This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
For the commonwealth it consists in a large number of good young men, good in bodily excellences, such as stature, beauty, strength, fitness for athletic contests; the moral excellences of a young man are self-control and courage. For the individual it consists in a number of good children of his own, both male and female, and such as we have described. Female bodily excellences are beauty and stature, their moral excellences self-control and industrious habits, free from servility.1 The object of both the individual and of the community should be to secure the existence of each of these qualities in both men and women; for all those States in which the character of women is unsatisfactory, as in Lacedaemon,2 may be considered only half-happy.
2 A similar charge against the Spartan woman is made in Aristot. Pol. 2.9.5: “Further the looseness （ ἄνεσις） of the Spartan women is injurious both to the purpose of the constitution and the well-being of the State . . . their life is one of absolute luxury and intemperance” （compare Eur. Andr. 595-596 “even if she wished it, a Spartan girl could not be chaste”）. The opinion of Xenophon and Plutarch is much more favorable.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.