Thursday, April 26, 2012

Xanthippe


Socrates and his wives (Wikipedia)



Socrates' young wife Xanthippe was best known as a "shrew and a nagging wife." The Romans reported that Socrates knew he was marrying a "hag," but did so to "practice his patience." In2greece.com also cited an incident where Xanthippe was so enraged at Socrates that she threw a bucket of "washing water" on him. The philosopher then replied, "After thunder comes rain."

Other reports said that one of the reasons Xanthippe was known for having an explosive temper was that Socrates didn't collect money for his philosophy teachings. This made it difficult for them to raise their three boys.

Some interesting facts about Xanthippe from Wikipedia include: She was the only person to have ever won an argument with Socrates, and the origin of her name. Xanthippe means "blond horse from the Greek xanthos (blond) and hippos (horse)."

Xanthippe was the inspiration for Katherina in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, as well as, a character in  the Edgar Allan Poe poem "An Accrostic." Poe intentionally changed the X to a Z in her name for "Zantippe." No one is certain of when the rumors about Xanthippe began; though her contemporaries regarded her as a "devoted wife and mother."

Recently, The Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, "Meet The Marriage Killer: It's More Common Than Adultery and Potentially As Toxic, So Why Is It So Hard To Stop Nagging?" It all began when a woman put a Post-it note in her husband's sandwich at work. It said, "Be in Aisle 10 of  Home Depot tonight at 6:00 pm." Her husband was annoyed at first, but his wife thought that this was a fun and creative way to remind him about their kitchen remodeling project. She was trying to give him a gentle nudge, before it escalated into a raging argument.

 Afterward, I asked my husband if he would prefer this method to nagging. He thought about it for a moment and replied, "I would much rather be married to a blond horse than bite into a Post-it note sandwich any day."

31 comments:

  1. A good x word, enjoyed the read, I hadn't read Taming of the Shrew so am not familiar with Xanthippe.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Interesting information. I loved the story about the post it note too.

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  3. I didn't know that about Socrate's wife. Interesting that he married her because she was a nag. I don't think I'm a nagging wife but if you ask my husband, he might have a different opinion.

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  4. Great X word. If they would remember stuff, we wouldn't have to remind them, right?

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  5. My son calls me Nagamama...after I've told him to clean his room three times. I don't think a post-it note would get the job done nearly as well as my gentle reminders with my pleasant, sweet voice. :)

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  6. So the blond horse was a nag. That's a hoot.

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  7. Haha! Guess you got your answer! :)

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  8. Hello, Julie! I'm sure Xanthippe was just misunderstood. Socrates was obviously annoyed that his wifey was much smarter than he! ;)

    My thoughts on nagging: If you'd just do what we asked the first time then we wouldn't have to keep asking again and again, LoL.

    Have a lovely weekend and happy A to Z!

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  9. Love your husband's answer LOL. This is a great X word. I have a feeling Xanthippe has gotten a bad rap, and I bet the story about Socrates not collecting the money is true.

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  10. if men would do what they should do--there would be no nags--great post

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  11. ha ha - Love your husband's comment.

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  12. Your husband's comment was priceless~! This is a very interesting post. I knew none of those things about socrates and his wife. I hesitate to say what should probably be said, but the man known for such wisdom was likely a fool if that really was the reason he married her. :-)

    Great post. You commented on my "A" post, and I am visiting to see how you did--and to tell you, Kudos! Almost there...

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  13. Hi Julie, interesting post for the letter X. I wonder if my hubby would like reminders like that in his lunch, LOL.

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  14. I am many things, but I am NOT a nagger. I HATE nagging. Like nails on a chalkboard! SCREEEECH! Interesting post. Learned something new today!! Thanks Julie!

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  15. Oh my! If I put that note in a sandwich that would be the beginning of an argument.

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  16. Nancy - You have to tell me your secret, because I'm so jealous! Thanks Nancy!

    Susanne - Maybe on his napkin instead of in his sandwich! Thanks Susanne!

