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by Plato, Trans. By Benjamin Jowett
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Taking the form of a dialogue among Socrates, Gorgias, Polus, and Callicles, the Gorgias debates crucial questions about the nature of government. While the aspiring politician Callicles propounds the view that might is right, and the rhetorician Gorgias argues that oratory and the power to persuade represent the greatest good, Socrates insists on the duty of politicians to consider the welfare of their citizensa duty he believed had been dishonored in the Athens of his time. The dialogue offers fascinating insights into how classical Athens was governed and creates a theoretical framework that has been highly influential on subsequent political debate.
Text: English, Greek (translation)
About the Author
Plato (c. 427347 bce) founded the Academy in Athens, the prototype of all Western universities, and wrote more than twenty philosophical dialogues.
Walter Hamilton (19081988) was master and honorary fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. His translations for Penguin Classics include Platos Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII.
Chris Emlyn-Jones teaches in the department of Classical Studies at the Open University.
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