Historic Women of Rhetoric

This week in my History of Rhetoric class, we read about Aspasia and other women from Ancient Greece who were highly influential in rhetoric. I was so excited that one of the discussion boards asked for a creative post. Below is what I created and posted! It was so much fun to do!

My only other exposure to Aspasia has been from one of my favorite video games Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

My plan was to play AC: Odyssey on our Wellness Days and do some kind of comparison. However, Tabitha hogged the PS4 playing Call of Duty: Cold War, so instead I turned to Sims. I decided to create Aspasia, Sappho, and Diotima in my island world named Sulani. So while technically I was doing coursework on a wellness day, it was so fun! I call that a win!

Ok, on with my creation. I made the women roommates on a plot of land that is “off-the-grid” given there were no such luxuries of plumbing and electricity in ancient Greece. I let Sims pick their body type and skin color, but I changed their hair style and color. I then picked out the most Grecian-like clothes Sims 4 has available and gave the 3 rhetoricians personality traits based on what I read about them this week.

Below are screenshots of what I created along with explanations.

Sappho is in blue; Diotima is in purple; and Aspasia is in orange. It shows Mantinea as the household name because I created Diotima first. I gave each of them the last name of where they were from. Interesting side note: when I went to save the household, I got a message saying one of the last name’s was a forbidden word in Sims, and if I continued on, I could not upload the household to the gallery. I continued, and then later figured out the forbidden word. I gave Sappho the last name of Lesbos.

Anyway, here are their personality traits:

One trait you see with all of them is the Bookworm trait. I figured it was appropriate, and I just picture these women trying to soak up any and all knowledge they could.

I added genius and creative to Sappho’s personality which gives her the extra trait of a quick learner. Creative was based on her poetry. Genius was based on several things. How her main concern was “how the women’s voice could best be heard and understood by the audience” (Glenn, 26); how she transformed the male gaze into a female gaze; and how she uses her skill as a poet to disrupt “the continuum of male-dominated poetics” (Glenn, 27).

For Diotima, I added family oriented and romantic which gave her the additional trait of alluring. “For Diotima, then, the generative power of eros (or the philosophy of love) is an ongoing pursuit, a striving, rather than any kind of completion or final attainment” (Glenn, 46). I thought family oriented was appropriate based on her belief of the “reproduction of one’s soul in another” and that a person achieves immortality by producing offspring. I don’t know for sure whether offspring means actual children or ideas, but for Sims purposes, I went with children.

Lastly, I added genius and self-assured to Aspasia (also resulting in the extra trait of quick learner). I think these traits can be summed up in this quote from Glenn on page 38:

“By every historical account, Aspasia ventured out into the common land, distinguishing herself by her rhetorical accomplishments, her sexual attachment to Pericles, and her public participation in political affairs. Her alleged connection with the courtesan life is only important so far as it explains her intellectual prowess and social attainments—and the surprise of the Athenian citizenry unaccustomed to (or perhaps jealous or suspicious of) a public woman”

The house I built for them has a garden, an “arena” area for them to practice and recite their poems, speeches, and songs, and large spaces inside for them to relax, read, and write. They each have their own sleeping area with bedding that matches the color of their dresses (because I’m weird that way). There’s a small kitchen area (I had to add a somewhat modern-day refrigerator, so they don’t starve – but it’s still off-the-grid), and a bathroom. Notice the 2 large bushes in the bathroom? Those serve as the toilets – haha!

I’ll leave you with a few screenshots of what occurred after I was done building, and the women were getting acquainted with their neighbors and living space. In the first picture, Diotima and Aspasia are debating with an anti-environmentalist neighbor as Sappho is busy building something in the sand. After the neighbor left, Aspasia and Diotima decided to join in on the fun of sand sculpting, and, in the last photo, you can see their creations.