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The Seven Sages

Under this name were included in antiquity seven men living in the period from B.C. 620-550. They were distinguished for practical wisdom, and conducted the affairs of their country as rulers, lawgivers, and councillors, and were reputed to be the authors of certain short maxims in common use, which were variously assigned among them; the names also of the seven were differently given. Those usually mentioned are: Cleobūlus, tyrant of Lindus in Rhodes (“Moderation is the chief good”); Periander, tyrant of Corinth, 668-584 (“Forethought in all things”); Pittăcus of Mitylené, born about 650, deliverer and aesymnetes of his native city (“Know thine opportunity”); Bias of Priené in Caria, about B.C. 570 (“Too many workers spoil the work”); Thales of Miletus, 639-536 (“To be surety brings ruin”); Chilon of Sparta (“Know thyself”); Solon of Athens (“Nothing in excess,” i. e. observe moderation).

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