    Teresa - Plato may have just wanted to stir things up! Good point though! Sorry that I haven't seen you since "A." This month has really flown by and I don't know if I'm coming or going! Thanks Teresa and kudos to you!

    Thanks Mary!

    Lynn - You're absoulutely right and thank you!

    Julie - I think you're right. The worst thing I could find was when she dumped water on Socrates' head. Don't you think John Wayne Bobbitt would have gladly taken that punishment? The money part probably is true. Thanks Julie!

    Laura - I'm sure that annoyed him the most when she outsmarted him! Do you mind if I quote you?! Thanks Laura, and have an eXhilarating weekend too!

    Talli - It sounds better if you don't read too much into it! Thanks Talli!

    Delores - I wanted to write a little something about a nag, a hag and a stag, but didn't know how to throw it in! Thanks Delores!

    L.G. - "Nagamama" is nice! Sometimes I'll deliberately use a syrupy sweet voice which is more annoying than yelling! Thanks L.G.!

    Tonja - You hit the nail on the head! Thanks Tonja!

    Clarissa - I must clarify, Xanthippe was a "hag" who became a "nag." If she weren't about 4o years younger than Socrates he would have also called her an "old bag." Thanks Clarissa!

    Thanks Jessica!

    Yvonne - Thanks for all of your wonderful visits! Julie

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  17. Oh, if she didn't nag him, he probably NEVER would have picked up his dirty underwear. Great post, but forget the post-it. My hubby would not have been amused.

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  18. Ruth - Nothing comes between a man and his food! Thanks Ruth!

    Susan - I could only imagine the underwear back then. Something tells me it wasn't eXactly wash n wear! I thought the Post-it note story made poor Xanthippe and the rest of us look better too! Julie

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  19. I've always been interested in this....exactly how many times do WE have to be IGNORED before WE become the NAGS?

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  20. I always believed Socrates was very easy going, so needing that washing water thrown on his head as a gentle reminder to go earn some food money sounds fair enough to me (not that I would do that, lol). I'm surprised Xanthippe isn't more well known about, with those stories about her.

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  21. My wife has never put a post it note in my lunch - thank God!

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  22. I don't think I'm a nag - but I'm great at reminding people to do things they said they would do and didn't :)

    Happy Weekend!

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  23. I'm amazed at the unique words many A-Zers are coming up with. Post it note sandwich--now that's a new one.

    Catch My Words
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  24. Jen - Twice!

    DayDreamer - I feel badly for Xanthippe and think she was greatly misunderstood. Thanks DD!

    Alex - Mrs Ninja certainly knows better!

    Carol - May I borrow some of your charm?

    Joyce - In the article it said she slipped the Post-it note in between a ham and cheese sandwich. Post-it note sandwich has a better ring to it! Julie

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  25. I'm not sure, but I'm almost positive that if I called Mrs. Penwasser a "blond horse," she'd be a bit of a nag, too. Oh, I just noticed. I made a funny. "Horse"..."nag" I crack myself up.
    Funny how she's pictured pouring a liquid on his head. Maybe that was the first attempt of getting him to drink the poison....?
    By the way, I really liked this. I'm a sucker for history (as you've no doubt noticed from my 'Xerxes' post). I just can't ever be completely serious about it (as you've no doubt noticed from my 'Xerxes' post).

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    1. Al - Did Mel Brooks ever make a History of The World Part II? Or Part 0? I could definitely see you co- writing this with him, or Mel could just produce it. First the movie then the play... I hope you come back to read this, because Mel is not getting any younger. Julie

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    2. He never did a Part II, which was sad. I would really have liked to write it. I MAY write my own history of the world here on Blogger. I should send Mel my resume just to be safe, though.

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    3. Al, I know we joke around a lot, but I really think you have the talent to do it!

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  26. Gotta credit your hubby - he provided a knock-out punchline for the end of your X-post - and I think X is the letter that had lots of bloggers brains in a knot!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I will be sure to show this to him! Julie

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