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Headword: *ai)desi/a
Adler number: alphaiota,79
Translated headword: Aidesia, Aedesia
Vetting Status: high
Wife of Hermeias.[1] She was related by birth to the great Syrianos,[2] and was the fairest and finest of all the women in Alexandria. In her character she was similar to her husband: simple, noble, and a devotee of justice no less than of propriety through her whole life. But her outstanding quality was her piety and her philanthropy. Because of this she tried to benefit those in need even beyond her means, to the extent that even when Hermeias died and she was left behind with orphan children she continued in her good works. In fact, she spent her life in debt to her sons, upon which basis some even tried to find fault with her. But she, thinking there to be but one storehouse of hope for the better -- for whoever might wish to lighten the burdens of holy and virtuous men -- spared nothing, out of her pity for the fortunes that befall humankind. Therefore even the most wretched of the citizens loved her. She especially took care for her sons in the area of philosophy, desiring to bequeath to them the wisdom of their father as though it were a sort of inheritence of paternal property. She saved for the children the public allowance given to their father when they were still young, so they studied philosophy.[3] This is something that we know of no other man doing, much less any other woman. There was no small amount of honor and respect for Aidesia in the eyes of all. But when she even sailed together with her sons to Athens, who were sent there to learn philosophy, it was not only the common crowd of philosophers who marvelled at her virtue, but even their chief, Proklos.[4] It is this Aidesia whom Syrianos would have betrothed to Proklos had not one of the gods prevented Proklos from entering upon marriage. In regard to divine matters she was so pious and holy and, to put it in a single word, god-loving, that she was deemed worthy of many epiphanies. Such was Aidesia, and she lived her whole life beloved and praised by god and by men. I met her when she was an old woman, and at her death, while I was still young, a mere lad in fact, I recited at her tomb the customary eulogy adorned with heroic verses. Of her sons by Hermeias, Heliodoros was the younger and Ammonios[5] the older. The latter was more talented and more studious, the former simpler and more ordinary in his habits and in his speech. Both studied philosophy under Proklos, with their mother acting as pedagogue when they came to him. Proklos paid special attention to them as children of Hermeias, a man who was his friend and companion, and as children of Aidesia, who was related by birth to Syrianos and was there together with them at that time. In fact Hierax the brother of Synesios came to Athens with them also.
Greek Original:
*ai)desi/a, *(ermei/ou gunh/. au(/th h)=n me\n prosh/kousa ge/nei tw=| mega/lw| *surianw=|, kalli/sth kai\ a)ri/sth gunaikw=n tw=n e)n *)alecandrei/a|: ta\ me\n h)/qh tw=| a)ndri\ paraplhsi/a, a(plh= kai\ gennai/a kai\ dikaiosu/nhs ou)de\n h(=tton h)\ swfrosu/nhs e)pimelhqei=sa dia\ bi/ou panto/s: to\ de\ e)cai/reton au)th=s filo/qeon kai\ fila/nqrwpon. dia\ tou=to kai\ para\ du/namin eu)= poiei=n e)pexei/rei tou\s deome/nous, w(/ste kai\ tou= *(ermei/ou teleuth/santos e)pi\ paisi\n o)rfanoi=s a)poleifqei=sa