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And moreover, in regard to the Sicilian business,The disastrous Sicilian expedition of 415-413 B.C. Cf. Thuc. vi. and vii. many will tell you what I said about the destruction of the army. As to bygones, you may hear from those who know: but there is an opportunity now of testing the worth of what the sign says. For as the handsome Sannio was setting out on campaign, the sign occurred to me, and he has gone now with Thrasyllus on an expedition bound for Ephesus and Ionia.409 B.C., when Thrasyllus succeeded in recovering Colophon for Athens. He was one of the commanders put to death by the Athenians after the battle of Arginusae, 406 B.C. I accordingly expect him to be either killed or brought very near it, and I have great fears for our force as a whole.
SocratesWelcome, Ion. Where have you come from now, to pay us this visit? From your home in Ephesus?IonNo, no, Socrates; from Epidaurus and the festival there of Asclepius.SocratesDo you mean to say that the Epidaurians honor the god with a contest of rhapsodes also?IonCertainly, and of music“Music” with the Greeks included poetry. in general.SocratesWhy then, you were competing in some contest, were you? And how went your competition?IonWe carried off the first prize, Socrat
or Thamyras,A Thracian Bard. or Orpheus,A Thracian Bard. or Phemius,The minstrel who was forced to sing to the suitors of Penelope (Od 1. 154, 22. 330). the rhapsode of Ithaca, but is at a loss and has no remark to offer on the successes or failures in rhapsody of Ion of Ephesus.IonI cannot gainsay you on that, Socrates: but of one thing I am conscious in myself—that I excel all men in speaking on Homer and have plenty to say, and everyone else says that I do it well; but on the others I am not a good speaker. Yet now, observe what that means.SocratesI do observe it, Ion, and I am going to point out to yo
Or do you suppose that the Greeks feel a great need of a rhapsode in the glory of his golden crown, but of a general none at all?IonIt is because my city,Ephesus. Socrates, is under the rule and generalship of your people, and is not in want of a general; whilst you and Sparta would not choose me as a general, since you think you manage well enough for yourselves.SocratesMy excellent Ion, you are acquainted with ApollodorusNothing else is known of this general. of Cyzicus, are you not?IonWhat might he be?SocratesA man whom the Athenians have often chosen as their general, though a foreigner;