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 class of sages to whom we owe the Wisdom Books did not arise till a change had come over the national fortunes and life.
In the 2nd century B.C., about the time when the synagogue took shape, there were established schools presided over by eminent sages, in which along with instruction in the law much was said concerning the general conduct of life (see Pirke Aboth).
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.
Gaston Raynaud; Deux redactions du roman des sept sages de Rome (1876); a translation of the Grammaire des langues romanes (1874-1878) of Friedrich Diez, in collaboration with MM.
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.
BIAS of Priene in Ionia, one of the so-called Seven Sages of Greece, son of Teutamus, flourished about 570 B.C. He was famous for his patriotism, the nobility of his character and his eloquence.
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.
In general it is the simple homely virtues that are enjoined on men in Proverbs - there is no mention of courage, fortitude, intellectual truthfulness, and no recognition of beauty as an element of life; the ethical type is Semitic, not Hellenic, and the sages emphasize only those qualities that seemed to them to be most effective in the struggle of life; their insistence on the practical, not the heroic, side of character is perhaps in part the consequence of the position of the Jewish people at that time, as also the silence respecting international ethics belongs to the thought of the times.
Though the sages doubtless recognized the temple-cult as of divine appointment and obligatory, they lay no stress upon it; for them the essence of religion is something else; right living, they say (xxi.
Ro-15); neither the political situation in the 3rd century B.C., nor the sages' point of view was friendly to such hopes.
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!