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ION 100.00%
Of Chios. A Greek author of rare versatility for his time. He composed historical writings, among them a kind of memoirs of men of mark he had met, such as Sophocles; also lyric poems of the most varied types, and thirty or forty tragedies which were more remarkable for elegance and erudition than for elevation of style. When in B.C. 452 he won a dramatic victory at Athens, he is said to have presented every Athenian with a flask of Chian wine. He died at Athens in 422 B.C. We Only possess scanty fragments of his works.
ION 100.00%
According to the Attic story, the son of Apollo and Creusa, daughter of the Athenian king Erechtheus. He was exposed at his birth by his mother in a grotto on the cliff of the Acropolis, whence he was taken by Hermes to Delphi and brought up by the Pythian priestess to be an attendant in his father's temple. Creusa afterwards married Xuthus, who had migrated from Thessaly, and was son of Hellen and brother of Aeo1us and Dorus. As this marriage was childless, the pair went to Delphi to consult the god as to the cause. Xuthus received the command to consider as his son the first person he should meet in front of the temple. This happened to be Ion, who bad meanwhile grown up, and was at once accepted by Xuthus as his son. But Creusa, fancying he was her husband's son by a former union, resolved to poison him. Ion detects her design in time and would have killed Creusa, who however takes refuge at the altar of the god. Then the Pythian priestess produces the cradle in which he had been exposed as an infant, and thus brings about recognition and reconciliation between mother and son. Ion married Helice, the daughter of Selinus, king of the Aegialeans on the north coast of the Peloponnesus. At the death of this king he became monarch of the land, and the inhabitants assumed the name of Ionians after him. Afterwards being called upon by the Athenians to help them against Eumolpus and the Eleusinians, he conquered the enemy and was made king of Athens. From the four sons who are attributed to him, Hoples, Ge1eon, Aegicores, and Argades were descended the four Ionic tribes.
CREUSA 100.00%
See ION 1.
XUTHUS 41.18%
Brother of Aeolus (q.v., 1), and husband of Creusa, the daughter of Erechtheus; adoptive father of Ion (q.v.).
A festival held at Athens in honour of Apollo Boedromios, the god who gave aid in battle. It was celebrated on the 6th day of the month Boedromion, so named after the god (September-October). The origin of the festival was traced back in antiquity to the victory of Ion over Eumolpus, or to that of Theseus over the Amazons. After 490 B.C. it was converted into a commemoration of the battle of Marathon.
The Greek term originally designated the man who adapted the words to the epic song, i.e. the epic poet himself, who in the earlier time recited his own poetry. Afterwards the term specially denoted one who made the poems of others a subject of recitation. At first such rhapsodists were generally poets themselves; but, with the gradual dying out of epic poetry, they came to bold the same position as was afterwards held by the actors, professionally declaiming the lays of the epic poets. Epic verses were originally sung to musical accompaniment, but after the time of Terpander, as lyric poetry became more indepeDdently cultivated, the accompaniment of stringed instruments fell into disuse; and then gradually, instead of a song-like recitation, a simple declamation, in which the rhapsodist held a branch of bay in his hand, came to be generally adopted. This bad happened even before the time of Plato and Aristotle [See especially Plato's Ion]. As in earlier times the singers moved from place to place, in order to get a hearing at the courts of princes or before festive gatherings, so the rhapsodists also led an unsettled and wandering life. In Athens [Lycurgus, Leocr. § 102] and many other towns [as at Sicyon, before the time of the tyrant Clisthenes (Herod., v 67)], public recitations of the Homeric poems were appointed, at which the rhapsodists competed with one another for definite prizes, and thus found opportunity to display their art. It is true that other epic poems, and even the iambic poetry of Archilochus and Simonides of Amorgus, were also recited by rhapsodists; still at all times the labours of such reciters continued to be devoted in the first place to Homeric poetry [Pindar, Nem. ii 2; Plato, Ion 530 D, Rep. 599 E, Phoedr. 252 B]. Hence they were also called Homeridoe and Homeristoe [Aristotle in Athenoeus, 620 B]. It was to the older rhapsodists that the Homeric poems primarily owed their wide diffusion among the Greeks. In the course of time the high esteem in which the rhapsodists originally stood began to decline, because many practised their art as a matter of business, and in a purely mechanical fashion. Still their employment survived long beyond the classical time, and not only did the public competitions continue to exist, but it was also the custom to introduce rhapsodists at banquets and on other occasions.