tw=n au)tw=n ei)/xeto dapanhma/twn ei)s ta\s eu)poii/+as. toiga/rtoi kai\ u(po/xrewn toi=s ui(e/si to\n bi/on e)poi/hsen, e)f' w(=| kai\ me/myasqai/ tines au)th\n e)pexei/roun. h( de\ e(/na qhsauro\n h(goume/nh th=s a)mei/nonos e)lpi/dos, ei)/ tis e)qe/loi toi=s i(eroi=s kai\ e)pieike/sin a)nqrw/pois e)pikoufi/zein ta\ a)/xqh th=s xrhsmosu/nhs, ou)deno\s e)fei/deto dia\ to\n e)/leon th=s kata\ ta\ a)nqrw/peia tu/xhs: toigarou=n h)ga/pwn au)th\n kai\ tw=n politw=n oi( ponhro/tatoi. ma/lista de\ tw=n ui(e/wn e)pemelei=to ta\ peri\ filosofi/an, o)regome/nh th\n tou= patro\s e)pisth/mhn au)toi=s paradou=nai kaqa/per klh=ro/n tina patrw/|as ou)si/as. h(/ ge kai\ th\n dhmosi/an tw=| patri\ si/thsin didome/nhn toi=s paisi\ diefu/lace ne/ois e)/ti ou)=sin, w(s e)filoso/fhsan: o(/per ou)k i)/smen ou)de\ a)ndrw=n e(/teron pepoihko/ta, mh/ti ge dh\ gunaikw=n. h)=n ga\r para\ pa=si timh\ kai\ ai)dw\s ou)k o)li/gh th=s *ai)desi/as. a)ll' e)pei\ kai\ sune/pleuse toi=s ui(e/sin *)aqh/naze stellome/nois e)pi\ filosofi/an, e)qau/masen au)th=s th\n a)reth\n o(/ te a)/llos xoro\s tw=n filoso/fwn kai\ o( korufai=os *pro/klos. au(/th e)sti\n *ai)desi/a, h(\n ko/rhn ou)=san e)/ti tw=| *pro/klw| kategguh/sein e)/mellen o( *suriano/s, ei) mh\ qew=n tis a)pekw/lusen e)pi\ ga/mon o(rmh=sai to\n *pro/klon. ta\ de\ pro\s qeo\n eu)sebh\s ou(/tw kai\ i(era/, kai\ to\ o(/lon fa/nai qeofilh/s, w(/ste pollw=n e)pifaneiw=n a)ciou=sqai. h( de\ *ai)desi/a toiau/th h)=n kai\ diebi/w pa/nta to\n bi/on u(po\ qeou= te kai\ a)nqrw/pwn a)gapwme/nh kai\ e)painoume/nh. kai\ tau/thn e)pi/stamai grau=n gunai=ka, kai\ e)p' au)th=| teqnew/sh| to\n e)pi\ tw=| ta/fw| le/gesqai nomizo/menon e)/painon e)pedeica/mhn h(rwikoi=s e)/pesi kekosmhme/non e)/ti ne/os w)\n to/te kai\ komidh= meira/kion. tau/ths de\ pai=des a)po\ tou= *(ermei/ou new/teros me\n *(hlio/dwros, presbu/ths de\ *)ammw/nios. ou(=tos me\n ou)=n eu)fue/steros h)=n kai\ filomaqe/steros, o( de\ a(plou/steros kai\ e)pipolaio/teros e)/n te toi=s h)/qesin e)/n te toi=s lo/gois. a)/mfw me\n ga\r e)filosofhsa/thn u(po\ *pro/klw| meta\ th=s mhtro\s w(s au)to\n a)fikome/nw paidagwgou/shs. kai\ o( *pro/klos au)toi=s prosei=xe to\n nou=n e)pimele/steron w(s paisi\n *(ermei/ou, fi/lou te kai\ e(tai/rou a)ndro/s, paisi\ de\ *ai)desi/as, th=s ge/nei *surianw=| proshkou/shs kai\ a(/ma sfi/si to\ thnikau=ta parou/shs. a)fi/keto me\n dh\ su\n au)toi=s *)aqh/naze kai\ *(ie/rac o( *sunesi/ou a)delfo/s.
Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 124 Zintzen (75 Asmus).
[1] epsilon 3035, epsilon 3036 (cf. also pi 2251, pi 137, alpha 4497, gamma 453).
[2] sigma 1662.
[3] Or following Bekker in reading e(/ws for w(s, "until they began to study philosophy".
[4] pi 2473.
[5] alpha 1639.
Keywords: biography; children; daily life; definition; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; history; law; philosophy; religion; women
Translated by: William Hutton on 29 October 2002@13:57:40.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth on 29 October 2002@23:50:19.
David Whitehead (updated core reference; restorative cosmetics) on 30 October 2002@03:14:23.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 16 November 2005@08:05:35.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 22 November 2005@09:57:15.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 11 May 2012@06:55:14.


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