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Aspasia (5th century B.C.), learned woman from Miletus, mistress of the Athenian statesman Pericles, by whom she had a son, Pericles the Younger. Her house was the literary and social gathering place for intellectual Athenians. She was the target of many spiteful attacks, mainly by conservatives who did not dare confront Pericles himself. Pericles was compelled to defend her against a charge of “impiety” in 432 B.C.

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