A mythical king of Athens. According to Homer he was the son of Earth by Hephaestus, and brought up by Athene. Like that of Cecrops, half of his form was that of a snake-a sign that he was one of the aborigines. Athene put the child in a chest which she gave to the daughters of Cecrops, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos, to take care of; forbidding them at the same time to open it. The two eldest disobeyed, and in terror at the serpent-shaped child (or according to another version, the snake that surrounded the child), they went mad, and threw themselves from the rocks of the Acropolis. Another account made the serpent kill them. Erechtheus drove out Amphictyon, and got possession of the kingdom. He then established the worship of Athene, and built to her, as goddess of the city (Polias), a temple, named after him the Erechtheum. Here he was afterwards worshipped himself with Athene and Poseidon. He was also the founder of the Panathenaic festival. He was said to have invented the four-wheeled chariot, and to have been taken up to heaven for this by Zeus, and set in the sky as the constellation of the charioteer. His daughters were Orithyia and Procris (see BOREAS and CEPHALUS). Originally identified with Erichthonius, he was in later times distinguished from him, and was regarded as his grandson, and as son of Pandion and Zeuxippe. His twin brother was Butes, his sisters Procne and Philomela. The priestly office fell to Butes, while Erechtheus assumed the functions of royalty. By Praxithea, the daughter of Cephissus, he Was father of the second Cecrops (see PANDION, 2), of Metion (see DAeDALUS); of Creusa (see ION), as well as of Protogoneia, Pandora, and Chthonia. When Athens was pressed hard by the Eleusinians under Eumolpus, the oracle promised him the victory if he would sacrifice one of his daughters. He chose the youngest, Chthonia; but Protogeneia and Pandora, who had made a vow with their sister to die with her, voluntarily shared her fate. Erechtheus conquered his enemies and slew Eumolpus, but was afterwards destroyed by the trident of his enemy's father, Poseidon.
Tragedy in GREECE originated in the lyric dithyramb; i.e. in the song of a chorus at the rites held in honour of Dionysus. This song, in accordance with the cult of the god, expressed at one time exuberant joy, at another deep sorrow. The cult of Dionysus is also indicated by the very name of tragedy, signifying goat-song; i.e. (according to the usual explanation) the hymn sung by the chorus in their dance round the altar at the sacrifice of the goat, which was dedicated to Dionysus. Others derive the name from the fact that, to represent Satyrs, the chorus were clad in goat-skins, and hence resembled goats. These choral songs seem to have received a certain dramatic form as early as the time of Arion, to whom the dithyramb owes its artistic development. The true drama, including tragic and satyric plays, was evolved subsequently in Athens. Tradition ascribes the origin of tragedy to a contemporary of Solon named Thespis, of Icaria, which was a chief seat of the cult of Dionysus. The date assigned to this is 540 B.C. Thespis was at the same time poet, leader of the chorus, and actor. According to the testimony of the ancients, his pieces consisted of a prologue, a series of choral songs, standing in close connexion with the action, and dramatic recitations introduced between the choruses. These recitations were delivered by the leader of the chorus, and were partly in the form of monologues, partly in that of short dialogues with the chorus, whereby the action of the play was advanced. The reciter was enabled to appear in different roles by the aid of linen or wooden masks. These also are said to have been contrived by the poet himself. The invention of Thespis, whose own pieces soon lapsed into oblivion, won the favour of Pisistratus and the approval of the Athenian public. Tragedy thus became a substantial element in the Attic festival of Dionysus. Thespis' immediate followers were Choerilus, Pratinas (the inventor of the satyric drama), his son Aristias, and Phrynichus. Phrynichus especially did good service towards the development of tragedy by introducing an actor apart from the leader of the chorus, and so preparing the way for true dialogue. He further improved the chorus, which still, however, occupied a disproportionate space in comparison with the action of the