previous next

Ion of Chios

“ Ion of Chios:—Writer of Dithyrambs, Tragedy, and Melic Poems. He also wrote Comedies, Inscriptions, Paeans, Hymns, Drinking-Songs, Eulogies, Elegies, and perhaps the prose-work called Presbeuticus , which some authorities consider spurious. Among other works ascribed to him are The Founding of Chios , a treatise On Cosmology , and Memoirs or Notes. He was a very famous man. He is said to have competed victoriously in Attica in the Dithyramb and Tragedy at the same time, and to have sent the Athenians a gift of Chian wine as a token of his regard.

Scholiast on Aristophanes

“Ion of Chios:—Tragic and lyric poet and philosopher, son of Orthomenes, and nicknamed son of Xuthus. He began to produce tragedies in the 82nd Olympiad (452-49 B.C.)” Suidas Lexicon

Elegiac Poems

“To quote from the Elegiac Poems of Ion of Chios:

... but to this chorus of ours 'tis thyrse-bearing Wine, high-honoured Dionysus, [that is dear].1 This hath been the theme of manifold tales in all gatherings of United Greeks or feasts of kings, ever since the clustered vine raised her rooted stem and reached out her lush arm unto the sky, and from her bud-eyes leapt forth crowded children which have no speech till they fall one upon another,2 and when their crying is done are milked of a nectar that is a rich drink all men may share, a self-grown charm to bring delight; whereof the dear children are feasts and fellowship and the dance; King Wine maketh plain the nature of the good. To whose father, to wit thee, Dionysus, Thou joy of the garlanded, Thou arbiter of the cheerful feast, I cry Hail; and do Thou grant me long life, Thou helper unto fair deeds, for to drink and play and think rightful thoughts.

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“Compare Ion of Chios:

All hail to our King and Saviour and Sire! and let the wine-bearers mingle us a bowl and pour out into the cups of silver, while the gold be filled with the wine of the hands and wash them clean on to the floor,3 and so making pure libation first unto Zeus and then unto Heracles and Alcmena, unto Procles and the children of Perseus,4 let us drink, let us play, let song rise into the night, and someone dance a fling, and do thou begin good fellowship with a will. And whosoever hath a fair bedfellow awaiting him, let him drink more bravely5 than the rest.6

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“The word τόνος ( lit. a stretching) is used of sound in the epithet seven-toned applied to the lyre, for instance by Terpander and Ion. The former says: (fr. 5),7 and the latter:

Eleven-stringad Lyre with thy flight of ten steps into the place where the three concordant roads of Harmonia meet,8 once all the Greeks raised but a meagre music, playing thee seven-toned four by four9 [but now ...].

Euclid (Cleonides) Introduction to Music
“Ion of Chios says of him:

Excelling thus in manliness and modesty, dead though he be his soul yet hath a happy life, if the wise Pythagoras indeed could see and know the marks10 of men in all things.11

Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Philosophers [on Pherecydes]
“The masculine use of ὀρίγανος ‘marjoram’ is attested by Ion thus:

But he in haste did hide the marjoram in his hand.12

Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner
“Some writers say that Theseus had two sons by Ariadne, Oenopion and Staphylus, among them Ion of Chios who speaks of his native city thus:

which was founded once by Theseus' son Oenopion

Plutarch Life of Theseus
“And he himself admits in his Elegiac Poems that he loved the Corinthian Chrysilla daughter of Teleas, who also, according to The Hesiods of Telecleides, was the mistress of Pericles ‘the Olympian.’” Athenaeus Doctors at Dinner [on Ion]
“The poet Ion declares13 that Pericles' manner was mothonic , that is to say bumptious, and that his proud airs contained more than a spice of disdain and contempt for others; Cimon on the other hand he praises for showing in society good taste, easy temper, and a cultivated mind. But we will ignore the testimony of Ion, who must needs have a man's virtues include a satyr-play like a tragic tetralogy.14Plutarch Life of Pericles

1 supplied by Ath. from the lost contrasted clause

2 the ref. is to the grapes bursting when trodden in the winepress

3 the ‘wine of the hands’ must be water for the customary washing of the hands between the dinner and the wine-drinking; but the reading is doubtful

4 the poem seems to have been written for a Eurypontid king of Sparta (Wil.)

5 lit. more illustriously

6 >cf. Ath. 11. 496c (2-3)

7 Lyra Graeca i. p. 32

8 i.e. with the ten musical ‘intervals’ given by the conjunction of the three tetrachords; lit. to the harmonious crossways (three-roads) of H. (metaph. from the crossways of Hecate?)

9 i.e. the combination of two tetrachords into the 7-note scale

10 cf. Theogn. 60

11 there is prob. some connexion with Pherecydes' epitaph cited by Diog. L. i. 120 and thus translated by Hicks ( Loeb Library ) ‘All knowledge that a man may have had I; | Yet tell Pythagoras, were more thereby, | That first of Greeks is he; I speak no lie.’

12 cf. E.M. ὀρίγανος

13 perh. in a prose-work

14 for the Melic Fragments of Ion see Lyra Graeca iii. 226

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (J. M. Edmonds, 1931)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: