Aesara is almost unique among the classical women Greek philosophers in that some of her work survives today.
Another Pythagorean* woman, Aesara was from the ancient district of Luciana, now part of the Italian coast. There she authored On Human Nature, an early treatise arguing that only by studying human nature can we understand natural law and morality.
‘Human nature seems to me to provide a standard of law and justice both for the home and for the city.’
Aesara’s theory divided the soul into three parts:
- Mind: judgment and thought
- Spirit: courage and strength
- Desire: love and kindness
These three parts affected the three Pythagorean applications of morality; the individual, the family and social institutions.
There are some arguments that On Human Nature is actually a much later Roman forgery. There is no strong evidence to support this theory, but even if this was the case, it suggests that there was an Aesara of Luciana whose work was well known and worth imitating.
Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome: An Anthology – Ian Michael Plant