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CL7042 The Argonautic Tradition: Mythography, Poetry, History and Art

This module explores the myth of the quest of Jason and the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece in its many incarnations, from Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire and beyond. Our starting point is the ‘canonical’ version in Apollonius’ epic Argonautica, stations en route include Diodorus of Sicily, Apollodorus, Ovid, Valerius Flaccus, the Orphic Argonautica, and numerous lost treatments. You will participate in research and build confidence in using key scholarly resources and a wide range of sources, including less easily accessible ones such as fragments and scholia.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Dr Martine Cuypers
  • Duration:
    • Hilary Term (Jan-April)
  • Contact Hours:
    • 22 (1 x 2-hour seminar p.w.)
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 100% Continuous Assessment

Introductory Reading

  • Cameron, Alan, Greek Mythography in the Roman World (Oxford 2004)
  • Dowden, Ken and Livingstone, Niall (eds.), A Companion to Greek Mythology (Chichester, 2011)
  • Fowler, Robert, Early Greek Mythography, 2 vols. (Oxford 2000, 2013)
  • Gantz, Timothy, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to the Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore 1993)
  • Race, William H. (ed., tr.), Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica (Cambridge, MA 2008)

Learning Outcomes

On successful conclusion of this module, students will be able to:

  • outline the development of the ‘Argonautic tradition’ from the Archaic period to the Roman Empire
  • explore the contextual reasons behind specific interpretations, selections and uses of the Argonautic myth in ancient texts and art
  • discuss key methodological issues regarding the diachronic study of myth
  • confidently and responsibly consult less accessible textual sources such as scholia, ancient commentaries and lexica and fragments
  • critically use key scholarly resources for the study of ancient myth such as fragment collections, encyclopedias, handbooks and online tools
  • conduct independent research, with proper consideration of sources and scholarship, on a selected topic in the area of Argonautic myth
  • present the results of this research clearly and professionally both orally and in writing, with proper use and citation of primary sources and secondary literature