Journal article

Why is Jason Climbing the Dragon ? : A Hidden Catasterism in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica 8

Published in:
  • Illinois Classical Studies. - University of Illinois Press. - 2012, no. 37, p. 141-165
English This paper explains a controversial key passage in the episode of the capture of the Fleece in Valerius Flaccus (8.109-20). Through a complex network of allusions, involving an astronomical context, the poet exploits the analogies between the myth of the Golden Fleece and the myth of the Golden Apples of the Hesperides to establish a connection between the last actions of Jason in Colchis and the last labor of Hercules. The connection highlights the difference between the two characters and their destinies: Hercules will reach glory in the sky, while Jason will fall deeper into human tragedy. This feature also provides a concluding function to the poem, drawing together the beginnings and endings of Hercules’ and Jason’s labores with the beginning and ending of Valerius’ epic.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de philologie classique
  • English
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