Aspasia (/æˈspeɪʒiə, æˈspeɪziə, æˈspeɪʒə, æˈspeɪʃə/;[1][2] Greek: Ἀσπασία /í.aː/; c. 470[3][4]–c. 400 BC)[3][5] was an influential immigrant to Classical-era Athens who was the lover and partner of the statesman Pericles. The couple had a son, Pericles the Younger, but the full details of the couple's marital status are unknown. According to Plutarch, her house became an intellectual centre in Athens, attracting the most prominent writers and thinkers, including the philosopher Socrates. There are also suggestions in ancient sources that the teachings of Aspasia influenced Socrates. Aspasia is mentioned in the writings of Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and others.

Though she spent most of her adult life in Greece, few details of her life are fully known. Many scholars have credited ancient comic depictions of Aspasia as a brothel keeper and a prostitute despite their inherent implausibility. Aspasia's role in history provides crucial insight to the understanding of the women of ancient Greece. Very little is known about women from her time period. One scholar stated that, "To ask questions about Aspasia's life is to ask questions about half of humanity."[6]

Aspasie Pio-Clementino Inv272
Marble herma in the Vatican Museums inscribed with Aspasia's name at the base. Discovered in 1777, this marble herm is a Roman copy of a fifth-century BC original and may represent Aspasia's funerary stele.

Origin and early years

Aspasia was born in the Ionian Greek city of Miletus (in the modern province of Aydın, Turkey). Little is known about her family except that her father's name was Axiochus, although it is evident that she must have belonged to a wealthy family, for only the well-to-do could have afforded the excellent education that she received. Her name, which means "the desired one," was likely not her given name.[7] Some ancient sources claim that she was a Carian prisoner-of-war turned slave; these statements are generally regarded as false.[a][8]

It is not known under what circumstances she first traveled to Athens. The discovery of a 4th-century grave inscription that mentions the names of Axiochus and Aspasius has led historian Peter K. Bicknell to attempt a reconstruction of Aspasia's family background and Athenian connections. His theory connects her to Alcibiades II of Scambonidae (grandfather of the famous Alcibiades), who was ostracized from Athens in 460 BC and may have spent his exile in Miletus.[3] Bicknell conjectures that, following his exile, the elder Alcibiades went to Miletus, where he married the daughter of a certain Axiochus. Alcibiades apparently returned to Athens with his new wife and her younger sister, Aspasia. Bicknell argues that the first child of this marriage was named Axiochus (uncle of the famous Alcibiades) and the second Aspasios. He also maintains that Pericles met Aspasia through his close connections with Alcibiades's household.[9] While in Athens, Aspasia may have also had affairs with the philosopher Anaxagoras and the general Jason of Lira.[10]

Life in Athens

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904): Socrates seeking Alcibiades in the house of Aspasia, 1861.

According to the disputed statements of the ancient writers and some modern scholars, in Athens Aspasia became a hetaera and ran a brothel.[b][14][15] Hetaerae were professional high-class entertainers, as well as courtesans. Besides displaying physical beauty, they differed from most Athenian women in being educated (often to a high standard, as Aspasia evidently was), having independence, and paying taxes.[16][17] They were the nearest thing perhaps to liberated women; and Aspasia, who became a vivid figure in Athenian society, was probably an obvious example.[16][18] According to Plutarch, Aspasia was compared to the famous Thargelia, another renowned Ionian hetaera of ancient times.[19]

As a non-Athenian woman, Aspasia was less bound by the traditional restraints that largely confined Athenian wives to their homes, and appears to have taken the opportunity to participate in the public life of the city. She became the companion of the statesman Pericles around 445 BC. After he divorced his first wife (perhaps c. 450 BC), Aspasia began to live with him, although her marital status is disputed.[c][24] Their son, Pericles the Younger, must have been born by 440 BC. Aspasia would have to have been quite young, if she were able to bear a child to Lysicles c. 428 BC.[25]

In social circles, Aspasia was noted for her ability as a conversationalist and adviser rather than merely an object of physical beauty.[15] Plutarch writes that despite her immoral life, friends of Socrates brought their wives to hear her converse.[d][19][27]

Personal and judicial attacks

Though they were influential, Pericles, Aspasia and their friends were not immune from attack, as preeminence in democratic Athens was not equivalent to absolute rule.[28] Her relationship with Pericles and her subsequent political influence aroused many reactions. Donald Kagan, a Yale historian, believes that Aspasia was particularly unpopular in the years immediately following the Samian War.[29] In 440 BC, Samos was at war with Miletus over Priene, an ancient city of Ionia in the foothills of Mycale. Worsted in the war, the Milesians came to Athens to plead their case against the Samians.[30] When the Athenians ordered the two sides to stop fighting and submit the case to arbitration at Athens, the Samians refused. In response, Pericles passed a decree dispatching an expedition to Samos.[31] The campaign proved to be difficult and the Athenians had to endure heavy casualties before Samos was defeated. According to Plutarch, it was thought that Aspasia, who came from Miletus, was responsible for the Samian War, and that Pericles had decided against and attacked Samos to gratify her.[19]

According to some later accounts, before the eruption of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), Pericles, some of his closest associates (including the philosopher Anaxagoras and sculptor Phidias) and Aspasia faced a series of personal and legal attacks. Aspasia, in particular, was accused in comedy of corrupting the women of Athens in order to satisfy Pericles' perversions.[e] According to Plutarch, she was put on trial for impiety, with the comic poet Hermippus as prosecutor.[f][33] The historical nature of the accounts about these events is disputed; it is unlikely that a non-Athenian woman could be subject to legal charges of this kind (though her protector or kurios, in this case Pericles, might be), and no harm came to her as a result.[34]