play. Tragedy was really brought into being by Aeschylus, when he added a second actor (called the deuteragonistes) to the first, or protagonistes, and in this way rendered dialogue possible. He further subordinated the choruses to the dialogue. Sophocles, in whom tragedy reaches its culminating point, added to Aeschylus' two actors a third, or tritagonistes; and Aeschylus accepted the innovation in his later plays. Thenceforward three actors were regularly granted by lot to each poet, at the public expense. Only rarely, and in exceptional cases, was a fourth employed. Sophocles also raised the number of the chorus from twelve to fifteen. The only other important innovation due to him was, that he gave up the internal connexion, preserved by Aeschylus, among the several plays of a tetralogy which were presented in competition by the tragic poets at the festival of Dionysus. (See TETRALOGIA.) The third great master of tragedy is Euripides, in whom, however, we already observe a decline in many respects from the severe standard of his predecessor. During and after the age of these masters of the art, from whom alone have complete dramas come down to us, many other tragic poets were actively employed, whose works are known to us by name alone, or are only preserved in fragments. It is remarkable that, in the case of the great tragic writers, the cultivation of the Muse of tragedy seems to have been hereditary among their descendants, and among those of Aeschylus in particular, for many generations. His son Euphorion, his nephew Philocles, his grand-nephews Morsimus and Melanthius, his grandson Astydamas, and his great-grandsons Astydamas and Philocles, were poets of more or less note. In the family of Sophocles may be mentioned his son Iophon and his grandson Sophocles; and in that of Euripides, his son or nephew of the same name. Among the tragic poets of the 3rd century, Ion, Achaeus, Aristarchus, and Neophron were accounted the most eminent, Agathon may also be included as the first who ventured to treat a subject of his own invention, whereas hitherto mythical history, especially that of Homer and the cyclic poets, or; in rare instances, authentic history, had furnished the materials of the play. After the Peloponnesian War tragedy shared the general and ever-increasing decline of political and religious vitality. In the 4th century, besides the descendants of Aeschylus, we must mention Theodectes, Aphareus, and Chaeremon, who partly wrote for readers only. The number of tragedies produced at Athens is marvellous. According to the not altogether trustworthy records of the number of plays written by each poet, they amounted to 1,400. The works of the foremost poets were represented over and over again, especially in the theatres of Asia Minor, under the successors of Alexander. During the first half of the 3rd century Ptolemy Philadelphus built a great theatre in Alexandria, where he established competitions in exact imitation of those at Athens. This gave a new impetus to tragic poetry, and seven poets became conspicuous, who were known as the Alexandrine Pleias, Alexander Aetolus, Philiscus (see cut), Sositheus, Homerus, Aeantides, Sosiphanes, and Lycophron. The taste of the Alexandrine critics deemed them worthy to occupy a place beside the five great tragic poets of Athens, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Ion, and Achaeus. Inasmuch as tragedy developed itself out of the chorus at the Dionysiac festivals, so, in spite of all the limitations which were introduced as a result of the evolution of the true drama, the chorus itself was always retained. Hence Greek tragedy consisted of two elements: the one truly dramatic, the prevailing metre of which was the iambic trimeter; the other consisting of song and dance (see CHORUS) in the numerous varieties of Dorian lyric poetry. The dramatic portion was generally made up of the following parts: the proloyos, from the beginning to the first entry of the chorus; the epeisodion, the division between each choral song and the next; and the exodos, or concluding portion which followed the last chorus. The first important choral part was called the parodos; and the song following an epeisodion, a stasimon. There were further songs of lamentation by the chorus and actors together, which were called kommoi. A solo was sometimes sung by the actor alone; this became especially common in the later tragedies.
