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Candaules got what he deserved?

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Candaules got what he deserved?

Postby daivid » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:04 pm

My reply to this bit of ὑπεκδύομαι -> ὑπεκδύς How?!http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=60907 is a bit off topic for learning Greek so I am posting it here.
Qimmik wrote:
The Herodotus passage is from the story of Gyges, isn't it? Candaules got what he deserved--he should never have done that to his wife. This is one of the stories that makes Herodotus so entertaining!


I don't imagine that you literally mean to say that what Herodotos describes in itself deserved death. However, of the three he is the one who clearly sets thing in motion and has no one to blame by himself.

The story reminds me of the case of Beatrice Cenci who was imprisoned by her father and repeatedly raped and beaten by him until in the end she murdered him. The options open to an upper class Roman woman of the late 16th century were so few that her choice was narrowed down to suffer on in silence or murder. In that sense she was in the same position as Queen for whom any action against Candules short of the palace coup she engineered. The very fact that Candules held all the cards meant that if his wife should resist at all she would have to strike back in the most extreme way possible.

Women of Athens had a similar lack of power and lack of redress and I rather suspect that Heroditos included that story because he knew it would produce a thrill of horror in his audience.
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Re: Candaules got what he deserved?

Postby Qimmik » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:50 pm

This is one of the "oriental tales" that run throughout Herodotus. It's probably apocryphal, of course. The Lucretia story in Livy, Ovid and Shakespeare is similar--a man is so infatuated with his wife's beauty (and with himself as her husband) that he invites other men to surreptitiously view her nude, with dire consequences. I think there are similar folk-tales floating around in other cultures, too.
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Re: Candaules got what he deserved?

Postby daivid » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Qimmik wrote:This is one of the "oriental tales" that run throughout Herodotus. It's probably apocryphal, of course. The Lucretia story in Livy, Ovid and Shakespeare is similar--a man is so infatuated with his wife's beauty (and with himself as her husband) that he invites other men to surreptitiously view her nude, with dire consequences. I think there are similar folk-tales floating around in other cultures, too.


While there are superficial similarities the key points, at least as Livy tells it are quiet different. Tarquin is the equivalent of Gyges but he is not invited to see Lucrecia naked. And Lucrecia calls for vengeance against Tarquin not her husband.

Beatrice Cenci on the other hand was no myth and did actually take revenge against a family member for the wrongs suffered. It is what one real woman actually did choose to do and for that reason I suspect there were women of Athens who when pushed to breaking point acted in the same way.

Heroditos had several versions of the Gyges story to choose from. He chose that one, I suspect, because he expected it to draw in his listeners with the same kind of horrified fascination that people watch horror movies today.
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