In The Acharnians, Aristophanes blames Aspasia for the Peloponnesian War. He claims that the Megarian decree of Pericles, which excluded Megara from trade with Athens or its allies, was retaliation for prostitutes being kidnapped from the house of Aspasia by Megarians.[14] Aristophanes' portrayal of Aspasia as responsible, from personal motives, for the outbreak of the war with Sparta may reflect memory of the earlier episode involving Miletus and Samos.[35] Plutarch reports also the taunting comments of other comic poets, such as Eupolis and Cratinus.[19] According to Podlecki, Douris appears to have propounded the view that Aspasia instigated both the Samian and Peloponnesian Wars.[36]

Aspasia was labeled the "New Omphale", "Deianira",[g] "Hera"[h] and "Helen".[i][13] Further attacks on Pericles' relationship with Aspasia are reported by Athenaeus.[40] Even Pericles' own son, Xanthippus, who had political ambitions, readily criticised his father about his domestic affairs.[41]

Later years and death

Pericles bust
Bust of Pericles, Altes Museum, Berlin.

In 429 BC during the Plague of Athens, Pericles witnessed the death of his sister and of both his legitimate sons, Paralus and Xanthippus, from his first wife. With his morale undermined, he burst into tears, and not even Aspasia's companionship could console him. Just before his death, the Athenians allowed a change in the citizenship law of 451 BC that made his half-Athenian son with Aspasia, Pericles the Younger, a citizen and legitimate heir,[42] a decision all the more striking in considering that Pericles himself had proposed the law confining citizenship to those of Athenian parentage on both sides.[43] Pericles died of the plague in the autumn of 429 BC.

Plutarch cites Aeschines Socraticus, who wrote a dialogue on Aspasia (now lost), to the effect that after Pericles's death, Aspasia lived with Lysicles, an Athenian strategos (general) and democratic leader, with whom she had another son; and that she made him the first man at Athens.[a][19] Lysicles was killed in action on an expedition to levy subsidies from allies[44] in 428 BC [45]. With Lysicles' death the contemporaneous record ends.[27] It is unknown if she was alive when her son, Pericles, was elected general or when he was executed after the Battle of Arginusae. The time of her death that most historians give (c. 401–400 BC) is based on the assessment that Aspasia died before the execution of Socrates in 399 BC, a chronology which is implied in the structure of Aeschines' Aspasia.[3][5]

References in philosophical works

Ancient philosophical works

Aspasia appears in the philosophical writings of Plato, Xenophon, Aeschines Socraticus and Antisthenes. Some scholars argue that Plato was impressed by her intelligence and wit and based his character Diotima in the Symposium on her, while others suggest that Diotima was in fact a historical figure.[46][47] According to Charles Kahn, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, Diotima is in many respects Plato's response to Aeschines' Aspasia.[48]

In Menexenus, Plato satirizes Aspasia's relationship with Pericles,[49] and quotes Socrates as claiming ironically that she was a trainer of many orators and that since Pericles was educated by Aspasia, he would be superior in rhetoric to someone educated by Antiphon.[50] He also attributes authorship of the Funeral Oration to Aspasia and attacks his contemporaries' veneration of Pericles.[51] Kahn maintains that Plato has taken from Aeschines the motif of Aspasia as teacher of rhetoric for Pericles and Socrates.[48] Plato's Aspasia and Aristophanes' Lysistrata are two apparent exceptions to the rule of women's incapacity as orators, though these fictional characters tell us nothing about the actual status of women in Athens.[52] As Martha L. Rose, Professor of History at Truman State University, explains, "only in comedy do dogs litigate, birds govern, or women declaim".[53]

Xenophon mentions Aspasia twice in his Socratic writings: in Memorabilia and in Oeconomicus. In both cases her advice is recommended to Critobulus by Socrates. In Memorabilia Socrates quotes Aspasia as saying that the matchmaker should report truthfully on the good characteristics of the man.[54] In Oeconomicus Socrates defers to Aspasia as more knowledgeable about household management and the economic partnership between husband and wife.[55]

Painting by Hector Leroux (1682–1740), which portrays Pericles and Aspasia admiring the gigantic statue of Athena in Phidias' studio

Aeschines Socraticus and Antisthenes each named a Socratic dialogue after Aspasia (though neither survives except in fragments). Our major sources for Aeschines Socraticus' Aspasia are Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Cicero. In the dialogue, Socrates recommends that Callias send his son Hipponicus to Aspasia for instructions. When Callias recoils at the notion of a female teacher, Socrates notes that Aspasia had favorably influenced Pericles and, after his death, Lysicles. In a section of the dialogue, preserved in Latin by Cicero, Aspasia figures as a "female Socrates", counseling first Xenophon's wife and then Xenophon himself (the Xenophon in question is not the famous historian) about acquiring virtue through self-knowledge.[48][56] Aeschines presents Aspasia as a teacher and inspirer of excellence, connecting these virtues with her status as hetaira.[26] According to Kahn, every single episode in Aeschines' Aspasia is not only fictitious but incredible.[57]

Of Antisthenes' Aspasia only two or three quotations are extant.[3] This dialogue contains much slander, but also anecdotes pertaining to Pericles' biography.[58] Antisthenes appears to have attacked not only Aspasia, but the entire family of Pericles, including his sons. The philosopher believes that the great statesman chose the life of pleasure over virtue.[59] Thus, Aspasia is presented as the personification of the life of sexual indulgence.[26]

Modern literature

Aspasia painting
Self-portrait Marie Bouliard, as Aspasia, 1794.

