• Ionuţ BÂRLIBĂ PhD Candidate, „Al.I. Cuza” University of Iasi (Romania) & University of Konstanz (Germany).


Poetry, rhapsody, techne, knowledge, art, inspiration


The relationship which Plato had with poetry was never the best one can have. The same thing can also be said about rhapsody and the rhapsodes. Plato has real doubts whether rhapsody, along with poetry is an art or not and if the rhapsode and the poets really posses a techne. The short Socratic dialog Ion raises the question weather the rhapsode possesses an art, a real understanding of what he says about poetry or not; if the rhapsode really possesses an art then what exactly would it consist of? Platon suggests that rhapsodes do not get to the knowledge of poetry, “they do not attain to the clearness of ideas” but they are just under divine inspiration (which in this context expresses only the irrationality of the poetic process). Even if Ion can speak beautifully about Homer he doesn’t possess an art because he is not able to speak the same way about any other poet; whereas to have a techne implies to have knowledge over the whole of an art.


Allen, R.E., Plato, translated with comment, Yale University Press, 1996

Canto, Monique, Platon, Ion, Flamarion, Paris, 1989

Kraut, Richard (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Plato, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Jowett, B., M.A, The Dialogues of Plato, translated into English with analyses and introduction, Oxford University Press, 1964

Murray, Penelope (ed.), Plato on Poetry, Cambridge University Press, 1996