The partner of Pericles
, leader of Athens
at its height in the fifth century BCE. She was admired for both her intelligence and her beauty, and is said to have advised Pericles on affairs of state. Her home was a salon
, where discussions included Socrates
, and Plato
She was born in Miletus in Ionia, and was called a hetaira or courtesan, but she was Pericles' companion from his divorce in 445 to his death from plague in 429. Their son, also called Pericles, was legitimized as a special favour.
In the magazine The Tatler (1709-1711), the name of Aspasia is given to Lady Elizabeth Hastings (1682-1739), who is held up as a model of virtue.
Walter Savage Landor wrote a series of imaginary letters, Pericles and Aspasia, published in 1836.