PHYLE 5.02%
The Greek term for a division of a nation, connected together by (supposed) descent from a common ancestor of the stock. Thus the population of Attica, even before Solon, was divided into four phyloe tracing their origin from four legendary sons of Ion, and called Geleontes, Hopletes, Aegicores, and Argades. Probably the division was local, the names referring to the peculiarity or main occupation of the members of each division; for Hopletes appears to mean warriors, Aegicores, goatherds, and Argades, agriculturalists. The meaning of Geleontes (or Teleontes), however, is quite uncertain. Each phyle was presided over by a phylobasileus (king of the phyle) and divided into three phratrioe (brotherhoods, see PHRATRIA), each phratria being subdivided into thirty families. Each family contained about thirty households, and was named after a supposed common progenitor, in whose honour the households celebrated a common cult. Similarly the phratrioe and phyloe were united by the worship of special protecting deities. These old Ionic phyloe were suppressed by Clisthenes, who divided the people into ten entirely different phyloe, named after ancient heroes (Erechtheis, Aegeis, Pandionis, Leontis, Acamantis, Aeneis, Cecropis, Hippothontis, Aiantis, Antiochis). They were subdivided into fifty naucrarice and one hundred demi (q.v.). In 307 B.C., in honour of Demetrius Poliorcetes and his father Autigonus, the phyloe were increased by two, called Demetrias and Antigonis, which names were afterwards changed, in honour of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt and Attalus I of Pergamon, into Ptolemais and Attalis. In later times, another, Adrianis, was added in honour of the emperor Hadrian. Besides priests for the cult of their eponymous hero, the phyloe had presidents, called phylarchi, and treasurers (tamioe). The assemblies were always held in Athens, and were concerned, not only with the special affairs of the phyle, but also with State business especially the notification of the persons liable to State burdens (See LEITOURGIA.) The ten phyloe of Clisthenes served also as a foundation for the organization of the army. The forces were raised when required from the muster-roll of the phyloe, and divided accordingly into ten battalions, which were themselves also called phyloe. The Dorian stock was generally divided into three phyloe: Hylleis, Dymanes, and Pamphyli, purporting to be named after Hyllos, son of Heracles, and Dyman and Pamphylus, sons of king Aegimius. When families not of Dorian origin formed part of the forces of the State, they constituted an additional phyle. In the purely Dorian state of Sparta the three phyloe were divided into thirty oboe, answering to the families at Athens.
The third of the three great Attic tragedians. He was born in the island of Salamis, in 480 B.C., on the very day of the great battle. His father Mnesarchus is said to have been a tradesman or tavern-keeper, his mother Clito a seller of herbs. His parents, however, must have had some means, judging by the fact that they gave him a careful gymnastic education to fit him for the athletic contests. This was because they had misinterpreted an oracle given them before his birth which promised the child crowns of victory. Euripides is said in his boyhood really to have gained the prize in a public contest of this kind, but in fact lie was destined to win victories in a very different arena. He associated much with the philosophers Anaxagoras and Socrates, with the latter of whom he enjoyed an intimate friendship during the whole of his life. He also had instruction from the sophists Protagoras and Prodicus. Thus he received the best of education in philosophy and rhetoric. It was in his twenty-fifth year (B.C. 455) that he first put a tetralogy on the stage. He did not win a prize till his forty-third year, and seems indeed to have been victorious only four times in all; but he was none the less indefatigable in writing tragedies. He took a lively interest in the important events and the public questions of the time; but personally be kept aloof from public life, avoided society, and lived mostly in the enjoyment of an excellent library, amid his studies and poetical creations. He was twice unfortunate in his marriage, a fact which may have encouraged him in his surly, unsociable ways. His first wife, Chaerile, he had to divorce for infidelity. She bore him three daughters, the youngest of whom, who was named after her mother, put several of her father's tragedies on the stage after his death. His second wife, Melito, parted from him at her own desire. In 409, at the age of 71, he left Athens; it was said to get away from the ceaseless attacks of the comedians, and from his domestic troubles. He went to Magnesia in Thessaly, where he was received as a guest of the city. Thence he went on to Pella to the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, who had gathered round him a number of poets and artists, and who treated him with great respect. Here he spent the last two years of his life and died B.C. 405. According to a story for which there is little authority, he was torn to pieces by a pack of hounds when returning from a nocturnal festivity. The number of his tragedies is variously given as seventy-five, seventy-eight, and ninety-two. Eighteen have come down to us: the Alcestis, Andromache, Bacchae (or the arrival of