Hermogenes (philosopher)

Hermogenes (philosopher)

Hermogenes ( _el. Ἑρμογένης), who lived in the 5th - 4th century BCE, was a son of Hipponicus, and a brother of the wealthy Callias. He is introduced by Plato in his dialogue "Cratylus" as one of the interlocutors, and maintains that all the words of a language were formed by an agreement of people among themselves. Diogenes Laërtius [Diogenes Laërtius, iii. 6] states that he was one of the teachers of Plato, but no other writer mentions this, and it is further clear from the "Cratylus", that Hermogenes was not a man either of talent or learning, and that he scarcely knew the elements of philosophy. Although he belonged to the great family of Callias, he is mentioned by Xenophon as a man of very little property; this might mean that Hermogenes was an illegitimate son of Hipponicus. Plato, [Plato, "Cratylus"] on the other hand, suggests that he was unjustly deprived of his property by Callias, his brother. [Compare Xenophon, "Memorabilia", ii. 10. § 3, "Convivium", i. 3, "Apology", 2]


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