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Ion the Wineman: The manipulation of myth

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Ion's mythological writing. This casts light on the nature of the genre, Ion's place in Greek literary tradition and on his own social and political allegiances. The chapter provides an outline of Ion's method of allusion and explicates the manipulations of meaning witnessed in his work. Chios' position as second-ranked power did not stop her citizens from thinking big. One particularly interesting thread is the view it presents of Athens. The chapter also considers the significance of a possible reference to Ion by Thucydides. It seems that Ion employed mythological allusion outside the literary field to describe his own personal relationships. Ion was not simply devoting his life to raking up a mammoth list of wine-allusions. His apparent interest in the Attic Oeneus is explainable by personal considerations concerning his relationship with the general Cimon, who belonged to the tribe Oeneis.

Keywords: Athens; Attic Oeneus; Chios; Cimon; Greek literary tradition; Ion's mythological writing; mythological allusion; Thucydides; wine-allusion



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