When I first studied the Iliad in middle school, I remember a story about about a politician in Athens punching a traveling tutor for the sin of not carrying his copy of Homer on him at all times. Does anyone have any detail about this story? Who was the politician? Can anyone point me to a primary source?
The anecdote appears in Plutarch’s life of Alcibiades:
After he [Alcibiades] had finished his education, he went into a school, and asked the master for a volume of Homer. When the master said that he possessed none of Homer’s writings, he struck him with his fist, and left him. Another schoolmaster told him that he had a copy of Homer corrected by himself. “Do you,” asked he, “you who are able to correct Homer, teach boys to read! One would think that you could instruct men.”
Plutarch (2nd century). Life of Alcibiades, VII. Translated by Aubrey Stewart & George Long (1894). London: George Bell.