hipparchia of maroneia

Hipparchia of Maroneia (Greek: Ἱππαρχία; fl. c. 325 BC) was a Cynic philosopher, and wife of Crates of Thebes. She was born in Maroneia, but her family moved to Athens, where Hipparchia came into contact with Crates, the most famous Cynic philosopher in Greece at that time. She fell in love with him, and, despite the disapproval of her parents, she married him. She went on to live a life of Cynic poverty on the streets of Athens with her husband.

Little survives of her own philosophical views, but like most Cynics, her influence lies in the example of her life, choosing a way of life which was usually considered unacceptable for respectable women of the time.

Epitaph for a Female Philosopher

Anthologia Palatina 7.413 = Antipater of Sidon (2nd half of 2nd cent. BCE)

Hipparchia of Maroneia (ca. 350-280 BCE) met Crates the Cynic when her wealthy family moved to Athens.  Against her parents’ wishes, she married him, and then adopted the characteristic simple dress and frugal lifestyle of the Cynics, much to the astonishment of her contemporaries.


I, Hipparchia, rejected the works of deep-robed women-
   Instead I chose the hardy lifestyle of the Cynics.
Fine shawls with their brooches didn’t please me, nor the thick-soled
   Slipper or the glistening hair-net,
But rather the walking-staff, its companion the wallet, and the double-mantle
   That suits them both- covering for a bed on the ground.
My life was better than that of Maenalian Atalanta
   By as much as wisdom is better than racing through the mountains.

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.
ἀμμὶ δὲ Μαιναλίας κρέσσων βίος ἦν Ἀταλάντας
   τόσσον, ὅσον σοφία κρέσσον ὀρειδρομίας.

Hipparchia of Maroneia.  From a Roman wall painting of the 1st century CE, formerly in the garden of the Villa Farnesina; now in the Museo delle Terme, Rome.