The Hour 25 Book Club will host a discussion on Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica Book 3, via Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, August 11 at 11 a.m.
You can find R.C. Seaton’s translation of the text online for free here, or you can read any other edition you prefer. Here is my first random notes in preparation for August 11;
I just thought the followinger were beautiful and dreadful;
(283) “and he shot at Medea; and speechless amazement seized her soul. But the god himself flashed back again from the high-roofed hall, laughing loud; and the bolt burnt deep down in the maiden's heart like a flame; and ever she kept darting bright glances straight up at Aeson's son, and within her breast her heart panted fast through anguish, all remembrance left” (297) “Love the destroyer;”…“shone the son of Aeson for beauty and grace; and the maiden looked at him with stealthy glance, holding her bright veil aside, her heart smouldering with pain; and her soul creeping like a dream flitted in his track…”
Some where I got the impression the sovereignity of Colchis was dependent on ownership of the Golden Fleece, sort of like King Nisus of Megara’s purple lock of hair [HYGINUS, FABULAE 198] . But I haven’t seen that mentioned yet in the Argonautica. What I have seen is “the heart of ruthless Aeetes” (492). Aeetes who would have killed his future son-in-law and bringer of the golden fleece “Phrixus, who surpassed all strangers in gentleness and fear of the gods” (584) if the gods hadn’t stopped him. Aeetes who had “bitter foes the Sauromatae” on his borders and feared the betrayal of his relatives. Now admitted this all predisposes King Aeetes to be leary of Jason and the Argonauts, but what if he’d said “Yes, that nasty old goat skin is yours!” In that case, the neighboring nasty tribe would have been vanquished, his son and heir would have survived making his crown more secure and he would have gotten rid of Medea. Bad decision little influenced by the gods I think. [i]
I keep seeing examples of indecision standing on the threshold or some other liminal spot. (525)“refrain and abide in your ship a little longer as before, for it is better to forbear than recklessly to choose an evil fate.” (647). “she desired to go to her sister, and crossed the threshold. And for long she stayed there at the entrance of her chamber,”
(663) “Thrice she made the attempt and thrice she checked herself, the fourth time she fell on her bed face downward,” Doesn’t Apollo warn off some warrior three times in The Iliad and on the fourth attempt the guy ends up face down in the dirt?
[i] Do all the kingdoms adjoining the Black Sea kill strangers? As in the Land of Taurians where Iphigenia sacrificed strangers to Artemis. HYGINUS, FABULAE 120 and Hdt. 4.103