Is σωφροσύνη used of women in contemporary literature?

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Is σωφροσύνη used of women in contemporary literature?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 21st, 2014, 4:00 pm

In Acts Paul describes himself as being of sound mind by saying that he speaks words of σωφροσύνη "good sense" (judgement unaffected by uncontrolled emotions, sound emotional control).
Acts 26:25 wrote:Ὁ δέ, Οὐ μαίνομαι, φησίν, κράτιστε Φῆστε, ἀλλὰ ἀληθείας καὶ σωφροσύνης ῥήματα ἀποφθέγγομαι.
Having σωφροσύνη is a virtue.

In First Timothy the Apostle uses σωφροσύνη twice to refer to women too.
1Timothy 2:9 wrote:Ὡσαύτως καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ, μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης (sound control of their emotions), κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς, μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν, ἢ χρυσῷ, ἢ μαργαρίταις, ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ,
1Timothy 2:15 wrote:σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης (with sound emotional control).
Are there any contemporary documents that give women the respect and status to be able to be responsible for keeping themselves together emotionally?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jason Wenger
Posts: 3
Joined: May 9th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Re: Is σωφροσύνη used of women in contemporary literature?

Post by Jason Wenger » May 9th, 2014, 9:45 pm

The following quote can be found at http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/greek/b ... kef03.html. The work is titled Η Ορθόδοξη Θεολογία Για το Σκοπό του Γάμου (Orthodox Theology for the Purpose of Marriage) by Νίκος Θ. Μπουγάτσος, copywrited 1989. Here σωφροσύνη is listed as one of the virtues needed for a woman to have a spiritual relationship with her husband.
Στην Κ. Διαθήκη ο Παύλος μιλώντας για τη σωτηρία της γυναίκας διά της τεκνογονίας προϋποθέτει την πνευματική σχέση με το σύζυγο (πίστη, αγάπη, αγιασμός, σωφροσύνη), κατά την πιθανότερη εκδοχή. Το πνεύμα δηλ. του χωρίου αυτού νομίζω ότι αποδίδεται ως εξής: Τη γυναίκα, εάν στις σχέσεις της με το σύζυγό της επιδιώκεται η πνευματική καλλιέργεια (με την πίστη, την αγάπη, τον αγιασμό και τη σωφροσύνη), είναι δυνατό να τη βοηθήσουν στη σωτηρία της ψυχής της οι ασκήσεις που θα δημιουργηθούν διά της τεκνογονίας.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Contemporary literature = contemporaneous not modern

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 12th, 2014, 10:02 am

Jason Wenger wrote:The following quote can be found at http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/greek/b ... kef03.html. The work is titled Η Ορθόδοξη Θεολογία Για το Σκοπό του Γάμου (Orthodox Theology for the Purpose of Marriage) by Νίκος Θ. Μπουγάτσος, copywrited 1989. Here σωφροσύνη is listed as one of the virtues needed for a woman to have a spiritual relationship with her husband.
1 Timothy 2:15 wrote: διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας
This is a much discussed prepositional phrase indeed, and it is the underlying thought in the quote that you gave from Μπουγάτσος. Many modern commentaries have different view points on these things.

Here, I was asking about the literature contemporary with the New Testament. It impresses me as radical that a woman would have been given the right to control her own emotions at that time. The verb ἐὰν μείνωσιν (not βιάζειν + infinitive μείνειν) of 1 Timothy 2:15 and the suggests that they themselves remain / continue in those virtues listed and the κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς of 1 Timothy 2:9 suggests that women had the right / responsibility to deal with their own virtue.

I want to know if that thought stands out in the uses of σωφροσύνη in the Hellenistic age.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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