New Surveys in the Classics

The New Surveys in the Classics are a series of short books dedicated to key themes and concepts in the classical world. They deal with a wide range of topics, from key figures like Homer and Virgil, to subjects such as Greek tragedy, thought and science, women, slavery, Roman religion, and satire. A New Survey is usually published annually and included as a supplement to a subscription to Greece & Rome for the relevant year.

The latest in the series of New Surveys in the Classics is Volume 45, The Sophists by Mauro Bonazzi.  From Socrates and Plato onwards, the Sophists were often targeted by the authoritative philosophical tradition as being mere charlatans and poor teachers. This book, translated and significantly updated from its most recent Italian version (2nd edition, 2013), challenges these criticisms by offering an overall interpretation of their thought, and by assessing the specific contributions of thinkers like Protagoras, Gorgias and Antiphon. A new vision of the Sophists emerges: they are protagonists and agents of fundamental change in the history of ancient philosophy, who questioned the grounds of morality and politics, as well as the nature of knowledge and language. By shifting the focus from the cosmos to man, the Sophists inaugurate an alternative form of philosophy, whose importance is only now becoming clear.

  • Provides an updated translation of Mauro Bonazzi’s I Sofisti
  • Offers a response to the prevalent criticism of the Sophists, that they were charlatans and poor teachers, by positioning them as agents of fundamental change in the history of ancient philosophy 
  • Offers both an overall interpretation of Sophistry as a whole and an assessment of specific thinkers like Protagoras, Gorgias and Antiphon

See a list of available titles and purchase copies from Cambridge University Press