The class of sages to whom we owe the Wisdom Books did not arise till a change had come over the national fortunes and life.
When Edom is renowned for wisdom and a small Judaean family boasts of sages whose names have south Palestinian affinity (1 Chron.
II) which seems to be meant as a commendation of the teaching of the sages in general: their words are said to be like goads (inciting to action) and like nails driven in a building (giving firmness to character); they issue from masters of assemblies,3 heads of academies (but not of the Sanhedrin).
The extant writings of the Jewish sages are contained in the books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ben-Sira, Tobit, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, 4th Maccabees, to which may be added the first chapter of Pirke Aboth (a Talmudic tract giving, probably, pre-Christian material).
Nor do the sages go beyond the old position in their ethical theory: they have no philosophical discussion of the basis of the moral life; their standard of good conduct is existing law and custom; their motive for right-doing is individual eudaemonistic, not the good of society, or loyalty to an ideal of righteousness for its own sake, but advantage for one's self.
The writings of the sages are all anonymous.
The sages may be regarded as the beginners of a universal religion: they felt the need of permanent principles of life, and were able to set aside to some extent the local features of the current creed.
PITTACUS, of Mytilene in Lesbos (c. 650-570 B.C.), one of the Seven Sages of Greece.
He was the first stranger who received the privileges of citizenship. He was reckoned one of the Seven Sages, and it is said that he was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries.
Additional point is made by emphasizing his superiority over four renowned sages, sons of Mahol; but the allusion to these worthies (who are incorporated in a Judaean genealogy, i Chron.
CLEOBULUS, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, a native and tyrant of Lindus in Rhodes.
The sages attributed this curious phenomenon to the good and evil acts of their former lives.
According to the story, he subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth.
In Plutarch's Symposium of the Seven Sages, at which Aesop is a guest, there are many jests on his original servile condition, but nothing derogatory is said about his personal appearance.
The coming of the Child draws Eastern sages to his cradle and fills the court of Herod with suspicious fears.
1; the " sages in xxii.
Contrasted with the wise are fools, and on these the sages vent their scorn abundantly (xii.
A general preface exhorting the pupil to give heed to the instruction of the sages (xxii.
In its general ethical code Proverbs represents the best standard of the times; the sages are at one with the more enlightened moralists of the Western world.
Ro-15); neither the political situation in the 3rd century B.C., nor the sages' point of view was friendly to such hopes.
The aim of the sages is to make earthly life strong and happy.
CHILON, of Sparta, son of Damagetus, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, flourished about the beginning of the 6th century B.C. In 560 (or S56) he acted as ephor, an office which he is even said to have founded.
His enemies denounced him as a pretender, a selfish intriguer, and an abandoned profligate; his supporters placed him among the sages and sometimes even among the saints.
His Atland (or Atlantika) appeared in four folio volumes, in Latin and Swedish, in 1675-1698; it was an attempt to summon all the authority of the past, all the sages of Greece and the bards of Iceland, to prove the inherent and indisputable greatness of the Swedish nation, in which the fabulous Atlantis had been at last discovered.
His most important extant works are: in prose, Gratiarum Actio, an address of thanks to Gratian for his elevation to the consulship; Periochae, summaries of the books of the Iliad and Odyssey; and one or two epistolae; in verse, Epigrammata, including several free translations from the Greek Anthology; Ephemeris, the occupations of a day; Parentalia and Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium, on deceased relatives and literary friends; Epitaphia, chiefly on the Trojan heroes; Caesares, memorial verses on the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Elagabalus; Ordo Nobilium Urbium, short poems on famous cities; Ludus Septem Sapientum, speeches delivered by the Seven Sages of Greece; Idyllia, of which the best-known are the Mosella, a descriptive poem on the Moselle, and the infamous Cento Nuptialis.
Paul preached to the sages of this world an unknown God.
He could tell the princes of the states what they ought to be; and he could point them to examples of perfect virtue in former times, - to the sage founders of their own dynasty; to the sage Tang, who had founded the previous dynasty of Shang; to the sage Yu, who first established a hereditary kingdom in China; and to the greater sages still who lived in a more distant golden age.
No Chinese writer has ever seriously undertaken to compare him with the philosophers and sages of other nations.
Periander was reckoned one of the seven sages of Greece, and was the reputed author of a collection of maxims (T7roOi Kac) in 2000 verses.
The naive and fragmentary precepts of conduct, which are everywhere the earliest manifestation of nascent moral reflection, are a noteworthy element in the gnomic poetry of the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Their importance is shown by the traditional enumeration of the Seven Sages of the 6th century, and their influence on ethical thought is attested by the references of Plato and Aristotle.
The exercise of wisdom was now viewed as the pure life of that particle of divine substance which was in very truth the " god within him "; the reason whose supremacy he maintained was the reason of Zeus, and of all gods and reasonable men, no less than his own; its realization in any one individual was thus the common good of all rational beings as such; " the sage could not stretch out a finger rightly without thereby benefiting all other sages," - nay, it might even be said that he was " as useful to Zeus as Zeus to him."
1 The genial fellowship of the philosophic community that he collected in his garden remained a striking feature in the traditions of his school; and certainly the ideal which Stoics and Epicureans equally cherished of a brotherhood of sages was most easily realized on the Epicurean plan of withdrawing from political and dialectical conflict to simple living and serene leisure, in imitation of the gods apart from the fortuitous concourse of atoms that we call a world.
33), inscribing the proverbs of the Seven Sages on the walls (Paus.
No doubt this point of view was attained in centuries extremely remote by sages of the civilized Vedic world.
4), and Zerah claimed the renowned sages of Solomon's day (I Chron.
2 The Syriac Sindiban, the Greek Syntipas, and the Seven Sages of the European West.
2 He opposed the revival of the parlements, wrote a number of political pamphlets, 3 and at the Assembly of Notables presided, like the other princes of the blood, over a bureau, to which was given the name of the Comite des sages; he also advocated the double representation of the tiers.
How quickly I should lock up all these mighty warriors, and hoary sages, and impossible heroes, who are now almost my only companions; and dance and sing and frolic like other girls!
Though the intellectual world of the sages is different from that of the prophetic and legal Hebraism, they do not break with the fundamental Jewish theistic and ethical creeds.
4 ff., I); the difference between prophets and sages is that the former do not regard the ritual as of divine appointment (Jer.
Greek influence appears clearly in the sages' attitude toward the phenomena of life.