This book contains the complete Greek text of Plato's Ion, an English translation of it, and an in depth analysis. The Ion is one of the shortest of Plato's dialogues and yet it raises two most critical questions. First, is there an art of "poetry as a whole," that is, is there an art of words and, if so, what is its nature? All acts of language are poetic, and philosophy is impossible without them. Thus arises the second question: does philosophy itself exist only in the use of words, in the question and answer, in the interchange called dialectic. Dialectic is between people, so that it has an essentially social as well as an intellectual dimension, and it is while the conversation continues that philosophy fully exists; it lives in the performance. Ion performs Homer, and Plato (or his reader) performs Socrates. There are similarities -- for example, both have musical or metrical structures -- but there are also crucial differences -- Ion's performance of Homer has hearers; Plato's performance of Socrates has participants.