Tuesday, 24 December 2013

ABC Wednesday, X for Xanthippe

File:Socrates and Xanthippe.jpg
An Emblem book print portraying Xanthippe emptying a chamber pot over Socrates, from Emblemata Horatiana illustrated by Otho Vaenius, 1607
"Xanthippe means "yellow horse". Hers is one of many Greek personal names with a horse theme (cf. Philippos: "friend of horses"; Hippocrates: "horse tamer" etc.). The "hippos" in an ancient Greek name often suggested aristocratic heritage One additional reason for thinking Xanthippe's family was socially prominent was that her eldest son was named Lamprocles instead of "Sophroniscus" (after Socrates' father): the ancient Greek custom was to name one's first child after the more illustrious of the two grandfathers. Xanthippe's father is believed to have been named Lamprocles. Since he was even more well-established in Athenian aristocracy than was Socrates' father, his name would have been the preferred choice for the name of the first-born son.


What I learned about Xanthippe was, that she was a real bitch especially to her husband, the great Greek philosopher Socrates. Well you can see for yourself if you look at the picture on this page. She was his second wife and a lot younger than Socrates.
 Still Plato suggests that she was nothing less than a devoted wife and mother.Though her son Lamprocles complains of her harshness.It is only in Xenophon's Symposium where we have Socrates agree that she is "the hardest to get along with of all the women there are." Nevertheless, Socrates adds that he chose her precisely because of her argumentative spirit:
It is the example of the rider who wishes to become an expert horseman: "None of your soft-mouthed, docile animals for me," he says; "the horse for me to own must show some spirit" in the belief, no doubt, if he can manage such an animal, it will be easy enough to deal with every other horse besides. And that is just my case. I wish to deal with human beings, to associate with man in general; hence my choice of wife. I know full well, if I can tolerate her spirit, I can with ease attach myself to every human being else.

  We thank Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC, and we must thank Roger too for the weekly job to find  ten bloggers for each of the ABC Team members  to visit and to read their posts. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar . This week we are looking for words beginning with X.


Sylvia K said...

What a great post for the X Day, Wil!! I always look forward to yours!! I hope you have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!! Enjoy! I look forward to more great posts in the coming year!!!


Cloudia said...

great alphabet ending post!

from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3

Roger Owen Green said...

Amazingly original for the dreaded letter. Have a good holiday!

photowannabe said...

What a fascinating post Wil.
Loved learning something new.
Have a wonderful Xmas and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Hildred said...

Wonderful post, - do enjoy Christmas with your family, and your stay in Australia, Wil.

Powell River Books said...

Any wife that empties a chamber pot on her husband really is a bad one. Have a Merry Christmas. - Margy

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for the ABC meme.

Joy said...

I think we would have called her feisty nowadays. Great x word.

Swati Singh said...

Great informative article!!

Suzy said...

X has come up with some very interesting posts - learning something new with each one. Never heard of Xanthippe so was very interesting to read.