Sunday, September 15, 2013

Some terms used to excoriate women

Hippolytus on wives, (Hipp. 639-630):
But the man with a nullity (μηδέν) for a wife—he has it easy, although a woman who sits in a house and is a fool (εὐήθεια) is a trouble. [640] But a clever (σοφὴν) woman—that I loathe! May there never be in my house a woman with more intelligence (φρονοῦσα) than befits a woman! For Aphrodite engenders (bears, gives birth to: ἐντίκτω) more mischief (κακοεργός: criminal acts) in the clever. The woman without ability (without means, resources: ἀμάχανος) is kept from indiscretion (folly: μωρίαν) by the slenderness (βραχύς: scarcity, shortness) of her wit (γνώμη: judgment).

One ought to let no slave pass in to see a woman. Rather one should companion them with wild (δάκος: bite) and brute (ἄφθογγος: voiceless, speechless) beasts so that they would be unable either to speak to anyone (προσφωνεῖν: call, speak to, issue orders) or to be spoken to (φθέγμα: voice) in return. But as things are, the wicked ones plot evil [650] within doors, and their servants carry their plans abroad.

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