Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition by Madeleine M. HenryPrisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition by Madeleine M. Henry

Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition

byMadeleine M. Henry

Hardcover | May 1, 1991

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According to legend, Aspasia of Miletus was a courtesan, the teacher of Socrates, and the political adviser of her lover Pericles. Next to Sappho and Cleopatra, she is the best known woman of the ancient Mediterranean. Yet continued uncritical reception of her depiction in Attic comedy andnaive acceptance of Plutarch's account of her in his Life of Pericles prevent us from understanding who she was and what her contributions to Greek thought may have been. Madeleine Henry combines traditional philological and historical methods of analysis with feminist critical perspectives, inorder to trace the construction of Aspasia's biographical tradition from ancient times to the present. Through her analysis of both literary and political evidence, Henry determines the ways in which Aspasia has become an icon of the sexually attractive and politically influential female, how thisconstruction has prevented her from taking her rightful place as a contributor to the philosophical enterprise, and how continued belief in this icon has helped sexualize all women's intellectual achievements. This is the first work to study Aspasia's biographical tradition from ancient Greece tothe present day.
Madeleine M. Henry is at Iowa State University.
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Title:Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical TraditionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.78 × 5.79 × 0.83 inPublished:May 1, 1991Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195087127

ISBN - 13:9780195087123

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Editorial Reviews

"A well-written and very thorough investigation. Excellent, very full footnotes and an extensive bibliography add to the appeal of this fascinating and learned, if speculative, book." --Ancient History Bulletin