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Ion of Chios and politics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns with three of the many bits and pieces of writing of Ion of Chios. When Plutarch came to write the Life of Cimon, he found a story in the works of Ion, who, at the age of about eighteen in c.466, heard Cimon himself tell it at a dinner in Athens. Athenaeus, in a section which discusses the love of boys, reproduces a passage of Ion's work Epidemiai in which he reports some of the conversation of Sophocles. In addition to these two stories, the chapter discusses Ion's unfriendly description of Pericles. It considers the kind of literary work to which the fragments might belong so as to establish their purpose, the type of information they can yield and their reliability. Finally, the chapter articulates the light which the three chance records of his work throw upon changes in Athenian politics in the fifth century.

Keywords: Athenian politics; Epidemiai; Ion of Chios; Life of Cimon; Pericles; Plutarch; Sophocles



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