The Great Contest and a Reason For Weddings

Antiphon, Stob. 4.22.66

“Marriage is a great contest for a person”

μέγας γὰρ ἀγὼν γάμος ἀνθρώπῳ

Epictetus, Discourses According to Arrian 1.11: On Family Affection

“When someone came to him, asking him about some other matters, Epictetus asked if had had children and a spouse. When he learned from him that he did, Epictetus asked, “How is marriage going for you?” the man answered, “Terribly.” And Epictetus replied, “In what way? For people don’t marry and have children to be miserable, but to be happy instead!”

Ἀφικομένου δέ τινος πρὸς αὐτὸν τῶν ἐν τέλει πυθόμενος παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἐπὶ μέρους ἠρώτησεν, εