Lastheneia of Mantinea

Lastheneia of Mantinea

Lastheneia (or Lasthenia) of Mantinea was one of Plato's female students.

She was born in Mantinea, an ancient city in Arcadia, in the Peloponnese. She studied in the Academy of Plato dressed as a man. [Diogenes Laërtius, iii. 46. This story of dressing as a man may only apply Axiothea of Phlius who also studied in the Academy.] After the death of Plato she continued her studies with Speusippus, Plato's nephew. [Diogenes Laërtius, iv. 2] She is also said to have been the mistress of Speusippus. [Athenaeus, vii. 279, xii. 546.]

A papyrus fragment from Oxyrhynchus mentions an unidentified woman who studied under Plato, Speusippus, and then Menedemus of Eretria. [POxy 3656] The fragment goes on to explain that "in her teens she was lovely and full of unstudied grace." This woman is probably Lastheneia or Axiothea of Phlius.


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