Aspasia of Miletus

One of the most outstanding women in the history of philosophy was Aspasia de Mileto , a teacher who is considered one of the most interesting and committed personalities that existed during the development of culture in Athens . His thoughts penetrated so deeply in his time that he even had disciples of great importance like Socrates .

Personal information

  • When was he born: 470 BC
  • Where he was born: Miletus, Turkey
  • When did he die: 400 BC
  • Where he died: Athens, Greece

Who was Aspasia de Mileto?

Aspasia de Mileto was a professor of rhetoric , writer and intellectual from Athens who became famous for being the lover of the statesman Pericles who also had a major influence on the cultural and political life of the city of Athens.

  • Biography of Aspasia de Mileto
  • Thought
  • Contributions of Aspasia de Mileto
  • Importance
  • Works of Aspasia de Mileto
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities

Biography of Aspasia de Mileto

Aspasia de Mileto was born around 470 and 460 BC . She was the daughter of a fairly wealthy family because she managed to receive an education , a quality that only the children of those who had a good position could achieve at the time. Some historical sources mention that his father could have been called Rhodos or Axico , a man who worked as a sculptor. From a young age, she had great admiration for the great philosophers and poets , especially Pythagoras, and was raised with a very open , progressive and ambitious mindset .

In her adolescence, she was characterized as a beautiful and intelligent young woman , who thanks to her grace and her personal charms conquered many young people, adults and the elderly. She was in contact with an Athenian archon named Sofrón who told her about all the advantages and wonders that were in Athens and also mentioned the existence of a group of women known as hetairas who had power , lived freely and had the capacity to power. share thoughts and concerns related to culture and politics just like men did.

For this reason, he decided to move to Athens in 450 and in 445 he met Pericles who was at that time the leader of the democratic party , the highest authority in Athens. When they met they fell in love immediately and maintained a sentimental relationship as lovers for several years. Over time, Pericles decided to divorce his wife and began to live publicly with Aspasia de Mileto. They married later, a situation that even went against the Athenian tradition .

Around the year 440 his son was born, whom he called Pericles the Younger , who later managed to occupy the post of Athenian general but was executed during the Battle of Arginusas . After Pericles died and Athens into crisis, returned to contract marriage with Lysicles , an Athenian that through it managed to become a recognized speaker at the time. Along with him he had another son whom he named Poristes . As of this moment, there is very little information about her because apparently she decided to completely withdraw from public lifeand for having decided to settle in a country house where he dedicated himself to teaching female students in order to transmit his great knowledge . His date of death as well as the possible causes are also unknown , although historians assure that it could have been around the year 400 .


His thinking was mainly focused on the equality that women and men should have . For her, providing education in these fields to the youngest was of the utmost importance because she believed that it was the best method so that they could also fight for their independence and freedom . It was also an untethered thought that had no problem going against the grain at all times.

Contributions of Aspasia de Mileto

Among the main contributions made by Aspasia de Mileto we can find the following:

  • He managed to exert an important influence in the political and intellectual field of the city of Athens.
  • She fought against the roles that had been imposed by society against Athenian women .
  • He taught and gave great contributions in the field of rhetoric to both men and women.
  • He managed to show that women were not inferior to men and with this, he significantly influenced sexual equality and the need and importance of education .
  • He founded a school of philosophy in Athens which young women attended and thanks to his prestige, famous philosophers such as Socrates and Euripides were his disciples.
  • She played a very important role in the women’s emancipation movement , increasing the dignity of women and their emancipation.


Without a doubt, Aspasia de Mileto was one of the most important women in the field of philosophy thanks to her rhetoric and pedagogy . He had the ability to meet with illustrious philosophers of the time and with this he had a very important contribution in terms of the flourishing of culture in Athens . His excellent communication skills were always in favor of proclaiming the freedom of women , which came to exert an important and notorious influence on men.

In modern times, Aspasia of Miletus has managed to acquire a positive image and is seen as a woman strong and full of culture that made Pericles in the popular orator and statesman he was. It was even highly regarded in the Renaissance era . She has also been considered a key figure in the intellectual history of Athens during the 5th century, which makes her undoubtedly the most important woman of that time.

Works of Aspasia de Mileto

At present there is no record of his works because all of them disappeared with the passage of time, however, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I , managed to focus on his writings at the time to be able to write a medical encyclopedia where he collected scientific knowledge and Aspasia doctors. His great love story with Pericles has also served as a source of inspiration for various poets and novelists during the last centuries and for the romantic movement that developed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.


There is no written record of phrases said by Aspasia de Mileto.


Some of the curiosities that revolve around Aspasia de Mileto were the following:

  • As a courtly woman , Pericles could not marry her, but she was still his mate and an important Athenian in her own right .
  • Aspasia de Mileto was probably a hetaira , a word synonymous with courtesans . These women were indeed sexual partners, but also partners, and they were better educated than other Greek women.
  • In its symposia (dinners), he received the most powerful men of Athens . The house of Aspasia de Miletos became a fashionable place for the elite of Athens.

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