Universita degli Studi di Pavia, Facolta di Lettere
Athenaeum. Studi Periodici di Letteratura e Storia dell' Antichità vol:105
R. Duncan’s observation that friendship (philia) is an important theme in Plato’s Gorgias has gone unnoticed so far. In the first part of this paper, I discuss the theme of philia in the Callicles episode. There, friendship, as opposed to flattery (kolakeia), turns out to be closely connected with the practice of the philosopher, viz. with his frankness (parrhêsia). The nexus philia – kolakeia – parrhêsia can again be found elucidating the philosophical life in works of Plutarch (Maxime cum principibus esse disserendum and Quomodo adulator ab amico internoscatur), Maximus of Tyre (Or. 14), Themistius (Or. 22), and Damascius (Vita Isidori). Guided by Callicles’ mocking description of the philosopher as hiding ‘in a corner’ (en gôniai) – a caricature rejected by the aforecited authors – I follow the track of this motif in the second part of the paper and suggest that the Gorgias served as an inspiration in constructing a philosophy – even a Neoplatonic philosophy – that is not otherworldly.