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Headword: Aspasia
Adler number: alpha,4202
Translated headword: Aspasia
Vetting Status: high
She became notorious. She was Milesian in descent, clever with regards to words. They say she was simultaneously teacher and beloved of Pericles. It is supposed she became the cause of two wars, the Samian[1] and the Peloponnesian.[2] It also seems that Pericles had a bastard child with the same name, Pericles, by her.[3]
[Note] that there were two courtesan Aspasias.[4] Pericles had the sexual use of one of these, [and] provoked to anger on her account he wrote the decree against the Megareans, forbidding them to be permitted into Athens. Hence these people having their way barred by the Athenians fled for refuge to the Lacedaemonians. Aspasia was a sophist and a teacher of rhetorical principles. And later she became his wife.
Greek Original:
Aspasia: poluthrulêtos gegonen hautê. ên de genos Milêsia, deinê de peri logous. Perikleous de phasin autên didaskalon hama kai erômenên einai. dokei de duoin polemôn aitia gegonenai, tou te Samiakou kai tou Peloponnêsiakou. dokei de kai ex autês eschêkenai Periklês ton homônumon autôi Periklea ton nothon. hoti Aspasiai duo hetairai. têi de miai toutôn ekechrêto ho Periklês, di' hên orgistheis egrapse to kata Megareôn psêphisma, apagoreuon dechesthai autous eis tas Athênas. hothen ekeinoi eirgomenoi tôn Athênaiôn prosephugon tois Lakedaimoniois. hê de Aspasia sophistria ên kai didaskalos logôn rhêtorikôn. husteron de kai gametê autou gegonen.
Abridged from Harpokration s.v., an entry generated by A's appearance in Lysias fr. 2 Sauppe (= 2 Carey OCT).
[1] The revolt of Samos from Athenian control, 441-439 BCE.
[2] 431-404 BCE.
[3] See delta 451.
[4] The entry now draws on a scholion to Aristophanes, Acharnians 527, but begins by misunderstanding it: the joke concerned two (unnamed) whores allegedly owned/managed by Aspasia.
Henry, Madeleine M., Prisoner of History. Aspasia of Miletus and her Biographical Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995 (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 96.4.7, web address 1)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; children; comedy; economics; gender and sexuality; geography; history; military affairs; philosophy; politics; rhetoric; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 12 February 2000@00:46:27.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (added bibliography) on 12 February 2000@07:25:41.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and keywords) on 19 March 2001@07:24:54.
David Whitehead (added note and keyword) on 26 August 2002@06:22:01.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics) on 14 October 2005@17:54:15.
David Whitehead (augmented primary note; more keywords) on 30 June 2011@11:04:23.
Catharine Roth (fixed link) on 13 August 2013@01:27:38.


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