Aretaphila of Cyrene

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Aretaphila of Cyrene (flourished c. 50 BC, Cyrene, an ancient Greek colony in North Africa) was a Cyrenean noble woman who according to Plutarch in his work De mulierum virtutes (On the Virtues of Women),[1] deposed the tyrant Nicocrates.[2]

Aretaphilia was compelled to marry the tyrant Nicocrates after he had killed her husband, Phaedimus. She first tried to poison Nicocrates but was discovered and tortured. She then, arranged a marriage of her own daughter to the tyrant's brother, Leander. She was then able to convince Leander to murder Nicocrates.[3]

She went on to manoeuvre Leander into a war with the native Libyans, which ended with his capture and execution.

Seen as a heroic liberator, Aretaphila was invited to join the new government of her country, but she declined, and returned to a domestic life.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Plutrarch. "De Mulierum Virtutibus". As published in Vol. III of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1931. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Images of Women in Antiquity. By Averil Cameron, Amélie Kuhrt
  3. ^ Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1876). Woman's Record: Or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women, from "the Beginning" Till A.D. 1850. Arranged in Four Eras. With Selections from Female Writers of Every Age. Harper & brothers. 

References[edit]

  • De Mulierum Virtutibus by Plutarch as published in Vol. III of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1931. Accessed February 2008
  • Images of Women in Antiquity By Averil Cameron, Amélie Kuhrt. Published 1993. Routledge ISBN 0-415-09095-4. At Google books. Accessed February 2008
  • Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1876). Woman's Record: Or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women, from "the Beginning" Till A.D. 1850. Arranged in Four Eras. With Selections from Female Writers of Every Age. Harper & brothers.