Gorgias, Leontinus

, a native of Leontium, in Sicity, who flourished in the fifth century B. C. was a celebrated orator of the school of Empedocles. He was deputed in the year 427, by his fellow-citizens, to request succour of the Athenians against the people of Syracuse, whom he so charmed with his eloquence that he easily obtained what he required. He also made a display of his eloquence at the Olympic and Pythian games, and with so much success, that a statue of gold was erected to him at Delphi, and money was coined with his name upon it. In the latter part of his life he established himself at Athens, and lived till he had attained the age of one hundred and five years. He is reputed, according to Quintilian, to be the author and inventor of extemporaneous speaking, in which art he exercised his disciples. Hermogenes has preserved a fragment of his, from which we may infer that his manner was quaint and artificial, full of antithesis and pointed expression. 1


Fabric. Bibl. Grsec. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomast.