This paper aims to reassess one piece of evidence for the performance of music and poetry in classical Sparta: an elegy by the Chian poet Ion (fr. 27 West). It is argued here that this poem evokes the atmosphere of a Spartan festival and, specifically, a symposium held as part of that festival. Ion was present in Sparta not merely as a friend of prominent Athenians, as is often claimed, but as a professional travelling poet. This suggests that Sparta remained an important centre for μουσική in the classical period and, moreover, was part of a broader Panhellenic network of festivals and contests.
Edmund, S. (in press). Ion of Chios: the case of a foreign poet in classical Sparta. Classical Quarterly,