March 6, 2019

6. Socrates and Aspasia: Professor Armand D’Angour (450 – 416 BCE)

The philosopher who changed the way we think about the world and the woman who changed him

Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘the achievements of Athens in the time of Pericles are perhaps the most astonishing thing in all history.’ And of all Athens’s great figures at this time, few are better remembered than Socrates. Commonly acknowledged as the founder of Western philosophy, he pioneered a new method of constant questioning, famously arguing that ‘the unexamined life' is not worth living at all.

In this episode of Travels Through Time we venture back to meet Socrates with the Oxford academic Professor Armand D’Angour. We meet Socrates as the young son of a stonemason, as the intelligent scholar and as the wise old philosopher. Most of all Armand introduces us to a revolutionary new figure into the story of Socrates’s younger life. This is the lover and partner of the statesman Pericles: Aspasia.

Scene One: Ancient Athens in 450 BCE when Aspasia, aged 20, arrives from Miletus.

Scene Two: The Temple of Apollo at Delphi in 445 BCE, when Socrates visited and was told by the prophetess that no one was wiser than him.

Scene Three: The Symposium in 416 BCE when Socrates and his friends discuss the meaning of love.

More about Armand D’Angour at his website:

Armand’s book: “Socrates in Love”

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Professor Armand D’Angour

Producer: Maria Nolan

More episodes

Load more