The arrival of philosophy and the art of rhetoric in 5th and 4th B.C. century Athens has left its mark on the city’s cultural life as well as on classical culture in general. The process was, however, accompanied by a sometimes heated discussion about the dangers the new education was expected or supposed to have for the community. This critical discussion cannot be dismissed as mere comical mockery, or be reduced to underlying political conflicts alone. In Athens, the new education’s implications for the communal life of the polis were for the first time discussed in front of a larger public. The first indepth reconstruction and analysis of this discourse has been the aim of my PhD thesis, made possible by a grant from the Excellence Cluster Topoi. This paper recapitulates its mayor results.