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Dionysius Scytobrachion’s Argonautica and Valerius

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Chapter Summary

Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica is closely linked to the Greek past: the story of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece is one of the oldest Greek myths and the topic of numerous Greek works. The best-known poetic version of this myth, Apollonius' Hellenistic Argonautica is generally recognized as Valerius' immediate predecessor and model, even though the Roman poem differs greatly from its Greek counterpart. According to some scholars it seems more likely that Apollonius' epic was intended as a response to Dionysius Scytobrachion's version. This chapter demonstrates that, in addition to Apollonius, Valerius Flaccus knows Dionysius Scytobrachion's version of the Argonautica and that he exploits both accounts to construct his own narrative. To that effect, the chapter analyzes three cases where Valerius prefers to follow Dionysius' version rather than that of Apollonius.

Keywords: Apollonius' Hellenistic Argonautica; Dionysius Scytobrachion; Roman poem; Valerius Flaccus



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