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The hocus of a hedgehog: Ion's versatility

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Chapter Summary

Perhaps since Hellenistic times the primary mode of existence for Ion of Chios in classical studies has been as an entry within encyclopedic reference guides to ancient Greek culture. This chapter checks out the prosaics of the entries, starting from cross-comparison between the Oxford Classical Dictionary and the four chief testimonia on Ion. Versatility may have been implicit in the displaced version, and conceivably attached to both catalogued verse and itemized prose, as well as to their authorship by the same writer. If "ION (2) of Chios" in the 1990s had become "an unusually versatile poet and prose author", this was because "ION OF CHIOS: HIS PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF GREEK LITERATURE" had itself by then shifted in line with a newly authorized take on classical Greece. Tragic Ion himself made one character rhapsodize on the hedgehog's proverbial single strategy, while another stigmatizes the inconstant octopus.

Keywords: ancient Greek culture; hedgehog; Hellenistic times; Ion of Chios; Oxford Classical Dictionary; prosaics; versatility



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