487 GREECE-MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
was little annoyed by the recklessness of men.
In the matter of marriage the selection and contract were made by the parents. In making
choice they were influenced not a little by those social considerations which the over-
prudent father and mother have in all time been disposed to substitute for the preference
of the parties most concerned. The prospective husband was not infrequently obliged to pay
the debts of his father-in-law as a condition of betrothal. But as a general rule the
selection of the husband or wife was made from the circle of friends and according to the
wishes of the young people who were to be joined. Domestic happiness was, after all, the
rule, and social misery the exception, in the households of the Greeks.
As it respects fidelity, the law was very severe with the women and very lax with the men.
The discrimination in this regard was so great that in some stages of Greek society
marriage was well-nigh at a discount in the presence of male abandonment. In the Ionian
cities of Asia Minor and the archipelago, and more particularly in Corinth and Athens, a
large class of women arose known as keteerce, whose lives and influence were opposed to
domestic ties and wifehood. Sometimes women of this class were accomplished to the last
degree in the culture of their times. Such was Thargelia of Miletus, who, in her relations
with the king of Persia, exercised an influence in favor of her country. Such especially
was the renowned Aspasia, who by her association with Pericles became known and respected
throughout all Greece. Such were her gifts and genius that both he and Socrates
acknowledged their indebtedness to her for lessons in oratory and philosophy. Nor should
mention be omitted of Lais, who obtained an ascendancy over the cynical spirit of
Diogenes. The story of the Boeotian Phryne is well known, whose charms exposed before the.
judges saved her from sentence of death, and whose beauty was made the inspiration of
Praxiteles when he modeled the Venus of Knidos, and of Apelles, when he painted the
goddess rising from the sea.
Looking for the home of the Greek we find nothing but description. Not a single house of
the classical age has been preserved for the inspection of modern times. No Herculaneum or
Pompeii has laid its contributions of protecting ashes on a Greek town or village. But the
descriptions of the ancient writers are abundant, and from these may be drawn a fair