Careful With Those Cultural References

Reading my Torts coursepack draft for this Fall, my father Vladimir noted this passage from Lompoc Unified School Dist. v. Superior Court, 20 Cal. App. 4th 1688 (1993) (quoted also in Largosa v. Ford Motor Co., 708 N.E.2d 1219 (Ill. Ct. App. 1999)):

Travelers who, in the manner of Homer’s ancient Argonauts, must sail past Sirens, are obliged to exercise reasonable care in the navigation of their craft and resist being seduced.

The Argonauts, like Homer’s Ulysses, were said to have sailed past Sirens. But the story of the Argonauts comes to us through Appolonius Rhodius, not through Homer; and while Appolonius Rhodius doubtless borrowed many of the elements from others, to my knowledge they did not come from Homer, certainly not to the point that they could be called “Homer’s ancient Argonauts.” [UPDATE: A commenter notes that the Odyssey does mention the Argo — I take it in the passage, “One ship alone, one deep-sea craft sailed clear [of Scylla and Charybdis], the Argo, sung by the world, when heading home from Aeetes’ shores.” But I don’t think this passing reference makes the Argonauts “Homer’s.”]

Obligatory They Might Be Giants reference.