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By mid-5th century BC Athens was governed by democratic rule, and power turned upon the ability of the citizen to command the attention of the people and to sway the crowds of the assembly. It was the Sophists who best understood the art of rhetoric and the importance of transforming effective reasoning into persuasive public speaking. Their enquiries - into the status of women, slavery, the distinction between Greeks and barbarians, the existence of the gods, the origins of religion and whether virtue can be taught - laid the groundwork for the insights of the next generation of thinkers. This volume presents a collection of texts by the Greek Sophists (Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, Antiphon and others), which present the main lines of thought characteristic to this major philosophical movement.
JOHN DILLON is now Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin. TANIA GERGEL is a lecturer in Ancient Greek Philosophy in the Department of Classics at King's College, London.
Release date NZ
July 31st, 2003
Edited by John Dillon
Country of Publication
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