Gorgias , a Greek rhetorician and sophist, born in Leontini, Sicily, about 487 B. C, died about 380. He was a disciple of Empedocles and Prodicus, and first appears in history in 427, when he was sent to Athens to beseech succor for the Leontines attacked by the Sy-racusans. He spent the remainder of his life chiefly in Greece. He not only captivated the Athenian populace by the splendor of his eloquence, but gained Alcibiades, Alcidamas, AEschines, and Antisthenes for pupils or imitators. Plato gave his name to the dialogue which he composed against the sophists. The views of Gorgias were set forth in a work "On Nature," which was early lost, but of which considerable extracts still exist. A full account of it is given by Theophrastus. The book was divided into three sections. In the first he argued that nothing had any real existence; in the second, that if there were a real existence, it was not in man's power to ascertain it; in the third, that existence, even if real and ascertainable, could not be communicated. To prove these points, he made use of the conclusions of the Eleatics, which however he did not fully accept.

Sextus Empiricus also gives a clear description of the work of Gorgias. The charm of his oratory is said to have consisted largely in a profusion of metaphors and a poetical choice and arrangement of words. According to Plato, he expressly declared that he did not profess to impart virtue, but only the power of speaking eloquently.