Socrates and Xanthippe.jpg
Historical Figure
Nationality: Athens
Date of Birth: 5th Century BCE
Date of Death: 4th Century BCE
Cause of Death: Unknown
Occupation: Housewife
Spouse: Socrates
Fictional Appearances:
"The Daimon"
POD: 415 BCE
Type of Appearance: Direct
Spouse: Sokrates

Xanthippe (5th – 4th century BCE) was an ancient Athenian, the wife of Socrates and mother of their three sons: Lamprocles, Sophroniscus, and Menexenus. She was likely much younger than Socrates, perhaps by as much as 40 years.

Little else is documented about her. It is likely that she was from a socially prominent family, given her name and the fact that her eldest child was named for her father rather than Socrates'. Otherwise, she appears to have been a strong and caring mother and wife. Xenophon wrote that Socrates did acknowledge that Xanthippe was argumentative and difficult, but that Socrates married her for this temperament.

An unconfirmed anecdote purports that Xanthippe was once so enraged with her husband that she took a chamber pot and poured it out over Socrates' head, which, according to the tale, the philosopher accepted with the allegory: “After thunder comes the rain.”

Xanthippe in "The Daimon"

When Alkibiades' army returned to Athens in triumph, Sokrates willingly surrendered his weapons to gain entrance into the city. Alkibiades saw this as a sign of Sokrates loyalty to Xanthippe.[1]

Later, after Alkibiades had taken control of the city, Xanthippe had the displeasure of watching her husband taken in the night to be executed.[2]


  1. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 191, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 205-206.