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Gorgias (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140449044
ISBN-10: 0140449043
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Plato (c. 427–347 B.C.) founded the Academy in Athens, the prototype of all Western universities, and wrote more than twenty philosophical dialogues.  

Walter Hamilton taught at Cambridge, Eton and Rugby and translated several Platonic texts for Penguin Classics.

Chris Emlyn-Jones teaches in the department of Classical Studies at the Open University and has published on Homer and Plato.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (June 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449044
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. John on November 22, 2008
I assigned this to my political theory students last year, and learned what a fine job Arieti and Barrus have done. There are several other good translations out there; this one is more literal, but it makes good English sense nevertheless ("graspingness" and a few other awkward choices notwithstanding).

The great value of this edition, however, is the insightful scholarly introduction, the very helpful footnotes, the three appendices, and the glossary. The first appendix includes speeches from Thucydides which are relevant to the arguments about rhetoric from the Gorgias. The second one is an outline of the rhetorical principles laid out by the interloculotrs of the Gorgias, and the third is a short discussion of Socrates' use of the terms mythos and logos. The best thing in editorial materials, however, is the glossary, which offers extended scholarly explanations of key terms in the Gorgias and in Platonic philosophy generally.

On the downside: The translators have tried to show all the moving parts, as it were, of their work with the Greek text. So when they've supplied an English word not directly translated from a Greek word, they've put it in brackets. Some versions of the Bible do this as well. But the brackets are frequent and can get quite distacting at times, especially fro my undergrads I imagine. A more general concern with this choice would be: If you read Greek, you don't need Barrus and Arieti to tell you which words are direct translations and which aren't. But if you don't know Greek, you don't know what to do with this information, because you don't understand how the Greek sentence gets a long without these extra words. So it's seems like a pointless practice. Translate! And then when the readers learn Greek they can take a look at how you've done it.

Overall: a very impressive work, from two very careful and insightful readers and translators of Plato.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Davis on September 9, 2008
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Anyone interested in political science, Ancient Greek Thought, or Plato will want to read the Gorgias, so I will not presume to argue why it should be read, save thus: if you wish to be educated, you need books of this caliber.

Translation: Arieti and Barrus have done a conservative, literal job in giving us English for Plato's Greek, and thus there is much to praise. Occasionally the literalness seems excessive, as when they routinely insert bracketed phrases not literally present in the Greek, but I have no major complaints. Plato's style is polished and playful; the translators point out various places where he puns on different words or cracks jokes. Included in this translation are rhetorical examples taken from Thucydides; very illuminating.

Aesthetics: A pretty book. The text is well-sized and the index is helpful. The size is perfect for casual reading, for it's lightweight and compact.

Durability. As with most Focus books, quite durable. I treat my books (especially paperbacks) with kid gloves, and if you do the same it will remain in pristine condition, but it could stand up to a far greater abuse than it does under me.

Price: Quite cheap and competitive with Nichol's translation. You will get a lot of book for your buck if you buy it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on January 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a strange dialogue due to the hostility shown by Plato toward the rhetoricians (and sophists). The dialogue discusses both the proper aim of rhetoric and its role in the good State. Further, Socrates also talks about justice, virtue, and the Good, and many parallels can be drawn between this work and Republic. Be sure to have read Apology and Phaedo to understand the irony of the end of the dialogue, and Meno is also good to have already read due to its discussion on whether virtue can be taught. Overall, the dialogue is interesting albeit longer than necessary. It is strange to see such passion in one of the dialogues.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must say that I believe my ability to make successful argument has increased an iota or two after imbibing some of this wisdom that Plato was able to pass down to us through the ages. Books like these remind me why I have felt at certain moments that Western Civilization is truly a good thing.
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By William F. Gates on January 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love it!would highly recommend!Delivered quickly! Great book everyone could enjoy and all should read!One of the great books. that can be applied to modern life
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lucid translation with very helpful commentary throughout. A physically well produced book. Helpful glossary. But with Plato, one always wishes for more.
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By Robert M. Rojas on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this for a college class, had what I needed and it was an interesting read outside of class as well.
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By hippias rex on July 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good read. Purchased for a course. Would purchase from seller again.
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