Dionysus at Thebes and the murder of Pentheus), Hecuba, Helena, Electra, the Heraclidae (or Demophoon of Athens protecting the descendants of Heracles against the persecution of Eurystheus); Heracles in Madness, the Suppliants (or the mothers of the Seven Chiefs who had fallen before Thebes, at whose prayers Theseus compelled the Thebans to bury the dead heroes); Hippolytus, Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia among the Tauri, Ion, Medea, Orestes, Rhesus, the Troades (or the royal house of Troy after the conquest of the city); the Phoenissae (so called after the chorus of Phoenician maidens, an incident in the story of Eteocles and POlynices); and a satyric drama, the Cyclops, the only example of this style of composition which has survived. The earliest of these pieces in point of time is the Alcestis, performed in B.C. 438. It is also noticeable because, although not a satyric drama in the proper sense, it has comic features towards the end, and was actually performed at the end of a tetralogy in place of a satyric drama. The Bacchae, on the other hand, was written in Macedonia in the poet's last years, and performed after his death at the same time as the Iphigenia at Aulis. The genuineness of the Rhesus was doubted even in antiquity. A great number of fragments have survived from about sixty pieces, and in particular from the Phaethon. The tragedies of Euripides are of very unequal merit. Some of them, for instance lofty style of Sophocles, others approach it, as the Medeaand Iphigenia in Tauris. But others, as for instance the Andromache and Electra, are very carelessly put together. His strong point is not artistic composition, well contrived disposition, or the coherent design which gives the inner motive of the action. It is sufficient, in support of this statement, to call attention to his habit of prefixing to every piece a prologue, explaining the story to the spectators, and connected loosely (if at all) with the play; to the very slight connexion between the chorus and the action, and to his liking for bringing in a deus ex machina to cut a difficult knot. On the other hand, it must be allowed that Euripides is a master in the art of devising pathetic situations, and shows extraordinary power in representing human passion, especially the resistless might of love in the case of women. In his religious views be differs essentially from Aeschylus and Sophocles. With Euripides the gods are not moral powers, and fate is not so much the result of a higher dispensation as a perverseness of accident. The lack of grandeur is also a point which distinguishes him from his great predecessors. Instead of their sublime ideas he gives us maxims of worldly wisdom, often to all appearance dragged in without occasion. The motives of action are not so pure as in Aeschylus and Sophocles, and the characters of the heroes are not raised above the level of ordinary life, but brought down to it. So fond is he of giving prominence to the faults of women, that he has been called a woman-hater. He pays more attention to the course of politics than his predecessors, and is indeed influenced by political considerations in his sketches of character. In deference to the democratic leanings of his public, he makes his kings cruel tyrants, without dignity or majesty, and the heroes of the Peloponnese, in particular, he treats with unconcealed dislike. His dialogues are often overloaded with rhetoric and sophistical dialectic. But, in spite of all these faults, for which the spirit of the age is mainly responsible, be is a great poetical genius. He was very popular with his contemporaries, and has been still more so with succeeding generations. The tragedians of the next age made him their model and pattern without qualification, and the Roman poets preferred paraphrasing his dramas to those of the other tragedians.
PLATO 4.20%
who shares with Aristotle the first place among the philosophers of antiquity, was born at Athens 428 B.C. (according to the story, on the 21st of May, the birthday of Apollo). His father, Ariston, traced his descent from king Codrus; his mother, Perictione, belonged to the same family as Solon. Originally called after his grandfather Aristocles, he afterwards obtained the name of Plato (said to have been given by Socrates) either from the breadth of his shoulders or from the ample flow of his speech. His youth falls in the time of the Peloponnesian War, when Athens, though already entering on the decline of its political greatness,was still distinguished by the greatest activity in all intellectual paths. He had an education befitting his rank and including, according to Athenian custom, both gymnastic and musical culture; but from the first he consistently held aloof from public life, in spite of the numerous advantages which his birth and connexions would have insured him in such a career. Critias, for instance, who was afterwards the leader of the Thirty, was his mother's cousin. After at first devoting himself to poetical studies, and himself composing poetry, he soon took up philosophy. In this subject he is said to have received the instructions of Cratylus, a follower of Heraclitus. At the age of twenty he entered the circle of Socrates' disciples, and soon took a prominent position among them. In 399, after Socrates' death (at which he was prevented by illness from being present) he went to Megara, to