Abstract This paper explores the role the Panhellenic centers played in facilitating the circulation of wisdom in ancient Greece. It argues that there are substantial thematic overlaps among practitioners of wisdom (σσοοφφοοίί), who are typically understood as belonging to different categories (such as presocratics, sophists, poets, et al.). By focusing on the presence of σσοοφφοοίί at the Panhellenic centers in general, and Delphi in particular, we can acquire a more accurate picture of the particular expertise they possessed, and of the range of meanings the Greeks attributed to the word σσοοφφίίαα. This approach seeks to challenge the conventional categories of modern scholarship and to offer a broader and more inclusive interpretive framework in its stead.
One such thematic overlap is the way in which many σσοοφφοοίί are described as exerting an almost uncanny, yet highly conventional ability to attract listeners and enchant them with their verbal performances. There is plenty of material to support the view that σσοοφφοοόό, through tapping into the repository of σσοοφφίίαα that Delphi constituted and by aligning themselves with its authority, were seen as themselves being a conduit for a similar type of charismatic speech.
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