Aspasia appears in several significant works of modern literature. Her romantic attachment with Pericles has inspired some of the most famous novelists and poets of the last centuries. In particular the romanticists of the 19th century and the historical novelists of the 20th century found in their story an inexhaustible source of inspiration. In 1835 Lydia Maria Child, an American abolitionist, novelist, and journalist, published Philothea, a classical romance set in the days of Pericles and Aspasia. This book is regarded as "the most elaborate and successful of the author's productions", in which the female characters, including Aspasia, "are portrayed with great beauty and delicacy."[60]

In 1836, Walter Savage Landor, an English writer and poet, published Pericles and Aspasia, one of his most famous books. Pericles and Aspasia is a rendering of classical Athens through a series of imaginary letters, which contain numerous poems. The letters are frequently unfaithful to actual history but attempt to capture the spirit of the Age of Pericles.[61] Robert Hamerling is another novelist and poet who was inspired by Aspasia's personality. In 1876 he published his novel Aspasia, a book about the manners and morals of the Age of Pericles and a work of cultural and historical interest. Giacomo Leopardi, an Italian poet influenced by the movement of romanticism, published a group of five poems known as the circle of Aspasia. These Leopardi poems were inspired by his painful experience of desperate and unrequited love for a woman named Fanny Targioni Tozzetti. Leopardi called this person Aspasia, after the companion of Pericles.[62]

In 1918, novelist and playwright George Cram Cook produced his first full-length play, The Athenian Women (an adaption of Lysistrata[63]), which portrays Aspasia leading a strike for peace.[64] Cook combined an anti-war theme with a Greek setting.[65] American writer Gertrude Atherton in The Immortal Marriage (1927) treats the story of Pericles and Aspasia and illustrates the period of the Samian War, the Peloponnesian War and the Plague of Athens. Taylor Caldwell's Glory and the Lightning (1974) is another novel that portrays the historical relationship of Aspasia and Pericles.[66]

Fame and assessments

Aspasia's name is closely connected with Pericles' glory and fame.[67] Plutarch accepts her as a significant figure both politically and intellectually and expresses his admiration for a woman who "managed as she pleased the foremost men of the state, and afforded the philosophers occasion to discuss her in exalted terms and at great length".[19] The biographer says that Aspasia became so renowned that even Cyrus the Younger, who went to war with the King Artaxerxes II of Persia, gave her name to one of his concubines, who before was called Milto. After Cyrus had fallen in battle, this woman was carried captive to the King and acquired a great influence with him.[19] Lucian calls Aspasia a "model of wisdom", "the admired of the admirable Olympian" and lauds "her political knowledge and insight, her shrewdness and penetration".[68] A Syriac text, according to which Aspasia composed a speech and instructed a man to read it for her in the courts, confirms Aspasia's rhetorical fame.[69] Aspasia is said by the Suda, a 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia, to have been "clever with regards to words," a sophist, and to have taught rhetoric.[70]

On the basis of such assessments, researchers such as Cheryl Glenn, Professor at the Pennsylvania State University, argue that Aspasia seems to have been the only woman in classical Greece to have distinguished herself in the public sphere and must have influenced Pericles in the composition of his speeches.[71] Some scholars believe that Aspasia opened an academy for young women of good families or even invented the Socratic method.[72][73] However, Robert W. Wallace, Professor of classics at Northwestern University, underscores that "we cannot accept as historical the joke that Aspasia taught Pericles how to speak and hence was a master rhetorician or philosopher". According to Wallace, the intellectual role Aspasia was given by Plato may have derived from comedy.[20] Kagan describes Aspasia as "a beautiful, independent, brilliantly witty young woman capable of holding her own in conversation with the best minds in Greece and of discussing and illuminating any kind of question with her husband".[74] Roger Just, a classicist and Professor of social anthropology at the University of Kent, believes that Aspasia was an exceptional figure, but her example alone is enough to underline the fact that any woman who was to become the intellectual and social equal of a man would have to be a hetaera.[15] According to Sr. Prudence Allen, a philosopher and seminary professor, Aspasia moved the potential of women to become philosophers one step forward from the poetic inspirations of Sappho.[49]

In art

The 1979 installation artwork The Dinner Party by feminist Judy Chicago has a place setting for Aspasia among the 39 figured.[75]

Aspasia is a character of Assassin's Creed Odyssey who is portrayed as the lover and partner of the Athenian statesman Pericles.

Accuracy of historical sources

The main problem remains, as Jona Lendering points out,[76] that most of the things we know about Aspasia are based on mere hypothesis. Thucydides does not mention her; our only sources are the untrustworthy representations and speculations recorded by men in literature and philosophy, who did not care at all about Aspasia as a historical character.[20][52] Therefore, in the figure of Aspasia, we get a range of contradictory portrayals; she is either a good wife like Theano or some combination of courtesan and prostitute like Thargelia.[77] This is the reason modern scholars express their scepticism about the historicity of Aspasia's life.[20]

