Aspásia de Mileto e o exercício da excelência


  • Beatriz Saar Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


Aspasia of Miletus (470? - 400?) is a figure whose history for us is nebulous and at the same time very clear. Nebulous because, as Marta Andrade (2022, p. 24) suggests, it is an existence, whose memory, like many others, posterity has rarely devoted attention or simply forgotten. But also clear because Aspasia has a persona constituted by what we call “tradition”. Pericles’ mistress. Socrates’ teacher. Lysicles’ wife. Her figure is often rescued in the shadow of the male figures with whom she was involved. Largely because the sources that rescue Aspasia mention her name in the margins, but also partly due to a methodological posture that sometimes ignores the names of women. In this article, I aim to resort to sources to bring out Aspasia’s protagonism with regard to education and her pioneering rhetorical thoughts. In the first section, I will sketch a brief biography about the author, her political influence and her pedagogical skills. In the second section, I will deal especially with her contributions to rhetoric, addressing the speech attributed to her in Plato’s Menexenus and the Funeral Oration attributed to Pericles by Thucydides. Finally, in the conclusion, in view of the theses developed, we will arrive at a more dignified image of Aspasia, glimpsing the portrait of a woman who pays tribute to courage and whose opinion directly affects her social and political body. In this way, we will better understand her advances in the pedagogical and rhetorical fields, seen as crucial for the development of Greek citizens.


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Author Biography

Beatriz Saar, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Doctoral student in Philosophy at Programa de Pós-graduação Lógica e Metafísica (PPGLM) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).



How to Cite

Saar, B. (2023). Aspásia de Mileto e o exercício da excelência. Prometheus - Journal of Philosophy, 15(43). Retrieved from



Dossier Female Representations in Antiquity