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Great Books Reading and Discussion Group: September
  Jason and the Argonauts arriving at Colchis, painting by Charles de Lafosse.  
Alumni meet monthly to discuss one of the classics of literature

Cost: Free, apart from the cost of food & drink
No Registration Required

The Great Books Reading Group continues its exploration of the character of Odysseus throughout literature from Homer to the present.


At our September meeting, we will discuss the Argonautica, a Greek epic poem by Apollonius Rhodius. The Argonautica concerns Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. It is one of the few extant examples of Greek epic poetry and it influenced such Latin poets as Virgil. Like many Greek works of the time, the story was one that would have been well-known to its audience, and the author was able to work beyond a simple narrative, emphasizing, among other things, the love between Jason and Medea, a princess of Colchis and a sorceress. The work is modeled on Homer's poetry, both in plot and style, though it is considered less traditionally heroic in its treatment of the lead character Jason.

The author, Apollonius Rhodius, wrote in the 3rd Century BCE. He was a student of the poet and scholar Collimachus and served as the head of the library at Alexandria. He was a scholar of Homer and was also the author of numerous "foundation poems" about the mythical origins of cities. These poems survive only in fragments.

For an overview of the proposed long-term schedule for our study of Odysseus, please see Odysseus in Literature.

Event Contact
Larry Brown PhD'92

Staff Liaison
Ritu Prasad, AB'14


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Event Information
Monday, Sep 28 2015 at 6:15pm - 8:00pm [ iCal ]
Agora Restaurant
1527 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
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