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The Argonautica (also Argonautika) is a Greek epic poem written by Apollonius Rhodius in the 3rd century BCE. The only surviving Hellenistic epic, the Argonautica tells the myth of the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts to retrieve the Golden Fleece from the mythical land of Colchis. Another, much less-known Argonautica, using the same body of myth, was composed by Valerius Flaccus during the time of Vespasian.
About the author
Apollonius Rhodius, also known as Apollonius of Rhodes, early 3rd century BCE - after 246 BCE, was a librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He is best known for his epic poem the Argonautica, which told the mythological story of Jason and the Argonauts' quest for the Golden Fleece, and which is one of the chief works in the history of epic poetry.
He did not come from Rhodes, but was a Hellenistic Egyptian. He lived in Rhodes for part of his life and while living there adopted "Rhodian" as a surname.
There are four main sources of information on Apollonius' life: two texts entitled Life of Apollonius found in the scholia on Apollonius; the entry on him in the 10th century encyclopaedia the Suda; and a 2nd century BCE papyrus, P.Oxy. 1241, which provides names of several heads of the Library of Alexandria. Of these P.Oxy. 1241 carries much more weight than the others, as it is by far the closest to Apollonius' lifetime. Other miscellaneous texts provide further information.