Read The Great Books

A Curated Guide for Autodidacts


by Plato

Gorgias is one of the many infamous dialogues written by Plato: historian, philosopher, and all around great mind of the ancient world. It is written, as with the rest of his dialogues, as a conversation discussing some of the great questions Plato had on the world, politics, society, and existence itself.

Set up as a philosophic conversation between the author and some of his dinner guests, Plato delves into his thoughts on rhetoric, skill, and morality. These writings go over some of the basics of what Plato focused on in his life and have been used as the groundwork for much of philosophy and modern thinking in the western world.

There are two versions of Gorgias that really stand above the rest. Hackett Classics offers one of the easiest editions for new readers to get a grasp on. It was published in ’87 which at first seems like a negative but for an academic translation to still be considered after 30 years it has to be worthwhile. Many universities have and still use this edition for both undergrad and graduate level studies. I know I saw a few copies of this one floating around my university a couple years back. Also definitely consider Oxford World Classics copy too. Oxford isn’t such a well known name for being half-hearted in its academic research. This one is a newer translation than Hackett’s, completed by Robin Waterfield who translates and edits much of Oxford’s classics and has worked on much of Plato’s other dialogues as well. He’s definitely a trusted name in the world of academic translations.