London: J & H Hughes, J Dodsley, 1771 and 1780. First Edition. Hardcover. 'The Loves of Jason and Medea' translated by Reverend J. Ekins is the 1st edition of any part of The Argonautica in English, preceded only by 2 fragments of a few lines. The complete edition followed in 1780. Modern half calf, marbled boards. Spine faded else internally clean and in fine condition. Collates complete. A scarce book.
"The Argonautics" is the 1st edition in English of the complete Jason and the Argonauts, preceded by only 2 minor fragments and Ekins’ Jason and Medea. Contemporary full tree calf. Fingernail size spot to rear cover else fine. Complete. Not an especially scarce book compared to some other eighteenth century editions of the great epics, but it is quite scarce in this exceptional condition. Ex–William Battell, H. F. Davies, Robert Hayhurst. Pages 303 to 391 add to this book, the 1st edition in English of the specific story of The Rape of Helen, a prequel to Homer’s Iliad. Near fine. Item #909
The Greek epic, written in the 3rd century BC is the only surviving Hellenistic epic, one of the earliest known to center a narrative around a love story, and a great example of what depths of research were available to those with access to the Library of Alexandra. The Argonautica has been adapted into film and tv numerous times in many languages.