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Gorgias (1) of Leontini, orator, c. 485–c. 380 BCE  

Josh Wilburn

Gorgias of Leontini, orator, c. 485–c. 380 bce, was one of the most well-known and influential of the early Greek rhetoricians. He spent much of his life as an itinerant speaker and reputed educator throughout Greece and contributed to the early development of the art of speech. His extant works include two complete speeches, Encomium of Helen and Defense of Palamedes, and ancient authors also summarize, provide fragments from, or report several additional works: On What-Is-Not, a Funeral Speech, a Pythian Speech, an Olympian Speech, a Speech for the People of Elis, a treatise on the “opportune moment” or kairos, and some manuals of rhetoric.Gorgias of Leontini, orator, c.485–c. 380bce, became one of the most well-known and influential figures of the early, 5th-century generation of thinkers credited with developing and marketing skills, principles, and ideas related to the burgeoning art of speech. Nothing secure is recorded about the events of his early life, although he must have achieved some degree of eminence and respect in .


Stertinius, Stoic writer  

Edward Courtney

A Stoic writer (See stoicism), alleged source in Hor.Sat. 2. 3 (see l. 296) said by [Helenius Acro] (on Hor.Epist. 1. 12. 20) to have written 220 books; the implication that these were in verse is not credible.


Philodemus, c. 110–c. 35 BCE  

David Blank

Philodemus (c. 110 Gadara, Syria–c. 35 bce Naples?) was an Epicurean philosopher. Philodemus eventually settled in Italy, where he was mentioned by Cicero as a companion of the Roman politician L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, a composer of elegant verse and a good explainer of Epicurean doctrine, along with Siro, with whom he had a school of Epicureans in Naples that included a number of Roman poets in the circle of Vergil and Horace. Some of Philodemus’ epigrams were anthologized in the Garland of Philipp and became known to early modern scholars in the Palatine Anthology. His philosophical writings were unknown until they were found, in the 18th century, to be the vast majority of the book-rolls discovered in excavations of the “Villa of the Papyri” in Herculaneum.

The philosophical books of Philodemus so far known cover a wide variety of topics and show a particular interest in theology and religious observance; arts such as rhetoric, poetics, music; vices such as flattery, anger, greed, arrogance, and the character types of those who suffer from them; the history of other philosophical schools, such as the Platonic Academy and the Stoa, as seen in short biographies of their leading figures; longer, almost hagiographical accounts of the lives of the early Epicureans, and letters indicating their relations with one another. In these books Philodemus is frequently seen defending the interpretations of Epicurean doctrine by his own revered teacher Zeno of Sidon. He also stresses the manner in which an Epicurean school should be conducted, with a culture of “frank criticism” among junior and senior members and an understanding that, when one initially feels that a wise teacher is being unfair, overly critical, or even angry, it is the result of pedagogical strategy.