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Ion

Ἴων).


1.

According to the Attic story, the son of Apollo and Creüsa, daughter of the Athenian king Erechtheus. He was exposed at his birth by his mother in a grotto on the cliff of the Acropolis, whence he was taken by Hermes to Delphi and brought up by the Pythian priestess to be an attendant in his father's temple. Creüsa afterwards married Xuthus, who had migrated from Thessaly, and was son of Hellen and brother of Aeolus and Dorus. As this marriage was childless, the pair went to Delphi to consult the god as to the cause. Xuthus received the command to consider as his son the first person he should meet in front of the temple. This happened to be Ion, who had meanwhile grown up, and was at once accepted by Xuthus as his son. But Creüsa, fancying he was her husband's son by a former union, resolved to poison him. Ion detected her design in time and would have killed Creüsa, who, however, took refuge at the altar of the god. Then the Pythian priestess produced the cradle in which he had been exposed as an infant, and thus brought about recognition and reconciliation between mother and son. Ion married Helicé, the daughter of Selinus, king of the Aegialeans on the north coast of the Peloponnesus. At the death of this king he became monarch of the land, and the inhabitants assumed the name of Ionians after him. Afterwards being called upon by the Athenians to help them against Eumolpus and the Eleusinians, he conquered the enemy and was made king of Athens. From the four sons who are attributed to him, Geleon, Aegicores, Argades, and Hoples, were descended the four Ionic tribes.


2.

Of Chios. A Greek author of rare versatility for his time. He composed historical writings, among them a kind of memoirs of men of mark he had met, such as Sophocles; also lyric poems of the most varied types, and thirty or forty tragedies which were more remarkable for elegance and erudition than for elevation of style. When in B.C. 452 he won a dramatic victory at Athens, he is said to have presented every Athenian with a flask of Chian wine. He died at Athens in B.C. 422. There remain only scanty fragments of his works.

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