Athens, 4th cent. B.C. (Eubulus, a fragment from a lost play, fr. 77 PCG; Chrysilla, fr. 115 PCG. G)

As often, the faults of an individual are attributed to the whole ‘race’, cf. Euripides, Hippolytus 616-68. [1]

I wish the second man who took a wife would die an awful death. I don’t blame the first man; he had no experience of that evil. The second man knew what kind of evil a wife was! Oh honoured Zeus, shall I ever say something unkind about women. By Zeus, may I perish then. They are the best possessions one can Have. Medea was an evil woman, but Penelope was a good thing; some might criticise Clytemnestra, but I’ll set Alcestis against her. Maybe someone else will criticise Phaedra-but, by Zeus, there must be another good wife! Who? Oh, poor me, I’ve run out of good women, and I still have so many more bad ones to talk about.


1. For the same thought, cf. the comic poet Aristophon, fr. 6 PCG, perhaps from a common source?