The wandering philosopher is best known to us as a Romantic ideal that projects one's longing for physical and mental withdrawal. Rousseau's ‘promeneur solitaire’ does not cover great distances to bring a message to the world. His wanderings, most often in the immediate surroundings, rather convey spiritual alienation. But the ‘promeneur solitaire’ is not the only kind of wandering philosopher known in Western culture. Itinerant philosophers existed already in antiquity. During the Roman empire, many sages wandered all over the Mediterranean world. They went about for the sake of intellectual and spiritual enrichment, but essentially to spread their teaching and to intervene in local quarrels as religious consultants. Wandering connoted their ambiguous status in society—both in and out—and thereby enhanced their charisma and endowed them with an aura of superior power.