Ion (by Plato)

Ion Plato

Ion by Plato

About the Platonic dialogue “Ion”

The (probably fictional, famous) rhapsode Ion gets involved in a dialogue with Socrates, who after expressing his admiration towards rhapsodes and their art, leads Ion to practically admit that what he does is not the product of any special knowledge or skill, but the result of divine possession. This would seem an innocent realisation, however, through the dialogue one understands that rhapsodes, don’t really know what they are talking about, at least, in the Platonic sense.
I find “Ion” an interesting, short dialogue, presenting among other things, in a simple but charming manner how ideas are being propagated, ideas born out of inspiration, which works like a magnet, holding together a bunch of people.


Though Plato doesn’t need an introduction, in case you’d like to refresh your knowledge about his life and work, you can read enough in published books, or online at websites like: Encyclopedia Britannica, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia,, or elsewhere.

About the audiobook

The recording contains the complete unabridged Ancient Greek text of the dialogue. After purchase you will be able to download the zip file, containing both mp3 and m4b formats. The m4b format is bookmarkable and divided in the chapters themselves for your convenience when listening or following the original text.

A short sample

You can listen to the beginning of the dialogue, as an audio sample of the present audiobook or instead, watch the video below. Please, click on the play-button bellow and, if you wish, follow the Ancient Greek text lower on the page.
Thank you!


Πλάτωνος ΙΩΝ

ΣΩ. Τὸν Ἴωνα χαίρειν. πόθεν τὰ νῦν ἡμῖν ἐπιδεδήμηκας; ἢ οἴκοθεν ἐξ Ἐφέσου;
  ΙΩΝ Οὐδαμῶς, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀλλ’ ἐξ Ἐπιδαύρου ἐκ τῶν Ἀσκληπιείων.
ΣΩ. Μῶν καὶ ῥαψῳδῶν ἀγῶνα τιθέασιν τῷ θεῷ οἱ Ἐπιδαύριοι;
  ΙΩΝ Πάνυ γε, καὶ τῆς ἄλλης γε μουσικῆς.
ΣΩ. Τί οὖν; ἠγωνίζου τι ἡμῖν; καὶ πῶς τι ἠγωνίσω;
  ΙΩΝ Τὰ πρῶτα τῶν ἄθλων ἠνεγκάμεθα, ὦ Σώκρατες.
ΣΩ. Εὖ λέγεις· ἄγε δὴ ὅπως καὶ τὰ Παναθήναια νικήσομεν.
  ΙΩΝ Ἀλλ’ ἔσται ταῦτα, ἐὰν θεὸς ἐθέλῃ.
ΣΩ. Καὶ μὴν πολλάκις γε ἐζήλωσα ὑμᾶς τοὺς ῥαψῳδούς, ὦ Ἴων, τῆς τέχνης· τὸ γὰρ ἅμα μὲν τὸ σῶμα κεκοσμῆσθαι ἀεὶ πρέπον ὑμῶν εἶναι τῇ τέχνῃ καὶ ὡς καλλίστοις φαίνεσθαι, ἅμα δὲ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι ἔν τε ἄλλοις ποιηταῖς διατρίβειν πολλοῖς καὶ ἀγαθοῖς καὶ δὴ καὶ μάλιστα ἐν Ὁμήρῳ, τῷ ἀρίστῳ καὶ θειοτάτῳ τῶν ποιητῶν, καὶ τὴν τούτου διάνοιαν ἐκμανθάνειν, μὴ μόνον τὰ ἔπη, ζηλωτόν ἐστιν. οὐ γὰρ ἂν γένοιτό ποτε ἀγαθὸς ῥαψῳδός, εἰ μὴ συνείη τὰ λεγόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ ποιητοῦ. τὸν γὰρ ῥαψῳδὸν ἑρμηνέα δεῖ τοῦ ποιητοῦ τῆς διανοίας γίγνεσθαι τοῖς ἀκούουσι· τοῦτο δὲ καλῶς ποιεῖν μὴ γιγνώσκοντα ὅτι λέγει ὁ ποιητὴς ἀδύνατον. ταῦτα οὖν πάντα ἄξια ζηλοῦσθαι.
  ΙΩΝ Ἀληθῆ λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες· ἐμοὶ γοῦν τοῦτο πλεῖστον ἔργον παρέσχεν τῆς τέχνης, καὶ οἶμαι κάλλιστα ἀνθρώπων λέγειν περὶ Ὁμήρου, ὡς οὔτε Μητρόδωρος ὁ Λαμψακηνὸς οὔτε Στησίμβροτος ὁ Θάσιος οὔτε Γλαύκων οὔτε ἄλλος οὐδεὶς τῶν πώποτε γενομένων ἔσχεν εἰπεῖν οὕτω πολλὰς καὶ καλὰς διανοίας περὶ Ὁμήρου ὅσας ἐγώ.
ΣΩ. Εὖ λέγεις, ὦ Ἴων· δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι οὐ φθονήσεις μοι ἐπιδεῖξαι.
  ΙΩΝ Καὶ μὴν ἄξιόν γε ἀκοῦσαι, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὡς εὖ κεκόσμηκα τὸν Ὅμηρον· ὥστε οἶμαι ὑπὸ Ὁμηριδῶν ἄξιος εἶναι χρυσῷ στεφάνῳ στεφανωθῆναι.
ΣΩ. Καὶ μὴν ἐγὼ ἔτι ποιήσομαι σχολὴν ἀκροᾶσθαί σου. νῦν δέ μοι τοσόνδε ἀπόκριναι: πότερον περὶ Ὁμήρου μόνον δεινὸς εἶ ἢ καὶ περὶ Ἡσιόδου καὶ Ἀρχιλόχου;

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