Plato, Ion, 531c:

οὐ [Ὅμηρος] περὶ πολέμου τε τὰ πολλὰ διελήλυθεν καὶ περὶ ὁμιλιῶν πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀνθρώπων ἀγαθῶν τε καὶ κακῶν καὶ ἰδιωτῶν καὶ δημιουργῶν, καὶ περὶ θεῶν πρὸς ἀλλήλους καὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ὁμιλούντων, ὡς ὁμιλοῦσι

The English Translation:

Doesn’t he [i.e. Homer] mainly go through tales of war, and of how people deal with each other in society — good people and bad, ordinary folks and craftsmen? And of the gods, how they deal with each other and with men?

I know that in the bolded sentence we have a prolepsis, but I can't understand the role of ὁμιλούντων as a participle which is cognate with the subordinate clause verb (ὁμιλοῦσι).

1 Answer 1


It's agreeing with θεῶν: literally, "about gods interacting with each other and with people, how they interact".

  • Thank you. I know that it is agreeing with θεῶν, but ὁμιλούντων came after both "πρὸς ἀλλήλους" and "πρὸς ἀνθρώπους". I wonder why it is not following: περὶ θεῶν πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὁμιλούντων καὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ὡς ὁμιλοῦσι
    – Ali Nikzad
    Oct 5, 2022 at 18:54
  • @AliNikzad Why would you expect that order? The sense is "how gods interact with each other and with people", so it makes sense to keep the two πρός phrases together.
    – TKR
    Oct 5, 2022 at 19:01
  • Because in the current order, it seems to me that we can eliminate "ὁμιλούντων" and keep "ὡς ὁμιλοῦσι" or eliminate "ὡς ὁμιλοῦσι" and keep "ὁμιλούντων".
    – Ali Nikzad
    Oct 5, 2022 at 19:08
  • @AliNikzad I don't think I follow -- isn't the same true of the ordering you propose?
    – TKR
    Oct 5, 2022 at 19:19
  • 2
    @AliNikzad: I would say the redundancy is indeed odd looking, but I praesume it is just something the Greeks would do.
    – Cerberus
    Oct 6, 2022 at 1:21

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