Women Philosophers Timeline

Women Philosophers Timeline

Welcome to our timeline of women philosophers. Here, we showcase some of the world's greatest female thinkers. From Hindu sages whose achievements can only be found in ancient Indian literature, to an Egyptian polymath who lectured on the writings of Plato and Aristotle, and on to esteemed writers and scholars of the medieval and modern ages, women have played a key role in the development of philosophical thought. Not all were thanked for their work at the time. At least one was burnt at the stake for heresey. In this timeline of women philosophers, we take a look at some of the most renowned women thinkers, individuals whose inventive ideas and unconventional theories have changed the way we think about ourselves and the world. ### About This timeline was made using [**ChronoFlo Timeline Maker**](/), a free online service for producing interactive timelines that can be shared on the web. Information for the timeline was compiled from [**Wikipedia**](https://www.wikipedia.org) data. Particular use was made of Wikipedia's List of women's philosophers [**page**](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_women_philosophers). Where Wikipedia did not list a person's date of birth, we undertook research to estimate their birth date. People whose births we estimated include the ~ character before the date. Certain philosophers - who our research deemed to be the most influential - have been highlighted with brighter pink panels. ### Credits Design: [**ChronoFlo Timeline Maker**](/) Information: [**Wikipedia**](https://www.wikipedia.org) Images: [**WikiMedia Commons**](https://commons.wikimedia.org)

0035-01-01 00:00:00

Ban Zhao

Ban Zhao, courtesy name Huiban, was a Chinese historian, philosopher, and politician. She was the first known female Chinese historian and, along with Pamphile of Epidaurus, one of the first known female historians. She completed her brother Ban Gu's work...

0250 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Aesara of Lucania

Aesara of Lucania was a Pythagorean philosopher who wrote On Human Nature, of which a fragment is preserved by Stobaeus.

0250 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Ptolemais of Cyrene

Ptolemais of Cyrene was a music theorist, author of Pythagorean Principles of Music. She lived perhaps in the 3rd century BC, and "certainly not after the first century AD." She is the only known female music theorist of antiquity.

0282-01-01 00:00:00

Catherine of Alexandria

Catherine of Alexandria, or Katherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine, is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early...

0300 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Nicarete of Megara

Nicarete or Nicareta of Megara was a philosopher of the Megarian school, who flourished around 300 BC. She is stated by Athenaeus to have been a hetaera of good family and education, and to have been a disciple of Stilpo. Diogenes Laërtius states that she...

0340-01-01 00:00:00

Xie Daoyun

Xie Daoyun was a Chinese poet, writer, scholar, calligrapher and debater of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.

0350 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Arete of Cyrene

Arete of Cyrene was a Cyrenaic philosopher who lived in Cyrene, Libya. She was the daughter of Aristippus of Cyrene.

0350 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Hipparchia of Maroneia

Hipparchia of Maroneia was a Cynic philosopher, and wife of Crates of Thebes. She was the sister of Metrokles, the cynic philosopher.

0350 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Diotima of Mantinea

Diotima of Mantinea is the name or pseudonym of an ancient Greek character in Plato's dialogue Symposium, possibly an actual historical figure, indicated as having lived circa 440 B.C. Her ideas and doctrine of Eros as reported by the character of...

0350-01-01 00:00:00


Sosipatra was a Neoplatonist philosopher and mystic who lived in Ephesus and Pergamon in the first half of the 4th century CE. The story of her life is told in Eunapius' Lives of the Sophists.

0360-01-01 00:00:00


Hypatia was an Egyptian Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and...

0450-01-01 00:00:00

Aedesia of Alexandria

Aedesia was a philosopher of the Neoplatonic school who lived in Alexandria in the fifth century AD. She was a relation of Syrianus and the wife of Hermias, and was equally celebrated for her beauty and her virtues. After the death of her husband, she...

