The Argonautica

Jason and the Golden Fleece
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Argonautica, also known as Jason and the Golden Fleece or Jason and the Argonauts, is the only surviving epic poem from Hellenistic Greece. It is a masterpiece whose story was well known to the audiences of the time. Virgil and other later poets were greatly influenced by it. Its author, Apollonius, was a well-known third century BC scholar living in Alexandria during the great age of Ptolomaic scholarship, and his bold attempt at writing a Homeric epic about Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece faced a daunting audience of knowledgeable contemporaries, whose tastes had moved away from long poems and toward short, perfectly crafted poetry.

In a way, The Argonautica can be styled the first romance novel in which the author employs techniques which explore his characters’ inner thoughts and feelings. In fact, recent scholarship has now placed Apollonius in the pantheon among Greece’s greatest poets. This production presents two different, masterful translations of The Argonautica, one in prose form and the other in verse form. First up is the prose translation by R. C. Seaton. It runs six hours and 39 minutes. It is immediately followed by a verse translation by Arthur S. Way which runs eight hours and 13 minutes.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audio Connoisseur

What listeners say about The Argonautica

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poor execution

The reading wax strained, the translation is archaic reminiscent of a 1611 King James Bible. The narrator drones on with no emotion of character.

This book was hard to follow for these reasons. It could have been much better if the translation was more contemporary. However, most of all, this audio book could have been much better if the narrator was more natural and if he put emotion and character into the performance.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No Homer, translation a bit archaic

If you're looking for the emotional, brilliant writing of homer, you'll find less of it here than you'd hope. There are a lot of good moments (the courting of medea) that are individually beautiful, but the majority of the book is forgettable quick digressionary stories. The reading is well done, if a bit fast, but suffers fairly heavily from the translations archaic language. Expect a lot of thou, thee, thine and so on. Overall worth it if you are invested in the story of Medea and Jason, but otherwise is only okay.

2 people found this helpful