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Aspasia(ăspā`shə, –zhə), fl. mid-5th cent. B.C., Athenian courtesan. A woman of great beauty and intelligence, she became the mistress and, according to some poets, adviser of PericlesPericles
, c.495–429 B.C., Athenian statesman. He was a member of the Alcmaeonidae family through his mother, a niece of Cleisthenes. He first came to prominence as an opponent of the Areopagus (462) and as one of the prosecutors of Cimon, whom he replaced in influence.
..... Click the link for more information. after he divorced (445 B.C.) his wife. She is the chief figure in Aspasia, a dialogue by Aeschines the Socratic, in which she criticizes the training of women. She also appears in the Menexnus, probably written by Plato, and in the writings of XenophonXenophon
, c.430 B.C.–c.355 B.C., Greek historian, b. Athens. He was one of the well-to-do young disciples of Socrates before leaving Athens to join the Greek force (the Ten Thousand) that was in the service of Cyrus the Younger of Persia.
..... Click the link for more information. , who wrote favorably of her.
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mistress of Pericles; byword for cultured courtesan. [Gk. Hist.: Benét, 58]
pathetic figure bearing fate with fortitude. [Br. Lit.: The Maid’s Tragedy]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.