The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Index Database
Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Plato, Ion, 534c

nanas you do about Homer—but by a divine dispensation, each is able only to compose that to which the Muse has stirred him, this man dithyrambs, another laudatory odes, another dance-songs, another epic or else iambic verse; but each is at fault in any other kind. For not by art do they utter these things, but by divine influence; since, if they had fully learnt by art to speak on one kind of theme, they would know how to speak on all. And for this reason God takes away the mind of these men and uses them as his ministers, just as he does soothsayers and godly seers

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

21 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2-3, 1 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Hesiod, Works And Days, 26, 25 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

25. Potter hates potter, builder builder, and
3. Homer, Iliad, 12.228 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

12.228. /come back over the selfsame road from th ships in disarray; for many of the Trojans shall we leave behind, whom th Achaeans shall slay with the bronze in defense of the ships. On this wise would a soothsayer interpret, one that in his mind had clear knowledge of omens, and to whom the folk gave ear.
4. Homer, Odyssey, 1.415 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

5. Aristophanes, Birds, 521 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

521. Λάμπων δ' ὄμνυς' ἔτι καὶ νυνὶ τὸν χῆν', ὅταν ἐξαπατᾷ τι.
6. Herodotus, Histories, 7.140-7.144 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

7.140. The Athenians had sent messages to Delphi asking that an oracle be given them, and when they had performed all due rites at the temple and sat down in the inner hall, the priestess, whose name was Aristonice, gave them this answer: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Wretches, why do you linger here? Rather flee from your houses and city, /l lFlee to the ends of the earth from the circle embattled of Athens! /l lThe head will not remain in its place, nor in the body, /l lNor the feet beneath, nor the hands, nor the parts between; /l lBut all is ruined, for fire and the headlong god of war speeding in a Syrian chariot will bring you low. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Many a fortress too, not yours alone, will he shatter; /l lMany a shrine of the gods will he give to the flame for devouring; /l lSweating for fear they stand, and quaking for dread of the enemy, /l lRunning with gore are their roofs, foreseeing the stress of their sorrow; /l lTherefore I bid you depart from the sanctuary. /l lHave courage to lighten your evil. /l /quote 7.141. When the Athenian messengers heard that, they were very greatly dismayed, and gave themselves up for lost by reason of the evil foretold. Then Timon son of Androbulus, as notable a man as any Delphian, advised them to take boughs of supplication and in the guise of suppliants, approach the oracle a second time. ,The Athenians did exactly this; “Lord,” they said, “regard mercifully these suppliant boughs which we bring to you, and give us some better answer concerning our country. Otherwise we will not depart from your temple, but remain here until we die.” Thereupon the priestess gave them this second oracle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Vainly does Pallas strive to appease great Zeus of Olympus; /l lWords of entreaty are vain, and so too cunning counsels of wisdom. /l lNevertheless I will speak to you again of strength adamantine. /l lAll will be taken and lost that the sacred border of Cecrops /l lHolds in keeping today, and the dales divine of Cithaeron; /l lYet a wood-built wall will by Zeus all-seeing be granted /l lTo the Trito-born, a stronghold for you and your children. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Await not the host of horse and foot coming from Asia, /l lNor be still, but turn your back and withdraw from the foe. /l lTruly a day will come when you will meet him face to face. /l lDivine Salamis, you will bring death to women's sons /l lWhen the corn is scattered, or the harvest gathered in. /l /quote 7.142. This answer seemed to be and really was more merciful than the first, and the envoys, writing it down, departed for Athens. When the messengers had left Delphi and laid the oracle before the people, there was much inquiry concerning its meaning, and among the many opinions which were uttered, two contrary ones were especially worthy of note. Some of the elder men said that the gods answer signified that the acropolis should be saved, for in old time the acropolis of Athens had been fenced by a thorn hedge, ,which, by their interpretation, was the wooden wall. But others supposed that the god was referring to their ships, and they were for doing nothing but equipping these. Those who believed their ships to be the wooden wall were disabled by the two last verses of the oracle: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Divine Salamis, you will bring death to women's sons /l lWhen the corn is scattered, or the harvest gathered in. /l /quote ,These verses confounded the opinion of those who said that their ships were the wooden wall, for the readers of oracles took the verses to mean that they should offer battle by sea near Salamis and be there overthrown. 7.143. Now there was a certain Athenian, by name and title Themistocles son of Neocles, who had lately risen to be among their chief men. He claimed that the readers of oracles had incorrectly interpreted the whole of the oracle and reasoned that if the verse really pertained to the Athenians, it would have been formulated in less mild language, calling Salamis “cruel” rather than “divine ” seeing that its inhabitants were to perish. ,Correctly understood, the gods' oracle was spoken not of the Athenians but of their enemies, and his advice was that they should believe their ships to be the wooden wall and so make ready to fight by sea. ,When Themistocles put forward this interpretation, the Athenians judged him to be a better counsellor than the readers of oracles, who would have had them prepare for no sea fight, and, in short, offer no resistance at all, but leave Attica and settle in some other country. 7.144. The advice of Themistocles had prevailed on a previous occasion. The revenues from the mines at Laurium had brought great wealth into the Athenians' treasury, and when each man was to receive ten drachmae for his share, Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to make no such division but to use the money to build two hundred ships for the war, that is, for the war with Aegina. ,This was in fact the war the outbreak of which saved Hellas by compelling the Athenians to become seamen. The ships were not used for the purpose for which they were built, but later came to serve Hellas in her need. These ships, then, had been made and were already there for the Athenians' service, and now they had to build yet others. ,In their debate after the giving of the oracle they accordingly resolved that they would put their trust in the god and meet the foreign invader of Hellas with the whole power of their fleet, ships and men, and with all other Greeks who were so minded.
7. Isaeus, Orations, 8.39 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