0470 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Aspasia was a metic woman in Classical Athens. Born in Miletus, she moved to Athens and began a relationship with the statesman Pericles, with whom she had a son, Pericles the Younger. According to the traditional historical narrative, she worked as a...

0500-01-01 00:00:00


Theodora of Emesa was a member of an intellectual group of neoplatonists in late fifth and early sixth century Alexandria, and a disciple of Isidore. Damascius dedicated his Life of Isidore, also known as the Philosophical History, to Theodora, having...

0550 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Khujjuttarā was one of the Buddha's foremost female lay disciples.

0550 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Theano of Croton

Theano of Crotone was a 6th-century BC Pythagorean philosopher. She has been called the wife or student of Pythagoras, although others see her as the wife of Brontinus. Her place of birth and the identity of her father are uncertain as well. Some authors...

0550 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Themistoclea She is also considered one of the first European philosophers, though none of her works seem to have survived since the 6th century.

0700 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Gargi Vachaknavi

Gargi Vachaknavi, born about 9th to 7th century BCE, was an ancient Indian sage and philosopher. In Vedic literature, she is honored as a great natural philosopher, renowned expounder of the Vedas, and known as Brahmavadini, a person with knowledge of...

1000 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Maitreyi was an Indian philosopher who lived during the later Vedic period in ancient India. She is mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad as one of two wives of the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya; she is estimated to have lived around the 8th century BCE. In...

1000 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Ghosha was an ancient Vedic period Indian female philosopher and seer. From a young age she suffered from a skin ailment which had disfigured her. Ashvini Kumars cured her and restored her youthfulness, health and beauty. As a result, she got married and...

1090-01-01 00:00:00

Héloïse d'Argenteuil

Héloïse, variously Héloïse d'Argenteuil or Héloïse du Paraclet, was a French nun, philosopher, writer, scholar and abbess.

1098-01-01 00:00:00

Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen, also known as Saint Hildegard and the Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess and polymath active as a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, visionary, and as a medical writer and practitioner during the High Middle Ages....

1100 BC-01-01 00:00:00


Lopamudra, also known as Kaushitaki and Varaprada, was a philosopher according to ancient Vedic Indian literature. She was the wife of the sage Agastya who is believed to have lived in the Rigveda period as many hymns have been attributed as her...

1101 BC-11-14 06:00:00

Timeline of Women Philosophers

Welcome to our timeline of women philosophers. Here, we showcase some of the world’s greatest female thinkers. Scroll to the right to meet the women whose inventive theories have enriched the world.

1130-01-01 00:00:00

Akka Mahadevi

Akka Mahadevi ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ (c.1130–1160) was one of the early female poets of the Kannada literature and a prominent person in the Lingayat Shaiva sect in the 12th century. Her 430 extant Vachana poems, and the two short writings called Mantrogopya and...

1250-01-01 00:00:00

Marguerite Porete

Marguerite Porete was a French-speaking mystic and the author of The Mirror of Simple Souls, a work of Christian mysticism dealing with the workings of agape. She was burnt at the stake for heresy in Paris in 1310 after a lengthy trial, refusing to remove...

1250-09-09 11:00:00

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1320-01-01 00:00:00


Lalleshwari, also known locally as Lal Ded, was a Kashmiri mystic of the Kashmir Shaivism school of Hindu philosophy. She was the creator of the style of mystic poetry called vatsun or Vakhs, literally "speech". Known as Lal Vakhs, her verses are the...

1347-01-01 00:00:00

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena , a lay member of the Dominican Order, was a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and on the Catholic Church. Canonized in 1461, she is also a Doctor of the Church.

1510-01-01 00:00:00

Tullia d'Aragona

Tullia d'Aragona was an Italian poet, author and philosopher. Born in Rome sometime between 1501 and 1505, Tullia traveled throughout Venice, Ferrara, Siena, and Florence before returning to Rome. Throughout her life Tullia was esteemed one of the best...

