And it is said also, that Gorgias himself, when he read the dialogue to which Plato has given his name, said to his friends, “How well Plato knows how to write iambics!” And Hermippus, in his book on Gorgias, says,—“When Gorgias was sojourning at Athens, after he had offered up at Delphi the golden image of himself which is there now, and when Plato said when he had seen it, The beautiful and golden Gorgias is come among us, Gorgias replied, This is indeed a fine young Archilochus whom Athens has now brought forth.” But others say that Gorgias, having read the dialogue of Plato, said to the bystanders that he had never said any of the things there attributed to him, and had never heard any such things said by Plato. And they say that Phædo also said the same when he had read the treatise on the Soul, on which account it was well said by Timon, respecting him,—
“How that learned Plato invented fictitious marvels!”For their respective ages will scarcely admit of the Socrates of Plato ever having really had a conference with Parmenides, so as to have addressed him and to have been addressed by him in such language. And what is worst of all is, that he has said, though there was not the slightest occasion for making any such assertion, that Zeno had been beloved by Parmenides, who was his fellow-citizen. Nor, indeed, is it possible that Phædrus should have lived in the time of Socrates, much less that he should have been beloved by him. Nor, again, is it possible that Paralus and Xanthippus, the sons of Pericles, who died of the plague, should have conversed with Protagoras when he came the second time to [p. 810] Athens, as they had died before. And we might mention many other particulars respecting his works to show how wholly fictitious his Dialogues are.