|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Ancient History|
|Editors||Roger S Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige B Champion, Andrew Erskine, Sabine R Huebner|
|State||Published - 2012|
A term of otherwise broad range (including doctors and athletes), sophistês came to designate a series of public intellectuals, teaching and offering wise counsel to Greek communities and their elites ca. 600–400 bce. Never ivory-tower philosophers (a type invented by Plato), the first sophistai, later called the “seven sophistai,” including Thales and Solon, cultivated practical wisdom, even cunning intelligence (mêtis), and moral rectitude, sometimes mediating civil strife between aristocrats and the masses.