Xanthippe ("xanthos"="blonde", "hippos"="horse") was the wife of Socrates
. He married her late in life, around 50, and they had three children.
The hapless Xanthippe has become the quintessential example of the shrewish wife due to comments made about her attributed to Socrates and others, mostly in the dialogues of Plato
A few examples:
When a man asked Socrates if he should marry or not, the philosopher
replied "Do what you want, either way you will regret it."
During an argument, she poured a bucket of water over his head. Socrates: "I knew that the thunders of Xanthippe sooner or later would be followed by rain."
At Socrates’ death, depicted in Plato’s Phaedo
, she is a whiny weeping soon to be widow, clinging to him until she was sent home so he could do some serious talking with the boys.
Perhaps Xanthippe has gotten a bad rap. If your husband made no money and then willingly committed suicide leaving you to care for three kids (including one infant), wouldn’t you be a bit bitchy too?