Saturday, January 15, 2022

Challenging Gender Roles: The Philosopher Hipparchia, Greek Anthology VII.413

In the following poem, Antipater memorializes the famous philosopher Hipparchia: 

Nondum profundas zonas habentium Hipparchia opera mulierum,

Cynicorum vero elegi virile vitam.

Nequi mihi fibulata indumenta, nec laxa palla

Facilis, non nitidum placuit reticulum

Humus vero baculo comes & conveniens

Duplicate vestis, & cubilis casus humilis.

Nobis vero Maenaliae melior vita erat Atalantae,

Tantum, quantum sapientia melior venatione.

οὐχὶ βαθυστόλμων Ἱππαρχία ἔργα γυναικῶν,

τῶν δὲ Κυνῶν ἑλόμαν ῥωμαλέον βίοτον

οὐδέ μοι ἀμπεχόναι περονήτιδες, οὐ βαθύπελμος

εὔμαρις, οὐ λιπόων εὔαδε κεκρύφαλος:

οὐλὰς δὲ σκίπωνι συνέμπορος, ἅ τε συνῳδὸς

δίπλαξ, καὶ κοίτας βλῆμα χαμαιλεχέος.

ἄμμι δὲ Μαιναλίας κάρρων ἄμιν Ἀταλάντας

τόσσον, ὅσον σοφία κρέσσον ὀριδρομίας. 

--Antipater, Greek Anthology VII.413, Translated into Latin by Io. Christian Wolfius


No longer dwelling in the lifestyle of the wide-belted ladies,

I, Hipparchia, have chosen the manly life of a Cynic.

Pretty robes & stylish shoes no longer work for me;

Neither do pretty hair-nets.

A rugged staff is my companion, as well as a double-layered cloak,

The rough ground is my home.

To me, my life is better than Atalanta’s,

Since wisdom is so much better than jogging.




Name:  Antipater of Sidon

Date:  2nd century BCE

Works:  <fragments>





 Antipater of Sidon was a Greek poet who lived during the 2nd century BCE.  Little is known about him, and only a handful of his poetry was preserved in the Greek Anthology.




Name:  Hipparchia

Date:  350 BCE – 280 BCE

Works:  [fragments]





 Hipparchia was a famous Cynic philosopher who lived during the late 4th / early 3rd century BCE. According to tradition, Hipparchia rejected her role as an Athenian noblewoman to marry the famous Cynic philosopher Crates, and spent the remainder of her life following the ascetic lifestyle of a Cynic. Although she was a prolific author, only fragments of her writing remain.



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