The Politics of Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica

The Politics of Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica

By (author) Anatole Mori

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Apollonius Rhodius' epic poem, the Argonautica, is one of the most important and influential literary productions of the Hellenistic period. This book shows how the retelling of a heroic adventure set in the generation before the Trojan War engages the political, religious, and ethical dynamics of its day by alluding to the real-world context of the early Ptolemaic dynasty as well as to poetic and other models. Through a hegemonic typology that ranges from the just and theocratic to the duplicitous and lawless, Apollonius characterizes the political heirs of Alexander the Great as pious, civilized rulers. This interpretation goes beyond previous studies by examining the political resonance of religious activity in the poem, and by relating these formulations (especially where they concern Apollonius' departures from his literary predecessors) to the ideological construction of Hellenic identity in third-century Egypt.

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  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 26mm | 557.92g
  • 30 Nov 2008
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 1 b/w illus.
  • 0521882257
  • 9780521882255

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Author Information

Anatole Mori is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

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Review quote

'This is an important book that will influence not only future readings of the Argonautica, but of Hellenistic poetry in general.' International Journal of the Classical Tradition '[Mori's] study is impressive in its combination of a historically based approach with a thorough knowledge of the poem itself and the traditions of scholarship that have analyzed it. This is an important book that will influence not only future readings of the Argonautica, but of Hellenistic poetry in general. I find particularly fruitful the way in which Mori links the historical context of religion and politics as complementary areas of influence on Apollonius - a task that demands no small mastery of a complex body of texts and traditions.' Mary Depew, International Journal of the Classical Tradition '... well worth the read ...' Polis

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