According to Wallace, "for us Aspasia herself possesses and can possess almost no historical reality".[20] Hence, Madeleine M. Henry, Professor of Classics at Iowa State University, maintains that "biographical anecdotes that arose in antiquity about Aspasia are wildly colorful, almost completely unverifiable, and still alive and well in the twentieth century". She finally concludes that "it is possible to map only the barest possibilities for [Aspasia's] life".[78] According to Charles W. Fornara and Loren J. Samons II, Professors of Classics and history, "it may well be, for all we know, that the real Aspasia was more than a match for her fictional counterpart".[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b According to Debra Nails, Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University, if Aspasia had not been a free woman, the decree to legitimize her son with Pericles and the later marriage to Lysicles (Nails assumes that Aspasia and Lysicles were married) would almost certainly have been impossible.[3]
  2. ^ Henry regards as a slander the reports of ancient writers and comic poets that Aspasia was a brothel keeper and a harlot. Henry argues that these comic sallies aimed at ridiculing Athens' leading citizen Pericles, and were based on the fact that, by his own citizenship law, Pericles was prevented from marrying Aspasia and so had to live with her in an unmarried state.[11] For these reasons historian Nicole Loraux questions even the testimony of ancient writers that Aspasia was a hetaera or a courtesan.[12] Fornara and Samons also dismiss the 5th-century tradition that Aspasia was a harlot and managed houses of ill-repute.[13]
  3. ^ Fornara and Samons take the position that Pericles married Aspasia, but his citizenship law declared her to be an invalid mate.[13] Wallace argues that, in marrying Aspasia, if he married her, Pericles was continuing a distinguished Athenian aristocratic tradition of marrying well-connected foreigners.[20] Henry believes that Pericles was prevented by his own citizenship law from marrying Aspasia and so had to live with her in an unmarried state.[11] On the basis of a comic passage Henry suggests that Aspasia's status was that of a pallake, namely a concubine or de facto unmarried wife.[21] William Smith suggests that Aspasia's relation with Pericles was "analogous to the left-handed marriages of modern princes".[22] Historian Arnold W. Gomme underscores that "his contemporaries spoke of Pericles as married to Aspasia".[23]
  4. ^ According to Kahn, stories such as Socrates' visits to Aspasia, along with his friends' wives and Lysicles' connection with Aspasia, are not likely to be historical. He believes that Aeschines was indifferent to the historicity of his Athenian stories and that these stories must have been invented at a time when the date of Lysicles' death had been forgotten, but his occupation still remembered.[26]
  5. ^ Kagan estimates that, if the trial of Aspasia happened, "we have better reason to believe that it happened in 438 than at any other time".[29]
  6. ^ According to James F. McGlew, Professor at Iowa State University, it is not very likely that the charge against Aspasia was made by Hermippus. He believes that "Plutarch or his sources have confused the law courts and theater".[32]
  7. ^ Omphale and Deianira were respectively the Lydian queen who owned Heracles as a slave for a year and his long-suffering wife. Athenian dramatists took an interest in Omphale from the middle of the 5th century. The comedians parodied Pericles for resembling a Heracles under the control of an Omphale-like Aspasia.[37] Aspasia was called "Omphale" in the Kheirones of Cratinus or the Philoi of Eupolis.[35]
  8. ^ Αs wife of the "Olympian" Pericles.[37] Ancient Greek writers call Pericles "Olympian", because he was "thundering and lightning and exciting Greece" and carrying the weapons of Zeus when orating.[38]
  9. ^ Cratinus (in Dionysalexandros) assimilates Pericles and Aspasia to the "outlaw" figures of Paris and Helen; just as Paris caused a war with Spartan Menelaus over his desire for Helen, so Pericles, influenced by the foreign Aspasia, involved Athens in a war with Sparta.[39] Eupolis also called Aspasia Helen in the Prospaltoi.[37]


