Bart wrote:Yes, you're right of course about the importance of not being seen naked by no one but her husband. I edited my text right after having posted it to reflect this but you obiously missed that while writing your reply. Sorry.
I am glad we agree and if anyone is at fault it is me for not checking to see if the post had been changed
Bart wrote:You're wrong though about the revenge part, since Herodotus explicitly states that she wants to punish her husband: μαθοῦσὰ δὲ τὸ ποιηθέν ἐκ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς οὔτε ἀνέβωσε αἰσχυνθεῖσα οὔτε ἔδοξε μαθεῖν, ἐν νοῶ ἔχουσα τίσεσθαι τὸν Κανδαύλεα
I missed that bit - yes that does make if clear which outcome she prefers but she is prepared to settle for simply a dead Gyges as not being seen naked by man not her husband in future is a major concern if not as you point out her sole one.
Bart wrote:Furthermore, if the wife's sole motive is to ensure that no one sees her naked but her husband, woudn't it have been easier just to have Gyges killed (either by suicide or by force -she is the queen after all-).
Not necessarily. Kandaules would be very angry to find his favorite servant killed and his love for his wife being the kind of love that it was would only provide limited protection. Gyges, however, could be trusted to do whatever she wanted should she become his wife - his spinelessness has advantages.
Bart wrote:Instead of this she confronts him with a dilemma:
A) K dead, G husband
B) G dead
She states this dilemma twice, both times putting option A first, indicating this is what she prefers, as she wants to see her husband punished (as Herodotus told us a few lines before).
Agreed. Indeed we now seem to agree on most points.
While the fact that revenge is part of the wifes motive weakens my argument about the selfishness of Kandaules love I do think it is an aspect that is worth keeping mind. When I first read the story my first reaction was that the wife was being a bit harsh as Kandaules only acted as he did because he loved her. This was because to us today love implies that the love has the best interests of the beloved at heart. Kandaules love, however, is the starting point that leads to him humiliating his wife.
In the story the wife has no reason to be grateful for her husbands love and clearly does not feel it. I suspect that this reflects the experience of the Athenian men that Herodotus knew.
Bart wrote:Btw, are you still reading Herodotus?
I am reading Xenophon at the moment. I will let you know if I go back Herodotus.