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The Wife of Socrates May 5, 2016

Posted by anagasto in history, philosophy.
15 comments

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Here is Plato’s best known reference to her :
She had come with their children and was crying. Socrates was getting ready to die.
He glanced at his friend Criton and said quietly:

“Please let someone take her home, Criton.”

xanthippe thinking

And the scholars all throughout the ages found it admirable. —

If Plato’s account is true, Socrates was just being  rude. However, his friends were not surprised and also considered her an intruder.

Her name, Xanthippe, is used proverbially to mean a bitchy wife.
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Socrates was poor and  he taught that you should learn how to live on little. He must have forgotten that he had children who had to share his poverty. His wife may have thought that he spent too much time talking to the neighbours.
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xanthippe waiting

This is how the dictionaries define her:

……..  shrewish wife of Socrates: an ill-tempered woman

……..  spouse of Socrates, the prototype of the quarrelsome, nagging wife.

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Since Socrates never published, she owes her bad reputation mainly to Plato who was not particularly fond of women in any way.

I googled for images and here is what I found:

“Plato was a puffed-up, jealous, sanctimonious and self-centered jerk ….”, but it is no longer available now.

 

In other words, leave it to the Americans to take a new look at history’s great names…… :-D

→ →   socrates-plato-aristotle-timeline/

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Howeer, this post only meant to show that in 2000 years  public opinion has been able to  make an evil prototype of a woman without knowing anything about her except her name and that she was the wife of Socrates.

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