The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens

The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens

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The arrival of the Sophists in Athens in the middle of the 5th century BC was an intellectual event of great importance. They brought a new method of teaching founded on rhetoric, and offered bold doctrines which broke away from tradition. They have often been misunderstood - only fragments of their own work survive and we have to rely on the testimony of Plato, who was an opponent, and on an interpretation of the works of their disciples such as Thucydides, Euripides and Isocrates. Athenians used their teaching to defend an amoralism which they themselves did not advocate. Professor de Romilly investigates the reasons for the initial success of the Sophists and the reaction against them, in the context of the culture and civilization of classical more

Product details

  • Hardback | 177 pages
  • 130 x 210 x 22mm | 467g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198242344
  • 9780198242345

Review quote

"A lively and engaging introduction to the Sophistic movement....De Romilly deserves much credit for bringing a remarkable immediacy to the subject of the Sophists and their legacy. Classicists and the general public should appreciate this new and controversial assessment of the Sophistic movement."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review"Offers a brilliant introduction to the Sophists of fifth-century Athens and a major reinterpretation of the goals and effects of their thought....Engagingly written, this eminently accessible account deserves lasting popularity."--Choice"Exquisite nuance informs both writing and translation in this work, which should complement libraries in classical, philosophy, political science, and religion."--Religious Studies Review"Uniting the skills of the philologist with those of the philosopher, de Romilly makes an important contribution to the creation of thinking about the thinking of goodness, justice, truth, etc., in the history of ideas."--Rhetoric Reviewshow more

Table of contents

The rise and success of the Sophists; a new teaching; rhetorical education; the doctrines of the Sophists; a tabula rasa; the dangers of the tabula rasa; immoralism; reconstruction on the basis of the tabula rasa; recovering the virtues; more