Year of Publication
Master of Arts (MA)
Arts and Sciences
Classical Languages and Literature
Dr. Robert Rabel
The abandonment of Heracles at the end of Book 1 in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica marks a turning point for Jason and the rest of the Argonauts. The aid of their mightiest hero, upon whose strength they had relied, is lost to them and they must find a means of accomplishing their nearly impossible mission without him. Allusions to Heracles occur throughout Book 2, in all nine units of action, drawing the reader’s attention to Argonauts’ efforts to carry on in the face of their loss. These allusions can be grouped into four categories: explicit mention, verbal echo, extrapolative allusion, and geographic reference. The poet’s deliberate deployment of these allusions highlights the extent to which Heracles’ strength-based approach to problem solving still influences the Argonauts’ actions in Book 2. This approach contrasts with the role played by divine agents, which increases markedly in the poem’s second half, beginning with Book 3.
Philbrick, Rachel Severynse, "THE GHOST OF HERACLES: THE LOST HERO’S HAUNTING OF ARGONAUTICA 2" (2011). University of Kentucky Master's Theses. 84.