Taking the form of a dialogue between Socrates, Gorgias, Polus and Callicles, GORGIAS debates perennial questions about the nature of government and those who aspire to public office.
Are high moral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully? Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal power and prestige, or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens?
These questions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are more relevant than ever in today's political climate.
Walter Hamilton taught at Cambridge, Eton and Rugby and translated several Platonic texts for Penguin. Chris Emlyn-Jones teaches in the department of Classical Studies at the Open University and has published on Homer and Plato.