Gorgias is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC. In this dialogue, Socrates seeks the true definition of rhetoric, attempting to pinpoint the essence of rhetoric and unveil the flaws of the sophistic oratory popular in Athens at this time. Gorgias was a Greek sophist, Siceliote, pre-Socratic philosopher and rhetorician who was a native of Leontini in Sicily. Along with Protagoras, he forms the first generation of Sophists. Several doxographers report that he was a pupil of Empedocles, although he would only have been a few years younger. "Like other Sophists, he was an itinerant that practiced in various cities and giving public exhibitions of his skill at the great pan-Hellenic centers of Olympia and Delphi, and charged fees for his instruction and performances. A special feature of his displays was to ask miscellaneous questions from the audience and give impromptu replies." 3] He has been called "Gorgias the Nihilist" although the degree to which this epithet adequately describes his philosophy is controversial. His chief claim to recognition is that he transplanted rhetoric from his native Sicily to Attica, and contributed to the diffusion of the Attic dialect as the language of literary prose. Gorgias originated from Leontini, a Greek colony in Sicily, and what is often called 'the home of Spartan rhetoric.' It is known that Gorgias had a father named Charmantides and two siblings - a brother named Herodicus and a sister who dedicated a statue to Gorgias in Delphi (Consigny 6-7). He was around sixty years old in 427 BC when he was sent to Athens by his fellow-citizens at the head of an embassy to ask for Athenian protection against the aggression of the Syracusans. He subsequently settled in Athens, probably due to the enormous popularity of his style of oratory and the profits made from his performances and rhetoric classes. According to Aristotle, his students included Isocrates. 8] (Other students are named in later traditions; the Suda adds Pericles, Polus, and Alcidamas, 9] Diogenes La rtius mentions Antisthenes, 10] and according to Philostratus, "I understand that he attracted the attention of the most admired men, Critias and Alcibiades who were young, and Thucydides and Pericles who were already old. Agathon too, the tragic poet, whom Comedy regards as wise and eloquent, often Gorgianizes in his iambic verse"). Gorgias is reputed to have lived to be one hundred and eight years old (Matsen, Rollinson and Sousa, 33). He won admiration for his ability to speak on any subject (Matsen, Rollinson and Sousa, 33). He accumulated considerable wealth; enough to commission a gold statue of himself for a public temple. 12] After his Pythian Oration, the Greeks installed a solid gold statue of him in the temple of Apollo at Delphi (Matsen, Rollinson and Sousa, 33). He died at Larissa in Thessaly. Gorgias has been labelled "The Nihilist" because some scholars have interpreted his thesis on "the non-existent" to be an argument against the existence of anything that is straightforwardly endorsed by Gorgias himself. Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is associated with pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence Gorgias presented his nihilism arguments in On Non-Existence; however, the original text is no longer extant. We only know his arguments through commentary by Sextus Empiricus and Pseudo-Aristotle's De Melisso, Xenophane, Gorgia. 17] Ostensibly Gorgias developed three sequential arguments: first, that nothing exists; second, that even if existence exists, it is inapprehensible to humans; and third, that even if existence is apprehensible, it certainly cannot be communicated or interpreted to one's neighbors.