Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Sophists

  • Teodoro KatinisEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1127-1

Abstract

The ancient sophists, such as Gorgias of Leontini and Protagoras of Abdera, are generally – and often superficially – connected to relativism, immoralism, skepticism, and opportunism. Their historical and intellectual identity was recovered during the Renaissance along with other classical authors, especially Plato who built his philosophy against the sophistic tradition of the fifth and fourth century BC. Starting with the fifteenth-century translations and commentaries, from Leonardo Bruni to Marsilio Ficino, the sophistic writings resurfaced and played an important role in the philosophical and literary history of the European Renaissance. Several Renaissance authors provided original reinterpretations of the ancient sophists both in Neo-Latin and vernacular literature. International scholarship has recently started a detailed exploration of the rebirth of sophistry in early-modern era and has already provided important results that this entry intends to summarize.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Literary StudiesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly