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[6] The same holds good of Self-restraint and Unrestraint. It is not surprising that a man should be overcome by violent and excessive pleasures or pains: indeed it is excusable if he succumbs after a struggle, like Philoctetes in Theodectes when bitten by the viper, or Kerkyon in the Alope of Karkinos, or as men who try to restrain their laughter explode in one great guffaw, as happened to Xenophantus.1 But we are surprised when a man is overcome by pleasures and pains which most men are able to withstand, except when his failure to resist is due to some innate tendency, or to disease: instances of the former being the hereditary effeminacy2 of the royal family of Scythia, and the inferior endurance of the female sex as compared with the male.

1 Seneca, De ira, 2.2, says that Xenophantus's martial music made Alexander put out his hand to grasp his weapons (the story is told by Suidas of a Theban flute-player Timotheus, cf. Dryden, Alexander's Feast) ; apparently Alexander's music had a different effect on Xenophantus!

2 Hdt. 1.105, says that certain Scythians who robbed the temple of Uranian Aphrodite at Askalon were smitten with the ‘feminine disease,’ which affected their descendants ever after; but Hippocrates, Περὶ ἀέρων22, describes effeminate symptoms prevalent among wealthy and high-born Scythians, due to being too much on horseback.

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