his old fellow disciple Euclides, and thence is said to have travelled to Cyrene and Egypt. He certainly spent some time in Magna Graecia with the Pythagoreans, Archytas of Tarentum and Timaeus of Locri, and thence visited Syracuse on the invitation of the elder Dionysius his strong independence, however, and his intimate friendship with Dionysius' brother-in-law , the noble Dion, soon drew upon him the mistrust of the tyrant. The story relates that he was sold as a slave, into Aegina by order of Dionysius, and ransomed by a friend. Returning to Athens about 388, he established in a garden near the Academy (a gymnasium so named after the hero Academus), in the north-west part of the city, a philosophical school, over which he presided for forty years. Here he lived unmarried, taking no part in the affairs of State, but devoting his energies exclusively to the pursuit of knowledge, interrupted only by two journeys to Sicily. The first of these he undertook in 367, on the accession of the younger Dionysius, in order, in conjunction with Dion, to win the young ruler to the cause of philosophy and induce him to convert the tyranny into a constitutionally organized monarchy. This attempt completely failed; and the only result was the banishment of Dion. His second jonmey was in 362. His object was to reconcile Dionysius with Dion, but in this he was equally unsuccessful; in fact, his own life was in danger, and he was only saved by the intercession of Archytas of Tarentum. However, the accounts of these last two journeys are little to be depended upon. Besides the narrower circle of his immediate pupils-among whom the most celebrated are Aristotle, Speusippus, his sister's son, and Xenocrates,-the Academy was also frequented by a large number of educated men, and even women. It is said that Plato's advice in political matters was asked, not only by statesmen at home, but even by foreign States. His teaching was given partly in the shape of informal conversation, partly in consecutive and systematic lectures on philosophical subjects. Even to his old age his activity was unwearied; and he was carried off by an easy death (it is said, while actually engaged in composition), in the eighty-first year of his life (348). He was buried in the neighbourhood of the Academy, where his tomb still existed in the 2nd century A.D. His plot of land remained nearly a thousand years in the possession of the Platonic school. As works of Plato, thirty-six writings in fifty-six books (the thirteen letters being reckoned as one), have been handed down to us. These were divided by Thrasyllus, a Neo-Pythagorean of the time of Tiberius, into nine tetralogies, as follows; (1) Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, Crito, Phaedo.(2) Cratylus, Theaetetus, Sophistes, Politicus. (3) Parmenides, Philebus, Symposium, Phaeedrus. (4) Alcibiades I and II, Hipparchus, Anterastae. (5) Theages, Charmides, Laches, Lysis. (6) Euthydemus, Protagoras, Gorgias, Meno. (7) Hippias I and II, Ion, Menexemus. (8) Clitopho, Republic (ten books), Timaeus, Critias. (9) Minos, Laws (twelve books), Epinomis, Letters. Besides these, eight other writings bear his name; but these were marked as spurious even in ancient times. Of the genuine writings of Plato none have been lost, owing to the fact that the study of them was kept up without a break through all the intervening centuries; but a number of the above-mentioned are of more or less doubtful authenticity, though there is not in all cases sufficient evidence to prove their spuriousness. Besides the Letters and the Epinomis (an appendix to the Laws composed by Plato's pupil Philippus of Opus), the writings of the fourth tetralogy as well as the Theages, the Minos., and the Clitopho, are reckoned as undoubtedly spurious. Of questionable genuineness also is a series of epigrams which has been handed down under Plato's name. Many attempts have been made to arrange the Platonic writings in the order of time, but unanimity on the subject has never been attained. An old, though disputed, tradition reckons the Phaedrus as the first, while the Laws, which is said to have been published by the aforesaid Philippus after the author's death, are generally acknowledged to be the last; the Republic also belongs, at any rate, to the later writings. The writings of Plato are among the greatest productions, not only of Greek literature, but of the literature of the world. They are equally admirable in matter and in form, combining, as they do, fulness and depth of thought with the highest mastery of style, while at the same time they are penetrated by the noblest spirit. The form is throughout that of dialogue; and in the dialogues Plato himself never appears as a speaker, but he makes his master, Socrates, the interpreter of his views. The dramatic setting and execution, the delineation of the characters, the language, perfectly adjusted to the personality of the speakers and to the circumstances supposed, -- now faithfully reproducing the simple manner of expression usual in conversation, now giving clear expression to the thought with all the incision of dialectics, now rising to poetic elevation,--all show the most consummate art and make it doubtful, whether in Plato we should rather admire the artist and the poet, or the philosopher. On his teaching and his school, see PHILOSOPHY.
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