Melissa (philosopher)

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Melissa (3rd century BC)[1][2] was a Pythagorean philosopher. Her name derives from the Greek word melli meaning honey.

Nothing is known about her life. She is known only from a letter written to another woman named Cleareta (or Clearete). The letter is written in a Doric Greek dialect dated to around the 3rd century BC.[2] The letter discusses the need for a wife to be modest and virtuous, and stresses that she should obey her husband.[2] The content has led to the suggestion that it was written pseudonymously by a man.[2] On the other hand, the author of the letter does not suggest that a woman is naturally inferior or weak, or that she needs a man's rule to be virtuous.[1]


  1. ^ a b Prudence Allen. The concept of woman: the Aristotelian revolution, 750 BC–AD 1250. p. 150.
  2. ^ a b c d Ian Plant (2004). Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome: An Anthology. Equinox. p. 83. ISBN 1904768024.