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with one wife, excepting the nobles, who had a retinue of wives, more from a sense of dignity than from luxury. Swift and severe was the punishment meted out to an adulterous wife. Her hair was cut off, and she was lashed naked through the street by her injured husband. "Among the Gauls," says Strabo, "the occupations of the two sexes are distributed in a manner opposite to that which obtains among us. The cultivation of the land and a life of drudgery were imposed on wives, whilst the husbands devoted their time to warlike pursuits."2

Aristotle justly boasts that in Greece, woman was not degraded to the level of a slave, as in Asia.3 But it must be added that, if she was not treated as a slave, she was regarded as a minor. She was under a perpetual tutelage, first to her father, who disposed of her for a price; next to her husband; and, lastly, in her widowhood, to her sons. Even if she had no sons she was not free; for her husband could appoint a guardian to succeed him after death. The Greek wife lived in almost entire seclusion, she and her husband occupying separate parts of the house. She never went abroad unless accompanied by a female slave; she received no male visitors in the absence of her husband, and she was not permitted even to eat at her own table when male guests were present; she was denied the luxury of a polite education, her instruction being usually confined to

1 German., ch. xix.

2 B. IV., p. 66.

3 Politic., I., 1. 5.


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the most necessary household duties, and to a limited knowledge of music and dancing, which was afforded her, not for the entertainment of herself and family, but to enable her to take part in certain religious festivals.

The domestic life of Greece, it is true, was founded on monogamy. But whilst the law restricted the husband to one wife as his helpmate and domestic guardian, it tolerated and even sanctioned the hetairai, who bore to him the relation of inferior wives, and who enjoyed his society more frequently and received more homage from him than his lawful spouse.1 And whilst the education of the wife was of a most elementary character, the greatest care was lavished in cultivating the minds of the hetairai, that they might entertain their paramour by their wit while they fascinated him by their charms. The wife was the beast of burden; the mistress was the petted and pampered animal. These hetairai derived additional importance from being legally chosen to offer sacrifice on certain public occasions. This demoralizing system, so far from being deplored, was actually defended and patronized by statesmen, philosophers, and leaders of public opinion, such as Demosthenes, Pericles, Lysias, Aristotle, and Epicurus.

Solon erects in Athens a temple to Venus, the goddess of impure love. Greece is full of such temples, whilst there is not one erected to chaste,

1 The Gentile and the Jew, II., 235 et seq.

conjugal love.1 No virtuous woman has ever left a durable record in the history of Greece.

The husband could put away his wife according to his capricious humor, and take a fairer, younger, and richer bride. He could dissolve the marriage bond without other formality than an attestation in writing before the archon; and the wife had practically no power to refuse, as she was completely under the dominion of her husband. She was a mere chattel, marketable at will; nor had she any power to dissolve the marriage without her husband's consent.

Such is the dark but truthful picture of woman exhibited before us in the most polished nation of Pagan antiquity. Now, the sport of man's passions; soon after, she is the victim of his irresponsible hatred. Denied access to her own table in the presence of strangers, she leads a dreary, monotonous life in the society of her slaves. Her very position of wife debars her from a refined education, which is sedulously bestowed on the mistress. She is doomed to a life of domestic bondage; the other enjoys the widest liberty. How can she give her heart to her husband, since she sees his affections divided among usurping rivals? Conjugal love must be reciprocal. She does not reign as queen and mistress of her household, but serves as a tenant at will. Her wishes are not consulted about her marriage or her divorce. Should her husband precede her to the grave, her condition is not improved.

Bossuet, Hist. Univer., p. 198.

In a word, the most distinguished Greek writers treat woman with undisguised contempt; they describe her as the source of every evil to man. One of their poets said that marriage brings but two happy days to the husband-the day of his espousals and the day on which he lays his wife in the tomb. Hesiod calls women "an accursed brood, and the chief scourge of the human race." The daily prayer of Socrates was a thanksgiving to the gods that he was born neither a slave nor a woman. And we have only to glance at the domestic life of Turkey to-day to be convinced that woman fares no better under modern Mohammedanism than she did in ancient Greece.

The Mohammedan husband has merely to say to his wife: "Thou art divorced," and the bond is dissolved. To his followers Mohammed allowed four wives; to himself an unlimited number was permitted by a special favor of Heaven.

The moral standard of the Lacedæmonian wives was far lower than that of the Athenians. They were taught, when maidens, to engage in exercises that strengthened their bodies and imparted grace to their movements, but at the sacrifice of female modesty. The idea of conjugal fidelity was not seriously entertained. Adultery was so common that it was scarcely regarded as a crime. Aristotle says that the Spartan wives lived in unbridled licentiousness.1

1Apud Döllinger, The Gentile and the Jew, II., 236. Plutarch's Lives, Lycurgus.

Passing from Greece to Italy, we find that monogamy was, at least nominally, upheld in Rome, especially during the earlier days of the Republic. But, while the wife was summarily punished for the violation of the marriage vows, the husband's marital transgressions were committed with impunity.

Toward the end of the Republic, and during the Empire, the disorders of nuptial life increased to an alarming extent. There was a fearful rebound on the part of Roman wives, particularly among the upper classes, from the restraints of former days to the most unlimited license. They rivalled the wantonness of the sterner sex. So notorious were their morals, in the time of Augustus, that men preferred the unfettered life of celibacy to an alliance with partners bereft of every trace of female virtue. The strict form of marriage became almost obsolete, and a laxer one, destitute of religious or civil ceremony, and resting solely on mutual agreement, became general. Each party could dissolve the marriage bond at will and under the most trifling pretext, and both were free to enter at once into second wedlock.

Marriage was, accordingly, treated with extreme levity. Cicero repudiated his wife Terentia, that he might obtain a coveted dowry with another; and he discarded the latter, because she did not lament the death of his daughter by the former. Cato was divorced from his wife Attilia after she had borne him two children, and he transferred his second wife

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