Yet a man that needed not to breathe the air might go round it in one hour, in chariots that run under the earth; and these chariots are drawn by creatures that breathe smoke and sulphur, such as Orpheus mentions in his 'Argonautica, if it be by Orpheus.

Other singers satirised each others' legs, and one, the Aretino of the time, mocked at king Ptolemy and scourged his failings in verse. The taste for artificial epic was to return; although many people already declared that Homer was the world's poet, and that the world needed no other. This epic reaction brought into favour Apollonius Rhodius, author of the Argonautica.

It was first propounded by Gustavus Adolphus in 1624. Also referred to in Argonautica Gustaviana, pp. 3 and 22.

He saw the later literary epic rise in the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, a poem with many beauties, if rather an archaistic and elaborate revival as a whole. The time for long narrative poems, Theocritus appears to have thought, was past, and he only ventured on the heroic idyllia of Heracles, and certain adventures of the Argonauts.

Love has been nothing but a subordinate incident, almost one might say an ornament, in the early epics; in Apollonius, though working through a deal of gross and lumbering mythological machinery, love becomes for the first time one of the primary values of life. The love of Jason and Medea is the vital symbolism of the Argonautica. But it is Virgil who really begins the development of epic art.

His published works are, indeed, confined to a spirited and elegant version of the Argonautica of Valerius Flacus, a volume of Discourses upon the Several Events in the Life of Joshua, delivered in his Cathedral, and a number of the charges which he pronounced at various visitations to the clergy of his Archdeaconry. These are distinguished by etc., etc.

From another passage in the Argonautica it has been inferred that Flaccus was one of the college of quindecemvirs, and therefore of high family.

The Greeks, however, were too much overshadowed by the greatness of Homer to do much towards this. The Argonautica, the half-hearted epic of Apollonius Rhodius, is the only attempt that need concern us.

The two other epic poets contemporary with Statius whose works are extant, Valerius Flaccus and Silius Italicus, belong generally to the same school, but stand on a much lower level of excellence. The former is only known as the author of the Argonautica.

Thus, the Homeric poems, the Argonautica, the Aeneid, the Pharsalia, and the later Latin epics, form one series: the Aeneid would be the climax of the series, which thence declines, were it not that the whole originates with the incomparable genius of Homer a fact which makes it seem to decline from start to finish.