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Ion

Ion by Plato
By: (427BC - 347BC)

In Plato’s Ion, Socrates questions Ion on whether he should really claim laud and glory for his ‘rhapsodic’ recitals of Homer’s poetry.

First Page:

ION

By Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

INTRODUCTION.

The Ion is the shortest, or nearly the shortest, of all the writings which bear the name of Plato, and is not authenticated by any early external testimony. The grace and beauty of this little work supply the only, and perhaps a sufficient, proof of its genuineness. The plan is simple; the dramatic interest consists entirely in the contrast between the irony of Socrates and the transparent vanity and childlike enthusiasm of the rhapsode Ion. The theme of the Dialogue may possibly have been suggested by the passage of Xenophon's Memorabilia in which the rhapsodists are described by Euthydemus as 'very precise about the exact words of Homer, but very idiotic themselves.' (Compare Aristotle, Met.)

Ion the rhapsode has just come to Athens; he has been exhibiting in Epidaurus at the festival of Asclepius, and is intending to exhibit at the festival of the Panathenaea. Socrates admires and envies the rhapsode's art; for he is always well dressed and in good company in the company of good poets and of Homer, who is the prince of them... Continue reading book >>


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