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Ion's epidemiai and Plutarch's Ion

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Chapter Summary

It is hard not to approach Ion of Chios back to front. Plutarch, the author to whom we owe most of our knowledge of the Epidemiai, was no fool, and he pretty certainly knew Ion's text well. He was also writing for an audience who did not know Ion at all well, probably an audience for whom Ion was little more than a name. Plutarch's readers may have known that a fair number of Ion's stories centred on symposia-scenes, and he was the sort of author that one went to for stories like this; but the symposium matters for Cimon as well as for Ion. In Plutarch's account Cimon's intervention ends well. The mission ends not with any humiliation, but with Cimon delivering an effective put-down of an uppity Corinthian (17.1-17.2).

Keywords: Cimon; Corinthian; Epidemiai; Ion of Chios; Plutarch; symposia-scenes



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