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Hipparete (Greek: Ἱππαρέτη) was the daughter of Hipponicus III,[1] a wealthy Athenian. She was married c. 424 BC or earlier [2] to the prominent Athenian statesman and general Alcibiades.


According to Plutarch, who is however criticized for using "implausible or unreliable stories" in order to construct Alcibiades' portrait,[3] Alcibiades "gave a box on the ear to Hipponicus, whose birth and wealth made him a person of great influence." This action received much disapproval, since it was "unprovoked by any passion of quarrel between them". To smooth the incident over, Alcibiades went to Hipponicus's house and, after stripping naked, "desired him to scourge and chastise him as he pleased". Hipponicus not only pardoned him but also bestowed upon him the hand of his daughter.[4]

According to another version of the story, according to Plutarch, is that it was not Hipponicus, but Callias, his son, who gave Hipparete to Alcibiades, with a dowry of ten talents. Then, "when she became a mother, Alcibiades exacted another ten talents besides, on the plea that this was the agreement, should children be born. And Callias was so afraid of the scheming of Alcibiades to get his wealth, that he made public proffer to the people of his property and house in case it should befall him to die without lineal heirs."[5]

According to Plutarch, Hipparete loved her husband, but she once attempted to divorce him, because Alcibiades consorted with courtesans. According to Plutarch, on her appearing publicly to support her plea for divorce to the magistrate, as the law required, "Alcibiades came up and seized her and carried her off home with him through the market place, no man daring to oppose him or take her from him". She lived with him until her death and gave birth to probably two children, a daughter and a son, also named Alcibiades.[4]


  1. ^ William Smith. Entry on Hipponicus III Archived 2006-01-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Her father died at the Battle of Delium that year
  3. ^ D. Gribble, Alcibiades and Athens, 30
  4. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 8
  5. ^ Wikipedia entry on Callias III says: "The family was immensely wealthy: the major part of their fortune came from the leasing of large numbers of slaves to the state-owned silver mines of Laurium. In return, the Calliases were being paid a share of the mine proceeds, in silver. Accordingly they were considered the richest family in Athens and possibly all of Greece, and the head of the family was often simply referred to as "ho plousios" (Greek: "ο πλούσιος", "the wealthy")". The father Hipponicus (slain at the Battle of Delium in 424 BC)was married to the woman who later married Pericles; the grandfather Callias II was a cousin of Aristides the Just. Hipparete's mother is not known; she may have been the woman who later married Pericles, or may have been a later wife of Hipponicus III.