What do Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Epicurus and Thales of Miletus all have in common?

Yes, they’re Greek philosophers. But they also all happen to be men.

Men have long been the sole imagined figure of a philosopher, with Roman author Lucian once saying, “above all else he should have a long beard that would inspire confidence in those who…[seek] to become his pupils”.

Many may not be able to name a woman philosopher but women have been a part of the history of philosophy from the beginning.

As part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne, there will be a lecture titled “Must one have a beard to be a philosopher? Women and ancient Greek philosophy”.

Lecturer in Greek Philosophy from the University of Sydney, Dr Emily Hulme will be hosting the presentation – her research interests include Plato’s epistemology and ethics, philosophy of language from Parmenides to the Stoics, and arguments concerning the status of women in the ancient world.

The presentation will provide an overview of current work on the contributions of women to Greek philosophy.

This includes women who directly participated in philosophical schools like Epicurean and Pythagorean women, as well as women like Sappho the poet and Socrates’ mother Phaenarete, who are said to have inspired the men.

Other topics touched on include arguments for the equality of women in the ancient world, the history of misogyny, the social conditions of women’s labour in antiquity, and where that very image of the philosopher as a man with a beard came from.

The lecture will take place on Thursday September 28 at 7pm, at the Mezzanine Level, The Greek Centre, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.