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  2. ^ "Aspasia". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  3. ^ a b c d e f D. Nails, The People of Plato, Hackett Publishing pp. 58–59
  4. ^ P. O'Grady, Aspasia of Miletus Archived December 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b A.E. Taylor, Plato: The Man and his Work, 41
  6. ^ M. Henry, Prisoner of History, 9
  7. ^ Salisbury, Joyce (2001). Encyclopedia of women in the ancient world. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576070921. OCLC 758191338.
  8. ^ J. Lendering, Aspasia of Miletus
  9. ^ P.J. Bicknell, Axiochus Alkibiadou, Aspasia and Aspasios.
  10. ^ Sue Blundell, Women in Ancient Greece, 1995
  11. ^ a b M. Henry, Prisoner of History, 138–139
  12. ^ N. Loraux, Aspasie, l'étrangère, l'intellectuelle, 133–164
  13. ^ a b c d Fornara-Samons, Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles, 162–166
  14. ^ a b Aristophanes, Acharnians, 523-527
  15. ^ a b c R. Just, Women in Athenian Law and Life",144
  16. ^ a b "Aspasia". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.
  17. ^ A. Southall, The City in Time and Space, 63
  18. ^ B. Arkins, Sexuality in Fifth-Century Athens
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Plutarch, Pericles, XXIV
  20. ^ a b c d e R.W. Wallace, Review of Henry's book
  21. ^ M. Henry, Prisoner of History, 21
  22. ^ W. Smith, A History of Greece, 261
  23. ^ A. W. Gomme, Essays in Greek History & Literature, 104
  24. ^ M. Ostwald, Athens as a Cultural Center, 310
  25. ^ P.A. Stadter, A Commentary on Plutarch's Pericles, 239
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  28. ^ Fornara-Samons, Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles, 30
  29. ^ a b D. Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, 197
  30. ^ Thucydides, I, 115
  31. ^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXV
  32. ^ J.F. McGlew, Citizens on Stage, 53
  33. ^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXXII
  34. ^ Filonik, Jakub (2013). "Athenian impiety trials: a reappraisal". Dike (16): 26–33. doi:10.13130/1128-8221/4290.
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  38. ^ Aristophanes, Acharnians, 528–531 and Diodorus, XII, 40
  39. ^ M. Padilla, "Labor's Love Lost: Ponos and Eros in the Trachiniae" paper presented at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Cleveland, Ohio, April 14–17, 1999 Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 533c-d
  41. ^ Plutarch, Pericles, XXXVI
  42. ^ Plutarch, Pericles, Plutarch's Lives with an English Translation by. Bernadotte Perrin. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. 2 XXXVII
  43. ^ W. Smith, A History of Greece, 271
  44. ^ Thucydides, III, Chapter 19 Section 2
  45. ^ N.G.L Hammond, H.H. Scullard (eds.), The Oxford Classical Dictionary 2nd ed., 131
  46. ^ K. Wider, "Women philosophers in the Ancient Greek World", 21–62
  47. ^ I. Sykoutris, Symposium (Introduction and Comments), 152–153
  48. ^ a b c C.H. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, 26–27
  49. ^ a b P. Allen, The Concept of Woman, 29–30
  50. ^ Plato, Menexenus, 236a
  51. ^ S. Monoson, Plato's Democratic Entanglements, 182–186
  52. ^ a b K. Rothwell, Politics & Persuasion in Aristophanes' Ecclesiazusae, 22
  53. ^ M.L. Rose, The Staff of Oedipus, 62
  54. ^ Xenophon, Memorabilia, 2, 6.36
  55. ^ Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 3.14
  56. ^ Cicero, De Inventione, I, 51–53
  57. ^ C.H. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, 34
  58. ^ Bolansée-Schepens-Theys-Engels, Biographie, 104
  59. ^ C.H. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, 9
  60. ^ Duyckinck & Duyckinck, Cyclopaedia of American Literature, 388
  61. ^ R. MacDonald Alden, Readings in English Prose, 195
  62. ^ M. Brose, A Companion to European Romanticism, 271
  63. ^ Judith E. Barlow (2009-10-21), Women Writers of the Provincetown Players: A Collection of Short Works, p. 321, ISBN 9781438427904
  64. ^ D.D. Anderson, The Literature of the Midwest, 120
  65. ^ M Noe, "Susan Glaspell's Analysis of the Midwestern Character" Books at Iowa 27 November 1977
  66. ^ L.A. Tritle, The Peloponnesian War, 199
  67. ^ K. Paparrigopoulos, Ab, 220
  68. ^ Lucian, A Portrait Study, XVII
  69. ^ L. McClure, Spoken like a Woman, 20
  70. ^ Suda, article Aspasia
  71. ^ C. Glenn, Remapping Rhetorical Territory , 180–199
  72. ^ C. Glenn, Locating Aspasia on the Rhetorical Map, 23
  73. ^ Jarratt-Onq, Aspasia: Rhetoric, Gender, and Colonial Ideology, 9–24
  74. ^ D.Kagan, Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, 182
  75. ^ Place Settings. Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved on 2015-08-06.
  76. ^ Aspasia of Miletus at
  77. ^ J.E. Taylor, Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria, 187
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  • Kagan, Donald (1989). "Athenian Politics on the Eve of the War". The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9556-4.
  • Kahn, Charles H. (1997). "Antisthenes". Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64830-1.
  • Kahn, Charles H. (1994). "Aeschines on Socratic Eros". In Vander Waerdt, Paul A. (ed.). The Socratic Movement. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9903-6.
  • Just, Roger (1991). "Personal Relationships". Women in Athenian Law and Life. Routledge (UK). ISBN 978-0-415-05841-4.
  • Loraux, Nicole (2003). "Aspasie, l'étrangère, l'intellectuelle". La Grèce au Féminin (in French). Belles Lettres. ISBN 978-2-251-38048-3.
  • Mazzon, Daniela, Aspasia maestra e amante di Pericle, EdizioniAnordest, 2011 (in Italian) EAN9788896742280
  • Mazzon, Daniela, Desiderata Aspasia. Rapsodia mediterranea, one-act drama, 2012 (in Italian)
  • McClure, Laura (1999). "The City of Words: Speech in the Athenian Polis". Spoken Like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01730-3.
  • McGlew, James F. (2002). "Exposing Hypocrisie: Pericles and Cratinus' Dionysalexandros". Citizens on Stage: Comedy and Political Culture in the Athenian Democracy. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11285-2.
  • Monoson, Sara (2002). "Plato's Opposition to the Veneration of Pericles". Plato's Democratic Entanglements. Hackett Publishing. ISBN 978-0-691-04366-1.
  • Nails, Debra (2000). The People of Plato: A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-87220-564-2.
  • Onq, Rory; Jarratt, Susan (1995). "Aspasia: Rhetoric, Gender, and Colonial Ideology". In Lunsford, Andrea A. (ed.). Reclaiming Rhetorica. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-7661-9484-7.
  • Ostwald, M. (1992). "Athens as a Cultural Center". In Lewis, David M.; Boardman, John; Davies, J.K.; Ostwald, M. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History. Volume V. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23347-7.
  • Paparrigopoulos, Konstantinos; Karolidis, Pavlos (1925). History of the Hellenic Nation (Volume Ab) (in Greek). Eleftheroudakis.
  • Podlecki, A.J. (1997). Perikles and His Circle. Routledge (UK). ISBN 978-0-415-06794-2.
  • Powell, Anton (1995). "Athens' Pretty Face: Anti-feminine Rhetoric and Fifth-century Controversy over the Parthenon". The Greek World. Routledge (UK). ISBN 978-0-415-06031-8.
  • Rose, Martha L. (2003). "Demosthenes' Stutter: Overcoming Impairment". The Staff of Oedipus. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11339-2.
  • Rothwell, Kenneth Sprague (1990). "Critical Problems in the Ecclesiazusae". Politics and Persuasion in Aristophanes' Ecclesiazusae. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-09185-6.
  • Smith, William (1855). "Death and Character of Pericles". A History of Greece. R.B. Collins.
  • Southall, Aidan (1999). "Greece and Rome". The City in Time and Space. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-78432-0.
  • Stadter, Philip A. (1989). A Commentary on Plutarch's Pericles. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-1861-9.
  • Sykoutris, Ioannis (1934). Symposium (Introduction and Comments) (in Greek). Estia.
  • Taylor, A.E. (2001). "Minor Socratic Dialogues: Hippias Major, Hippias Minor, Ion, Menexenus". Plato: The Man and His Work. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-41605-2.
  • Taylor, Joan E. (2004). "Greece and Rome". Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925961-8.
  • Tritle, Lawrence A. (2004). "Annotated Bibliography". The Peloponnesian War. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32499-4.
  • Wider, Kathleen (1986). "Women philosophers in the Ancient Greek World: Donning the Mantle". Hypatia. 1 (1): 21–62. doi:10.1111/j.1527-2001.1986.tb00521.x.

Further reading

  • Atherton, Gertrude (2004). The Immortal Marriage. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4179-1559-0.
  • Becq de Fouquières, Louis (1872). Aspasie de Milet (in French). Didier.
  • Cecilia, Cozzi (2014). Aspasia, storia di una donna (in Italian). David and Matthaus. ISBN 978-88-98899-01-2.
  • Dover, K.J. (1988). "The Freedom of the Intellectual in Greek Society". Greeks and Their Legacy. New York: Blackwell.
  • Hamerling, Louis (1893). Aspasia: a Romance of Art and Love in Ancient Hellas. Geo. Gottsberger Peck.
  • Savage Landor, Walter (2004). Pericles And Aspasia. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7661-8958-4.

External links

409 Aspasia

Aspasia (minor planet designation: 409 Aspasia) is a large main-belt asteroid that was discovered by French astronomer Auguste Charlois on 9 December 1895 in Nice. It is classified as a CX-type asteroid.Photometric observations of this asteroid at the Palmer Divide Observatory in Colorado Springs, Colorado, during 2007–8 gave a light curve with a period of 9.021455 ± 0.000009 hours. This is consistent with previous results.

Alexander of Greece

Alexander (Greek: Αλέξανδρος, Aléxandros; 1 August 1893 – 25 October 1920) was King of Greece from 11 June 1917 until his death three years later, at the age of 27, from the effects of a monkey bite.

The second son of King Constantine I, Alexander was born in the summer palace of Tatoi on the outskirts of Athens. He succeeded his father in 1917, during World War I, after the Entente Powers and the followers of Eleftherios Venizelos pushed Constantine I, and his eldest son Crown Prince George, into exile. Having no real political experience, the new king was stripped of his powers by the Venizelists and effectively imprisoned in his own palace. Venizelos, as prime minister, was the effective ruler with the support of the Entente. Though reduced to the status of a puppet king, Alexander supported Greek troops during their war against the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Under his reign, the territorial extent of Greece considerably increased, following the victory of the Entente and their Allies in the First World War and the early stages of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922.

Alexander controversially married the commoner Aspasia Manos in 1919, provoking a major scandal that forced the couple to leave Greece for several months. Soon after returning to Greece with his wife, Alexander was bitten by a domestic Barbary macaque and died of sepsis. The sudden death of the sovereign led to questions over the monarchy's survival and contributed to the fall of the Venizelist regime. After a general election and a referendum, Constantine I was restored to the throne.

Alexandra of Yugoslavia

Alexandra of Greece and Denmark (Greek: Αλεξάνδρα, Serbo-Croatian: Александра/Aleksandra; 25 March 1921 – 30 January 1993) was, by marriage to King Peter II, the last Queen of Yugoslavia.

Posthumous daughter of King Alexander of Greece and his morganatic wife Aspasia Manos, Alexandra was not part of the Greek royal family until July 1922, when at the behest of Queen Sophia, a law was passed which retroactively recognized marriages of members of the royal family, although on a non-dynastic basis; in consequence, she obtained the style and name of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark. At the same time, a serious political and military crisis, linked to the defeat of Greece against Turkey in Anatolia, gradually led to the deposition and exile of the royal family, beginning in 1924. Being the only members of the dynasty allowed to remain in the country by the Second Hellenic Republic, the princess and her mother later found refuge in Italy, with Dowager Queen Sophia.

After three years with her paternal grandmother, Alexandra left Florence to continue her studies in the United Kingdom, while her mother settled in Venice. Separated from her mother, the princess fell ill, forcing Aspasia to make her leave the boarding school where she was studying. After the restoration of her uncle, King George II, on the Hellenic throne in 1935, Alexandra stayed in her native country several times but the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War, in 1940, forcing her and her mother to settle in Athens. The invasion of Greece by the Axis powers in April–May 1941, however, led to their moving to the United Kingdom. Again exiled, Alexandra met in London the young King Peter II of Yugoslavia, who also went into exile after the invasion of his country by the Germans.

Quickly, Alexandra and Peter II fell in love and planned to marry. Opposition from both Peter's mother, Maria, and the Yugoslav government in exile forced the couple to delay their marriage plans until 1944, when they finally celebrated their wedding. A year later, Alexandra gave birth to her only son, Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia. However, the happiness of the family was short-lived: on 29 November 1945, Marshal Tito proclaimed the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Alexandra, who had never set foot in her adopted country, was left without a crown. The abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy had very serious consequences for the royal couple. Penniless and unable to adapt to the role of citizen, Peter II turned to alcoholism and multiple affairs with other women. Depressed by the behaviour of her husband, Alexandra neglected her son and made several suicide attempts. After the death of Peter II in 1970, Alexandra's health continued to deteriorate. She died of cancer in 1993 and her remains were buried in the Royal Cemetery Plot in the park of Tatoi in Greece, before being transferred to the Royal Mausoleum of Oplenac in 2013.

Aspasia (journal)

Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History is an annual peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on women's and gender history in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe. Aspasia was founded in 2006 by Francisca de Haan at the Gender Studies Department of the Central European University. In the first decade of its existence, the yearbook has become an important outlet for feminist research conducted by scholars from Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to original research articles, the yearbook publishes forums on topics related to women’s and gender history, as well as numerous English book reviews of texts published in the languages of Central and Eastern Europe.

Aspasia (plant)

Aspasia, abbreviated as Asp. in the horticultural trade, is a genus of 7 species of orchids occurring from southern Mexico to southern Brazil. The genus is closely related to Miltonia and Brassia. Aspasia species have few medium size flowers of exquisite colors which are occasionally cultivated or used to produce artificial hybrids.

Aspasia Annia Regilla

Aspasia Annia Regilla, full name Appia Annia Regilla Atilia Caucidia Tertulla (Greek:Ἀσπασία Ἄννια Ῥήγιλλα, 125-160), was a wealthy, aristocratic and influential Roman woman, who was a distant relative of several Roman emperors and empresses. She was the wife of the prominent Greek Herodes Atticus.

Aspasia Manos

Aspasia Manos (Greek: Ασπασία Μάνου; 4 September 1896 – 7 August 1972) was a Greek aristocrat who became the wife of Alexander I, King of Greece. Due to the controversy over her marriage, she was styled Madame Manos instead of Queen Aspasia, until recognized as Princess Alexander of Greece and Denmark after Alexander's death and the restoration of King Constantine I, on 10 September 1922.

Daughter of Colonel Petros Manos, aide-de-camp of King Constantine I of Greece, and Maria Argyropoulos (Petros Manos and Maria Argyropoulos were both descendants of most prominent Greek Phanariote families of Constantinople and descendants of ruling Princes of Wallachia & Moldavia), Aspasia grew up close to the royal family. After the divorce of her parents, she was sent to study in France and Switzerland. She returned to Greece in 1915 and met Prince Alexander, to whom she became secretly engaged due to the expected refusal of the royal family to recognize the relationship of Alexander I with a woman who did not belong to one of the European ruling dynasties.

Meanwhile, the domestic situation in Greece was complicated by World War I. King Constantine I abdicated in 1917 and Alexander was chosen as sovereign. Separated from his family and subjected to the Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, the new ruler found comfort in Aspasia. Despite the opposition of his parents (exiled in Switzerland) and Venizelists (who wanted the king to marry a British princess), King Alexander I secretly married Aspasia on 17 November 1919. The public revelation of the wedding shortly after caused a huge scandal, and Aspasia temporarily left Greece. However, she was reunited with her husband after a few months of separation and was then allowed to return to Greece without receiving the title of Queen of the Hellenes. She became pregnant, but Alexander died on 25 October 1920, less than a year after their marriage.

At the same time, the situation in Greece was deteriorating again: the country was in the middle of a bloody conflict with the Ottoman Empire, Constantine I was restored (19 December 1920) only to be deposed again (27 September 1922), this time in favor of Diadochos George. First excluded from the royal family, Aspasia was gradually integrated after the birth of her daughter Alexandra on 25 March 1921 and was later recognized with the title of Princess Alexander of Greece and Denmark after a decree issued by her father-in-law. Nevertheless, her situation remained precarious due to the dislike of her sister-in-law Elisabeth of Romania and the political instability of the country. As the only members of the royal family to be allowed to stay in Greece after the proclamation of the Republic on 25 March 1924, Aspasia and her daughter chose to settle in Florence, with Queen Sophia. They remained there until 1927 then divided their time between the United Kingdom and Venice.

The restoration of the Greek monarchy in 1935 did not change Aspasia's life. Sheltered by her in-laws, she made the Venetian villa Garden of Eden her main residence, until the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in 1940. After a brief return to her country, where she worked for the Red Cross, the princess spent World War II in England. In 1944, her daughter married the exiled King Peter II of Yugoslavia, and Aspasia became a grandmother with the birth of Prince Alexander in 1945. Once peace was restored, Aspasia returned to live in Venice. Her last days were marked by economic hardship, illness and especially worry for her daughter, who made several suicide attempts. Aspasia died in 1972, but it wasn't until 1993 that her remains were transferred to the royal necropolis of Tatoi.

Aspasia the Physician

Aspasia (ca 4th century AD) was an ancient Greek, Athenian physician that concentrated on obstetrics and gynecology. She was an exception to the ancient Greek social class system that impeded women’s access to education. Her work influenced physicians and surgeons of the Byzantine medicine period, including Aetius of Amida, and Paul of Aegina. Aspasia introduced her own surgical techniques for uterine hemorrhoids, varicoceles, and hydroceles, both of which are similar to recent, modern methods. She developed a technique for moving a breech baby to ease delivery. She also worked on preventative medicine with pregnant women.


Aspásia is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population is 1,848 (2015 est.) in an area of 69.3 km². The elevation is 595 m.

Black sunbird

The black sunbird (Leptocoma sericea) is a species of bird in the family Nectariniidae.

It is found in eastern Indonesia and New Guinea.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical mangrove forest.


Brassia is a genus of orchids classified in the Oncidiinae subtribe. It is native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and northern South America, with one species (B. caudata) extending into Florida.The genus was named after William Brass, a British botanist and illustrator, who collected plants in Africa under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks. Its abbreviation in the horticultural trade is Brs.

Catocala junctura

Catocala junctura, the joined underwing or Stretch's underwing , is an Erebidae species. It is found throughout temperate North America. The species ranges from New York and Pennsylvania west to Montana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona and into Texas, and north to southern Illinois, extreme southern Alberta and Saskatchewan; it has also been recorded west of the Rocky Mountains from California and south-eastern British Columbia. It is typically found near water, where the foodplants of its caterpillar larvae grow plentifully.

Cepora judith

Cepora judith is a butterfly of the family Pieridae. It has no common name, although a subspecies is referred to as the orange gull. It is found in south-eastern Asia (see subspecies section).

The larvae feed on Capparis species.

Gonepteryx mahaguru

Gonepteryx mahaguru, the lesser brimstone, is a medium-sized butterfly of the family Pieridae, that is, the yellows and whites. It is native to the Kashmir, Uttarakhand, China, Korea, and Japan.

Lady Betty

Lady Elizabeth Hastings (19 April 1682 – 21 December 1739), known as Lady Betty and less commonly as Steele's Aspasia, was an English benefactor.

Lysicles (5th century BC)

Lysicles (Greek: Λυσικλῆς Lysikles; died 428 BC) was an Athenian general and leader of the democratic faction in the city. He lived during the fifth century BC and possibly was a friend of Pericles.

According to Aeschines Socraticus, Lysicles lived with Aspasia after Pericles's death and had a son with her. Aeschines Socraticus is said to have credited Aspasia with all of Lysicles's political success. During the Peloponnesian War Lysicles was one of the "hawks"; he was convinced that the war against Sparta, which could not conceal its envy of Athens' pre-eminence, was inevitable if not to be welcomed. Aristophanes taunts him and calls him a "dealer in sheep".Lysicles was killed in action in 428 BC. The Athenians now sent out twelve ships to levy subsidies from their allies, with Lysicles and four others in command. After cruising to different places and laying them under contribution, Lysicles went up the country across the plain of Meander, in Caria. Being attacked by the Carians, he was slain with many of his soldiers.

Menexenus (dialogue)

The Menexenus (; Greek: Μενέξενος) is a Socratic dialogue of Plato, traditionally included in the seventh tetralogy along with the Greater and Lesser Hippias and the Ion. The speakers are Socrates and Menexenus, who is not to be confused with Socrates' son Menexenus. The Menexenus of Plato's dialogue appears also in the Lysis, where he is identified as the "son of Demophon", as well as the Phaedo.

The Menexenus consists mainly of a lengthy funeral oration, referencing the one given by Pericles in Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War. Socrates here delivers to Menexenus a speech that he claims to have learned from Aspasia, a consort of Pericles and prominent female Athenian intellectual.

Menexenus is unique among the Platonic dialogues in that the actual 'dialogue' serves primarily as exposition for the oration. For this reason, perhaps, the Menexenus has come under some suspicion of illegitimacy, although Aristotle's invocation of the text on multiple occasions seems to reinforce its authenticity. Much of the interest in the Menexenus stems from the fact that it is one of the few extant sources on the practice of Athenian funeral oratory, even though it parodies the medium.

Mitridate, re di Ponto

Mitridate, re di Ponto (Mithridates, King of Pontus), K. 87 (74a), is an early opera seria in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The libretto is by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, after Giuseppe Parini's Italian translation of Jean Racine's play Mithridate.

Mozart wrote Mitridate while touring Italy in 1770. The musicologist Daniel E. Freeman has recently demonstrated that it was composed with close reference to the opera La Nitteti by Josef Mysliveček. The latter was the opera being prepared for production in Bologna when Mozart met Mysliveček for the first time with his father in March 1770. Mysliveček visited the Mozarts frequently in Bologna during the summer of 1770 while Wolfgang was working on Mitridate. Mozart gained expertise in composition from his older friend and also incorporated some of his musical motives into his own operatic setting. The opera was first performed at the Teatro Regio Ducal, Milan, on 26 December 1770 (at the Milan Carnival). It was a success, having been performed twenty-one times despite doubts because of Mozart's extreme youth – he was 14 at the time. No revival took place until the 20th century. This opera features virtuoso arias for the principal roles, but only two ensemble numbers: the act 2 ending duet between Aspasia and Sifare ("Se viver non degg’io"), and the brief quintet that ends the opera, very characteristic of standard baroque opera seria where the opera ends with a short coro or tutti number.

Parantica aspasia

Parantica aspasia, the yellow glassy tiger, is a butterfly found in Asia that belongs to the crows and tigers, that is, the danaid group of the brush-footed butterflies family.

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