Chapter 7. HIPPARCHIA (c. 300
Hipparchia too, sister of Metrocles, was captured by
their doctrines. Both of them were born at Maroneia.
in love with the discourses and the life of Crates, and would not
pay attention to any of her
wealth, their high birth or their beauty. But to her Crates was
everything. She used even to threaten her parents she would make
away with herself, unless she were given in marriage to him. Crates
therefore was implored by her parents to dissuade the girl, and did
all he could, and at last, failing to persuade her, got up, took off
his clothes before her face and said, "This is the bridegroom, here
are his possessions ; make your choice accordingly ; for you will
be no helpmeet of mine, unless you share my pursuits."
girl chose and, adopting the same dress, went about with her husband
and lived with him in public and went out to dinners with him.
Accordingly she appeared at the banquet given by Lysimachus, and
there put down Theodorus, known as the atheist, by means of the
following sophism. Any action which would not be called wrong if
done by Theodorus, would not be called wrong if done by Hipparchia.
Now Theodorus does no wrong when he strikes himself : therefore
neither does Hipparchia do wrong when she strikes Theodorus. He had
no reply wherewith to meet the argument, but tried to strip her of
her cloak. But Hipparchia showed no sign of alarm or of the
perturbation natural in a woman.
And when he said to her :
"Is this she
Who quitting woof and warp and comb and
she replied, "It is I, Theodorus,--but do you suppose that I
have been ill advised about myself, if instead of wasting further
time upon the loom I spent it in education ?" These tales and
countless others are told of the female philosopher.
current a work of Crates entitled Epistles
containing excellent philosophy in a style which
sometimes resembles that of Plato. He has also written tragedies,
stamped with a very lofty kind of philosophy ; as, for example, the
tower hath my country nor one roof,
But wide as the whole
earth its citadel
And home prepared for us to dwell
He died in old age, and was buried in