s Aeneid, and why the story and Apollonius’ methods of retelling it enjoyed such an important reception in the European tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Finglass, P.
Lovatt, Helen V.
Keywords: Argonautica, Apollonius, Rhodius Book 4, Greek literature
Subjects: P Language and literature > PA Classical philology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 30589
Depositing User: Hulse, Peter
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 09:16
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 08:33

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