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The poet and the place: A modern Chian perspective on Ion of Chios and his home Island

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Chapter Summary

The relationship between a poet and his hometown has ever been strong. Regardless of the scanty remains of Ion's work, and given that we have relatively sufficient biographical information on him, it becomes obvious that he was a poet closely connected to his hometown of Chios. The issue of Oinopion's parentage bears special significance. Ion, a prominent member of the pro-Athenian party on Chios, had decided to deal with the Ionian origins of the Chians. His political views show that his fellow-countrymen were 'relatives' of the Athenians, thus justifying the devotion of fifth century Chios to Athens. This chapter challenges long-standing views of literary criticism about Ion. The variety and the style of his work reflect a playful and versatile spirit.

Keywords: Athenians; Chians; Ion's work; literary criticism; versatile spirit



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