1515-01-01 00:00:00

Teresa of Ávila

Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman who was called to convent life in the Catholic Church. A Carmelite nun, prominent Spanish mystic, religious reformer, author, theologian of the contemplative life and of mental...

1555-01-01 00:00:00

Moderata Fonte

Moderata Fonte, pseudonym of Modesta di Pozzo di Forzi, also known as Modesto Pozzo, (1555–1592) was a Venetian writer and poet. Besides the posthumously-published dialogues, Giustizia delle donne and Il merito delle donne, for which she is best known,...

1618-01-01 00:00:00

Elisabeth of Bohemia

Elisabeth of the Palatinate, also known as Elisabeth of Bohemia, Princess Elisabeth of the Palatinate, or Princess-Abbess of Herford Abbey, was the eldest daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and Elizabeth Stuart. Elisabeth of the Palatinate was a...

1623-01-01 00:00:00

Margaret Cavendish

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne was an English philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction writer and playwright. Being related to royalists, she spent some of the English Civil War in France. She wrote in her own name in a period when...

1631-01-01 00:00:00

Anne Conway

Anne Conway was an English philosopher whose work, in the tradition of the Cambridge Platonists, was an influence on Gottfried Leibniz. Conway's thought is a deeply original form of rationalist philosophy, with hallmarks of gynocentric concerns and...

1648-01-01 00:00:00

Sor Juana

Doña Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, better known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a Mexican writer, philosopher, composer and poet of the Baroque period, and Hieronymite nun. Her merit as a true master of the Spanish Golden Age gained her the...

1659-01-01 00:00:00

Damaris Cudworth Masham

Damaris, Lady Masham was an English writer, philosopher, theologian, and advocate for women's education who is characterized as a proto-feminist. She overcame some weakness of eyesight and lack of access to formal higher education to win high regard among...

1666-01-01 00:00:00

Mary Astell

Mary Astell was an English protofeminist writer, philosopher, and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title "the first English feminist."

1679-01-01 00:00:00

Catharine Trotter Cockburn

Catharine Trotter Cockburn was an English novelist, dramatist, and philosopher. She wrote on moral philosophy, theological tracts, and had a voluminous correspondence.

1706-01-01 00:00:00

Émilie du Châtelet

Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet was a French natural philosopher and mathematician from the early 1730s until her death due to complications during childbirth in 1749. Her most recognized achievement is her translation of...

1711-01-01 00:00:00

Laura Bassi

Laura Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti was an Italian physicist and academic. Recognized and depicted as "Minerva", she was the first woman to have a doctorate in science, and the second woman in the world to earn the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Working at...

1759-01-01 00:00:00

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her...

1763-01-01 00:00:00

Nana Asmaʼu

Nana Asmaʾu was a Fula princess, poet, teacher, and a daughter of the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Usman dan Fodio.

1766-01-01 00:00:00

Germaine de Staël

Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French woman of letters and political theorist, the daughter of banker and French finance minister Jacques Necker. She was a voice of moderation in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era up to the French Restoration

1797-01-01 00:00:00

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son in 1828, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.

1802-01-01 00:00:00

Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau was an English social theorist often seen as the first female sociologist. She wrote from a sociological, holistic, religious and feminine angle, translated works by Auguste Comte, and rarely for a woman writer at the time, earned enough...

1807-01-01 00:00:00

Harriet Taylor Mill

Harriet Taylor Mill was a British philosopher and women’s rights advocate. Her extant corpus of writing can be found in The Complete Works of Harriet Taylor Mill. Several pieces can also be found in The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, especially volume XXI.

1810-01-01 00:00:00

Margaret Fuller

Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli was an American journalist, editor, critic, translator, and women’s rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first American female war correspondent, writing for Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune, and full-time book reviewer in journalism.

1815-01-01 00:00:00

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women’s rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-19th century

1819-01-01 00:00:00

George Eliot

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels: Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861),...

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