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Chapter Summary

The date of book four of Valerius Flaccus Argonautica is unclear. IV is an important and exciting book. In it Hercules is withdrawn from the company, early on, and the other Argonauts begin to function (and succeed) without him. By the end of IV they have triumphantly come through three major tests on their outward journey. In connection with him VF adopts and adapts, making variations and (seeming) innovations, and blending in other authors too (especially Virgil), so that his imitation is lively and unpredictable. There are similar links with the other books in the Argonautica to integrate IV more smoothly. Obviously the Hylas episode continues from III, and the Lycus episode is completed in V.

Keywords: Argonautica; Argonauts; Hercules; Valerius Flaccus



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