By the third century B.C., the center of Hellenic culture and scholarship had moved from mainland Greece to the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Here, a school of poetry developed that is noted for its love of learning, literary decoration, and stylistic polish. Virgil and many of his Roman compatriots were deeply and permanently influenced by this school's methods. One of the most important poets of this period was Apollonius of Rhodes, who composed the Argonautica, an epic in four books that concerns the quest for the Golden Fleece. A comparison of the romance of Jason and Medea in the Argonautica to that of Aeneas and Dido in the Aeneid, and the treatment of the gods in both poems clearly indicate Virgil's debt to Apollonius.Like most Romans, Virgil was subject to the sway of Greek culture and Greek philosophy. For
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