Socrates' Family

================================================== Given the relative youth of Socrates' children there was obviously a considerable age difference between the seventy year old Socrates and his wife. Thus, the sexual double standard that it's acceptable for older men to marry younger women but not vice versa has been around a very long time. The Greek poet Homer suggested that men who were thirty marry maidens in their late teens!

Of Socrates' wife, Xanthippe, we know relatively little. She was reported to have been bad tempered though such reports, quite likely, are exaggerated. Also, the marriage may well have been his second. His three sons, oldest to youngest, were Lamprocles, Sophroniscus (named for Socrates' father), and Menexenus. Gender roles of the time were so defined that the husband was responsible for providing financially for the family while the wife was in charge of the household.

Socrates' scorn for money and subsequent poverty, therefore, made him a difficult husband (instead of bringing home the bacon he was debating in the marketplace)! Can we blame Xanthippe if she was a bit bad tempered? Even after years of self imposed poverty, however, there are accounts that she loved her husband at the time of his death.