From the Ancient Greek, sophistes - “wise person”, “teacher”

In the 5th Century BCE a sophist was an itinerate professor of higher education specializing in rhetoric, astronomy, mathematics, music and politics. Among the more famous Sophists were Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, and Antiphon.

Read more about the Sophists.

Read a more detailed article on the Sophists from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy