By Madeleine M. Henry
In response to legend, Aspasia of Miletus used to be a courtesan, the trainer of Socrates, and the political adviser of her lover Pericles. subsequent to Sappho and Cleopatra, she is the simplest identified lady of the traditional Mediterranean. but endured uncritical reception of her depiction in Attic comedy and naive recognition of Plutarch's account of her in his lifetime of Pericles hinder us from realizing who she was once and what her contributions to Greek concept could have been. Madeleine Henry combines conventional philological and historic tools of study with feminist severe views, for you to hint the development of Aspasia's biographical culture from precedent days to the current. via her research of either literary and political proof, Henry determines the ways that Aspasia has turn into an icon of the sexually appealing and politically influential girl, how this development has avoided her from taking her rightful position as a contributor to the philosophical firm, and the way endured trust during this icon has helped sexualize all women's highbrow achievements. this is often the 1st paintings to check Aspasia's biographical culture from historical Greece to the current day.
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Additional resources for Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition
17 The present consensus is that although a genuine work of Plato, the Menexenus is nevertheless an ironic critique of the epitaphios and its objects of praise; but the target(s) of the critique and the manner(s) in which Plato effects the critique are much debated. In her brilliant study of the funeral oration, Nicole Loraux names the Menexenus as an important expression of Plato's political thought and as a pastiche more real than the speeches it mocks; the pastiche is both the most powerful of the political orations and an exorcism thereof—a kind of pharmakon.
In his Aspasia, however, Antisthenes roundly abuses other members of Pericles' family. 10 Little can be said about the focus of the dialogue and to what extent Aspasia's own character was discussed, although it is 32 Prisoner of History universally accepted that she was unfavorably represented—as Ehlers puts it, to Antisthenes, Aspasia was the very embodiment of pleasure, of hedone. 11 The fragments show a definite continuity with comedic invective. Xanthippus and Paralus are both accused of' 'homosexuality of a squalid kind," as Rankin says; one son is accused of living with a male prostitute of the lowest sort; the other, of a long-term liaison with the vulgarian Euphemus (frag.
Some are apparently philosophical dialogues titled with the names of historical personages; the Aspasia and the Cyrus, or, On Kingship are the only known works in volume 5. 7 Apparently devoted to robust hardihood, Antisthenes disregarded feminine beauty and luxury. L. 9 Unfortunately, we lack any record of Antisthenean attacks on Pericles junior, whose extraordinary enfranchisement would have created an obvious target. In his Aspasia, however, Antisthenes roundly abuses other members of Pericles' family.
Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition by Madeleine M. Henry