8. Plato, Apology of Socrates, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

22c. that what they composed they composed not by wisdom, but by nature and because they were inspired, like the prophets and givers of oracles; for these also say many fine things, but know none of the things they say; it was evident to me that the poets too had experienced something of this same sort. And at the same time I perceived that they, on account of their poetry, thought that they were the wisest of men in other things as well, in which they were not. So I went away from them also thinking that I was superior to them in the same thing in which I excelled the public men.Finally then I went to the hand-workers.
9. Plato, Euthyphro, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

12e. Euthyphro. This then is my opinion, Socrates, that the part of the right which has to do with attention to the gods constitutes piety and holiness, and that the remaining part of the right is that which has to do with the service of men. Socrates. I think you are correct, Euthyphro;
10. Plato, Ion, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

534d. in order that we who hear them may know that it is not they who utter these words of great price, when they are out of their wits, but that it is God himself who speaks and addresses us through them. A convincing proof of what I say is the case of Tynnichus, the Chalcidian, who had never composed a single poem in his life that could deserve any mention, and then produced the paean which is in everyone’s mouth, almost the finest song we have, simply—as he says himself— an invention of the Muses. For the god, as it seems to me
11. Plato, Laws, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

12. Plato, Meno, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

99c. This is the means which statesmen employ for their direction of states, and they have nothing more to do with wisdom than soothsayers and diviners; for these people utter many a true thing when inspired, but have no knowledge of anything they say. Men. I daresay that is so. Soc. And may we, Meno, rightly call those men divine who, having no understanding, yet succeed in many a great deed and word? Men. Certainly. Soc. Then we shall be right in calling those divine of whom
13. Plato, Phaedrus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

244a. that the former discourse was by Phaedrus, the son of Pythocles (Eager for Fame) of Myrrhinus (Myrrhtown); but this which I shall speak is by Stesichorus, son of Euphemus (Man of pious Speech) of Himera (Town of Desire). And I must say that this saying is not true, which teaches that when a lover is at hand the non-lover should be more favored, because the lover is insane, and the other sane. For if it were a simple fact that insanity is an evil, the saying would be true; but in reality the greatest of blessings come to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods. For the prophetess at Delphi
14. Plato, Republic, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

15. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 8.1 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

16. Xenophon, Symposium, 4.48-4.49 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4.48. Well, these gods, omniscient and omnipotent, feel so friendly toward me that their watchfulness over me never lets me out of their ken night or day, no matter where I am going or what business I have in view. They know the results also that will follow any act; and so they send me as messengers omens of sounds, dreams, and birds, and thus indicate what I ought to do and what I ought not to do. And when I do their bidding, I never regret it; on the other hand, I have before now disregarded them and have been punished for it. 4.49. None of these statements, said Socrates , is incredible. But what I should like very much to know is how you serve them to keep them so friendly. A very economical service it is, I declare! responded Hermogenes. I sound their praises,—which costs nothing; I always restore them part of what they give me; I avoid profanity of speech as far as I can; and I never wittingly lie in matters wherein I have invoked them to be my witnesses. Truly, said Socrates , if it is conduct like this that gives you their friendship, then the gods also, it would seem, take delight in nobility of soul! Such was the serious turn given to the discussion of this topic.
17. Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

18. Theophrastus, Characters, 16.6 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

19. Cicero, On Divination, 1.67 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.67. illud, quod volumus, expressum est, ut vaticinari furor vera soleat. A/dest, adest fax óbvoluta sánguine atque íncendio! Múltos annos látuit; cives, férte opem et restínguite. Deus inclusus corpore humano iam, non Cassandra loquitur. Iámque mari magnó classis cita Téxitur; exitium éxamen rapit; A/dveniet, fera vélivolantibus Návibus complebít manus litora. Tragoedias loqui videor et fabulas. 1.67. However, the point which I wish to press, that true prophecies are made during frenzy, has found expression in the following lines:It comes! it comes! that bloody torch, in fireEnwrapped, though hid from sight these many years!Bring aid, my countrymen, and quench its flames!It is not Cassandra who next speaks, but a god in human form:Already, on the mighty deep is builtA navy swift that hastes with swarms of woe,80ºIts ships are drawing nigh with swelling sails,And bands of savage men will fill our shores. [32]
20. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.34 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

