In this paper we will discuss the relation between the spiritual wisdom of the desert, embodied in an exemplary manner by Abba Anthony the Great, and the Greek ancient paideia. We divided this paper in two sections. In the first section we will point out the theme of the spiritual guide in Late Antiquity from a double perspective: philosophical and Christian. Briefly, we tried to argue that the spiritual master in ancient philosophy was a prefiguration of the elder from early Egyptian monasticism. In the next section we placed antique education and the wisdom of the desert within a wider „competition” between the philosophical paideia and Christian ascesis. The thesis which we argued in this section considers that the true sage is no longer the antique philosopher, but elder ora abba in the Egyptian desert.