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Book Overview: 

In Plato’s Ion, Socrates questions Ion on whether he should really claim laud and glory for his ‘rhapsodic’ recitals of Homer’s poetry.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .nds of many who in the way of reason would be incapable of understanding them. Reflections of this kind may have been passing before Plato's mind when he describes the poet as inspired, or when, as in the Apology, he speaks of poets as the worst critics of their own writings—anybody taken at random from the crowd is a better interpreter of them than they are of themselves. They are sacred persons, 'winged and holy things' who have a touch of madness in their composition (Phaedr.), and should be treated with every sort of respect (Republic), but not allowed to live in a well-ordered state. Like the Statesmen in the Meno, they have a divine instinct, but they are narrow and confused; they do not attain to the clearness of ideas, or to the knowledge of poetry or of any other art as a whole.

In the Protagoras the ancient poets are recognized by Protagoras himself as the original sophists; and this family resemblance may be traced in the Ion. The rhapsode belo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

donc Socrate en plus d'être le Mec Chiant par excellence ne comprend strictement rien à la poésie

Jedan od najkraćih Platonovih dijaloga, čitao sam prevod koji kod nas nozi naziv "O Ilijadi". Nije baš o tome, ali ok, jeste na temu poezije (i umetnosti generalno). Kako poezija nastaje i da li može biti "znanje"?

Volim Platona, najviše sam ga i čitao od filozofije. Prava je vežba za um, često iznen

Of what use are poets?
13 September 2019

So, this is one of Plato’s earlier dialogues and records a conversation that Socrates has with a rhapsody. Now, when we are talking about rhapsodies, we aren’t talking about one from Bohemia, but rather a class of poets in Ancient Greece who pretty much only ev

I loved this dialogue because it centers on a question that preoccupies me often ‘where does the inspiration/passion of the artist come from?’ Incredibly short compared to other dialogues. Ion reminds me of so many people I know.

This lovely little dialogue, one of Plato’s shortest works, involves Socrates and the rhapsode, Ion. Ion is a rhapsode, which means that he recites, embellishes, and interprets poetry. In Ion’s case he is specialized in Homer, and admits that he knows nothing about any other poet. Socrates pounces u

Ion is a very short Platonic dialogue between Socrates and a rhapsode by the name of Ion who specializes in reciting the poetry of Homer. The dialogue explores the nature of poetic and artistic inspiration in a most playful way. If you are interested in literature and the arts, you will really enjoy

[A concourse in Athens. ION, SOCRATES, a PASSER-BY]

ION : Hi Socrates.

SOCRATES : What, you again? After the comprehensive verbal trouncing you received yesterday?

ION: Yeah, well, like I’ve thought about it some more. Wanna try a re-run?

SOCRATES: If that is what you wish. Where shall we start?

ION: Oka

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