21. Orphic Hymns., Fragments, 378

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aeschylus Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
altar Levison (2009) 155
animal Levison (2009) 155
apollo Levison (2009) 155; Mikalson (2010) 126
aristotle,on daimones Mikalson (2010) 126
aristotle,poetics Agri (2022) 8
aristotle Agri (2022) 8
castalian spring Levison (2009) 155
chresmoidoi Mikalson (2010) 126
chresmologues (chresmologoi) Johnston (2008) 137
chrysippus Agri (2022) 8
chrêsmologos Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
cicero Agri (2022) 8
creation,creation of cult,cultic Levison (2009) 155
daimones,of plato Mikalson (2010) 32
daimones,of the dead Mikalson (2010) 32
dead,the,as daimones Mikalson (2010) 32
dead,the,service to Mikalson (2010) 32
dearness to god,and good speech Mikalson (2010) 32
dearness to god,and oaths Mikalson (2010) 32
dearness to god,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
dedications,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
delphi Levison (2009) 155
derveni papyrus de Jáuregui (2010) 292
dillery,john Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
divination,and authority Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
divination,and dearness to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
divination,and patronage Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
divination,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
divination Mikalson (2010) 126
dodona Levison (2009) 155
dreams Levison (2009) 155
dreams and dream interpreters Johnston (2008) 137
epictetus Agri (2022) 8
eudaimonia Mikalson (2010) 9
euripides,medea Agri (2022) 8
good speech,and dearness to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
good speech,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
greece Levison (2009) 155
heroes,as deities,service to Mikalson (2010) 32
homer Agri (2022) 8; Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
inspiration,and agency Pillinger (2019) 10
inspiration Levison (2009) 155
inspiration (see also divination,trance,and mania) Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
jew/jewish,literature/ authors Levison (2009) 155
lack of respect for gods'" '162.0_9.0@proper respect for gods Mikalson (2010) 9
law,god's" '151.0_155.0@mystery Levison (2009) 155
literature Levison (2009) 155
magic,persian Mikalson (2010) 32
mania Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
manteis,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
manteis,inspired Mikalson (2010) 126
manteis Mikalson (2010) 126
mantis Johnston (2008) 137; Pillinger (2019) 10
maurizio,lisa Pillinger (2019) 10
mazzoldi,sabina Pillinger (2019) 10
musaeus Johnston (2008) 137
music de Jáuregui (2010) 292
nagy,gregory Pillinger (2019) 10
nilsson,martin p. Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
nomos de Jáuregui (2010) 292
oaths,and dearness to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
oaths,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
oracles Levison (2009) 155
orpheus / david / christ de Jáuregui (2010) 292
pindar Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
plato,the ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy Agri (2022) 8
plato,the republic Agri (2022) 8
plato Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
plato / (neo-)platonism de Jáuregui (2010) 292
pneuma de Jáuregui (2010) 292
poetry,and prophecy Pillinger (2019) 10
poets and poetry,and divine inspiration Mikalson (2010) 126
prayers,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
priestess Levison (2009) 155
prophecy,and poetry Pillinger (2019) 10
prophecy,oracular agency Pillinger (2019) 10
prophets,seers vs sign-readers Pillinger (2019) 10
prophetês Johnston and Struck (2005) 171
pythagoras / (neo-)pythagoreanism de Jáuregui (2010) 292
pythia at delphi Levison (2009) 155
sacrifices,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
sanctuaries,and service to gods Mikalson (2010) 32
service to gods'" "162.0_9.0@service to gods'" Mikalson (2010) 32
service to gods',and good speech" '171.0_10.0@ford,andrew Mikalson (2010) 32
service to gods',and oaths" Mikalson (2010) 32
slaves and slavery,serving the gods as Mikalson (2010) 32
spirit,characterizations as,breath (life itself) Levison (2009) 155
spirit,effects of,ecstasy/frenzy Levison (2009) 155
spirit,modes of presence,possessing Levison (2009) 155
spirit,modes of presence,receiving of Levison (2009) 155
strabo Levison (2009) 155
struck,peter Pillinger (2019) 10
temple Levison (2009) 155
uates Pillinger (2019) 10
virgil and the aeneid,philosophical influences Agri (2022) 8
virgil and the aeneid Agri (2022) 8
war,success in,and chresmologoi Mikalson (2010) 126
war,success in,and manteis Mikalson (2010) 126
wooden walls,oracle concerning' Johnston (2008) 137
zeus de Jáuregui (2010) 292