Who is Miletus Aspasia?

Who is Miletus Aspasia?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Aspasia or Aspasia of Miletus (c. 47]–ca. 400 BC]] Greek: Ἀσπασία) is a Miletus woman famous for her relationship with the Athenian statesman Pericles.] Little is known about her life. Aspasia, who spent most of her adult life in Athens, may have influenced Pericles and Athenian politics. His name was mentioned in the works of Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon and other writers of the period.

Ancient writers also write that Aspasia also ran a brothel and was a prostitute. However, this information is considered a controversial issue by today’s scholars, who say that this information was put forward by comic writers who tried to humiliate Pericles.] Some researchers even question the historical tradition that Aspasia was a hetaera or a prostitute, suggesting that she might have married Pericles. . [α] Aspasia’s son by Pericles, Pericles the Younger, later became a general in Athens and was executed after the Battle of Arginusae. After Pericles’ death, Aspasia is believed to have been with another Athenian statesman and general, Lysicles.

Aspasia was born in Miletus, an Ionian city in the ancient Greek period, located within the borders of Aydın province today. Other than his father’s name is Axiochus, not much is known about his family, but it is clear that he came from such a family, considering that only wealthy families could provide the excellent education he received. Some ancient sources state that Aspasia was a Carian prisoner of war, but this information is generally considered incorrect. [β]]

It is not known under what circumstances he first went to Athens. The discovery of a 4th-century tombstone bearing the names of Axiochus and Aspasius led historian Peter K. Bicknell to reconstruct Aspasia’s family history and connections with Athens. Bicknell’s theory is that of Aspasia and Scambonidae II, who was exiled from Athens in 460 BC and assumed to have spent this period in Miletus. It connects Alcibiades.] Bicknell assumes that Alcibiades was exiled to Miletus, where he married the daughter of a man named Axiochus. Later, Alcibiades returns to Athens with his new wife and her younger sister, Aspasia. Bicknell also claims that the first child from this marriage was named Axiochus and the second child was named Aspasios. He also has the idea that Pericles met Aspasia through his close relationships with Alcibiades’ household.]

According to the controversial statements of ancient writers and some modern scholars, Aspasia became a hetaera in Athens and probably ran a brothel.[α]]] Hetaera was the name given to high-level professional entertainers and prostitutes. Beyond their physical beauty, they were often distinguished from other Athenian women by being highly educated, independent, and paying taxes, as was often the case with Aspasia. Aspasia set an obvious example by becoming a prominent character in Athenian society among the hetaeras that could be called free women. Plutarch compared Aspasia with another famous Ionian hetaera, Thargelia.

Being a foreigner and possibly a hetaera freed Aspasia from the legal obligations that traditionally bound married women to their homes and allowed her to participate in the active community life of the city. Aspasia became Pericles’ mistress in the early 440s. After Pericles divorced his first wife (c. 445 BC), he began to live with Aspasia, but their marital status is controversial. [γ] Their son Pericles the Younger was born in BC. He must have been born in 440. If BC If she was able to give a child to Lysicles in 428, Aspasia must have been quite young at this time.

In social circles, Aspasia was noted for her eloquence and mentorship rather than being an object of physical beauty.] According to Plutarch, their home in Athens became an intellectual center that attracted many prominent writers and thinkers, including Socrates. In his biography, it is written that the Athenian men brought their wives to Aspasia’s house to hear her talk despite her immoral life. [δ]

Since there was no absolute rule in democratic Athens, prominent figures such as Pericles, Aspasia and their friends were not immune from attacks. Aspasia’s relationship with Pericles and its political influence aroused a reaction. Yale University historian Donald Kagan believes that Aspasia was not particularly popular in the years following the Samos War. B.C. In 440, Samos was at war for the ancient city of Priene in Ionia on the outskirts of Miletus and Mycale. The Miletes, defeated in the war, came to Athens to file a lawsuit against the Samians. When the Athenians ordered both sides to stop fighting and leave the case to Athens’ arbitration, the Samians opposed it. In response, Pericles issued a decision to send troops to Samos. This time, old