The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $37.50
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 45%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $37.50   
  • New (5) from $59.55   
  • Used (3) from $37.50   


Jason and the Argonauts' quest for the Golden Fleece is probably the oldest extant Greek myth. Homer referred to it as something "familiar to all." At one level this story is a classic fairy tale: The young prince is sent on a perilous expedition and triumphs over the obstacles put in his path - from clashing rocks to fire-breathing bulls - to win not only the Fleece but also the hand of the Medeia, the daughter of King Aietes, who rules over Kolchis. In addition to telling of the prince's quest, the myth also hints at accounts of early exploration and colonizing ventures, since the Argonauts returned home via Italy and Sicily after navigating several of Europe's great rivers, including the Po and the Rhone. Although the myth is old, the poem's treatment of it is Hellenistic - in effect, modern. Jason emerges as an all-too-human Everyman with the one real talent of being able to make women fall in love with him. Medeia becomes a major character: a virgin sorceress whose magic yields Jason's triumph yet cannot save her from her own infatuation. The supporting cast of manipulative goddesses behave uncommonly like middle-class Hellenistic ladies. Together, the combination of age-old myth and modern treatment produces a gripping and unforgettable narrative. Peter Green has translated this renowned poem with skill and wit, offering a refreshing interpretation of a timeless story. His commentary - the first on all four books since Mooney's in 1912 - both sheds light in dark places and takes account of the recent upsurge of scholarly interest in Apollonios.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While Apollonios's long verse romance was originally scorned, it has grown in stature and remains the fullest account of the story of Jason, Medea, and the quest for the golden fleece and the only surviving epic of the Hellenistic period. This new translation joins that of F.V. Rieu (Penguin, 1959). Green (classics, Univ. of Texas), the author of a number of books on Alexander the Great and Hellenistic culture, as well as The Laughter of Aphrodite (Univ. of California, 1993), a novel about Sappho, translates Apollonios's Greek into fluent English verse while preserving his stateliness. The cloth version includes comprehensive notes and commentary. Green's efforts represent both fine literature and scholarship, making this book appropriate for public and academic libraries.Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520076860
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/1997
  • Series: Hellenistic Culture and Society Series
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Green is Dougherty Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin. His other books available from California include Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age (1990), Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (1991), The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos (1993), and The Greco-Persian Wars (1996).
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)