Greece

Gorgias


(c.485-380BC)

Rhetorician and Sophist from Leontini, Sicily, Gorgias was ambassador in Athens for a short period of time, and later settled in Athens to teach rhetorics.

He played an important part in the development of the Attic prose, and Plato used him in his dialogue by the name Gorgias. Socrates there says that Gorgias beautiful speaking only is flattery, but treated him with respect nevertheless.
Gorgias introduced cadence into prose and usels commonplaces in arguments. Plato uses him as title character in Gorgias.
Gorgias was a nihilist and expressed his philosophy in the following way: nothing exists, if anything does exists it cannot be known, if anything exists and can be known, it cannot be communicated. He was very productive, but only part of a funerary speech has survived to this day.
He wrote The Encomium of Helen and The Apology of Palamedes. He died in Thessaly at the age of 105.

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