Speaking of wives, did you know that Sokrates (who himself espoused many Orphic ideas) had two of them?
[fr. 54a Wehrli = Cyril Adv. Iul. 6.186] For Porphyry has again written as follows about him: “In matters having to do with his life and with every other issue he was easily satisfied (εὔκολον) and required few material goods in his daily life. He had a very strong sex drive (τὴν τῶν ἀφροδισίων χρῆσινσφοδρότερον), but there was no injustice (ἀδικίαν) attached to it. For he had sex (χρῆσθαι) only with his wives (ταῖς γαμεταῖς) or with women who were commonly available (κοιναῖς). He came to have (σχεῖν) two women at the same time (δύογυναῖκαςἅμα): Xanthippe, who was a citizen and anyhow (πως) more commonly available (κοινοτέραν), and Myrto, the granddaughter of Aristides, son of Lysimachus. He took (λαβεῖν) Xanthippe after she got involved with him (περιπλακεῖσαν), and from her Lamprocles was born to him (ἑαυτῷ Λαμπροκλῆς ἐγένετο). But Myrto [he took] in marriage (γάμῳ), and from her [were born] Sophroniscus and Menexenus.
[fr. 54b Wehrli = Theodoret. Graec. aff. cur. 12.63–65] After having gone through these issues in detail, Aristoxenus shows that Socrates had also been enslaved to pleasures (ἡδυπαθείαις δεδουλωμένον). He says the following: “He had a very strong sex drive … [nearly identical to the above quote.] the son of Lysimachus. He took Xanthippe after she had sexual intercourse with him (προσπλακεῖσαν), and from her Lamprocles was born (ὁ Λαμπροκλῆς ἐγένετο). But Myrto [he took] having married her (γαμηθεῖσαν), and from her [were born] Sophroniscus and Menexenus. These women engaged in battle (ξυνάπτουσαι μάχην) with one another, and whenever they paused, they attacked Socrates, because he never prevented them from fighting but laughed when he saw them fighting with one another and with him. It is said (φησιν) that in his relationships Socrates was sometimes quarrelsome (φιλαπεχθήμονα), harsh (λοίδορον), and outrageous (ὑβριστικόν).
For more, check out Alessandro Stavru’s Aristoxenus on Socrates.
No wonder Sokrates was so good at philosophia, as he often gave the following advice, “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will be happy. If you get a bad one, you will be a philosopher.”
4 thoughts on “Speaking of wives”
I’m sure both rejoiced when the asshole was killed.
Plato and Xenophon only focus on Xanthippe so we don’t really know how Myrto responded. (Likely because Xanthippe was such a strong, forceful and abrasive personality.)
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Or if you are an unmarried woman like me. “When a girl gets to be my age, and still isn’t married, you either philosophize or you get arrested” -Connie Emmerson (Audrey Meadows) in the movie “That Touch of Mink”
Why’s it gotta be either/or?
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