“Kosmos for a city is a good-population; for a body it is beauty; for a soul, wisdom. For a deed, excellence; and for a word, truth. The opposition of these things would be akosmia. It is right, on the one hand, to honor a man and a woman and a deed and a city and a deed worthy of praise with praise and to lay reproach on the unworthy. For it is equally mistaken and ignorant to rebuke the praiseworthy and praise things worthy of rebuke.
It is thus necessary for the same man to speak truly and refute those who reproach Helen, a woman about whom the belief from what the poets say and the fame of her name are univocal and single-minded, that memory of sufferings. I want, by giving some reckoning in speech, to relieve her of being badly spoken, and, once I demonstrate and show that those who reproach her are liars, to protect the truth from ignorance”
Plutarch, Fr. 186 (Isidorus of Pelusium, Letters, ii. 42)
“According to Plutarch, real Atticism is a clear and straight-forward style—for, he says, their politicians spoke in this way. Gorgias of Leonini first inserted that disease into public speeches, by polishing them with elevated language and poetic devices and muddying up their clarity. This very sickness—Plutarch says—afflicted even the wondrous Plato.”
Fr. 197 (Prolegomenon in Hermogenis περὶ στάσεων Appendices)
Ἐκ τῶν Πλουτάρχου εἰς τὸν Πλάτωνος Γοργίαν·
From Plutarch’s Commentary on Plato’s Gorgias
The field of rhetoric according to Gorgias: Rhetoric is the art which has power over speeches—it is an instrument of public persuasion in political speeches about any idea which is targeted, it is about belief and not about teaching. [Gorgias] says that its particular concern [should be] just and unjust matters, noble and ignoble, beautiful and shameful affairs.”
I am proud my self-restraint for not posting this anecdote on Mother’s Day
Valerius Maximus, Wondrous Deeds and Sayings 1.8 ext2
“The origin of Gorgias of Epiros*, a famous man, was also miraculous. He fell out of his mother’s womb during her funeral and the pallbearers were forced to stop by his surprising wail. This offered his country a new spectacle, a baby finding light and a cradle almost from his mother’s own grave—she gave birth although she was dead at the same time he was prepared for a funeral before he was born!”
Gorgiae quoque Epirotae, fortis et clari viri, origo admirabilis <fuit>, quod in funere matris suae utero elapsus inopinato vagitu suo lectum ferentes consistere coegit novumque spectaculum patriae praebuit, tantum non ex ipso genetricis rogo lucem et cunas adsecutus: eodem enim momento temporis altera iam fato functa peperit, alter ante elatus quam natus est.
“When Gorgias of Leontini was at the end of his life and, extremely old, he was over taken by a certain weakness, he stretched out in his bed slipping off to sleep. When one of his attendants who was looking over him asked how he was doing, Gorgias replied “Sleep is now starting to hand me over to his brother.””
Gorgias of Leontini was an orator who lived nearly one hundred years. In Greek myth, Sleep (Hypnos) and Death (Thanatos) are brothers. Here’s the Euphronios Krater that shows the pair carrying off the mortally wounded Sarpedon.