Misogyny in Herodotus

These are a couple of passages in Book I of Herodotus’ Histories that I found to be really shocking. The first one is kind of funny. It comes from Gyges explanation to Kandaules that he does not want to see Kandaules’ wife naked.

ἅμα δὲ κιθῶνι ἐκδυομένῳ συνεκδύεται καὶ τὴν αἰδῶ γυνή. (I.8.3)

“While removing her clothes a woman also removes her shame.”

The second one is disturbing. After explaining that although the Persians think it’s an evil thing for a man to rape a woman, they think it’s the work of foolish men to carry on about the women who were taken captive. Then Herodotus says:

δῆλα γὰρ δὴ ὅτι, εἰ μὴ αὐταὶ ἐβούλοντο, οὐκ ἄν ἡρπάζοντο.

“For plainly if the women did not wish it, they would not be snatched. “(I.4.2)

Oh antiquity…..

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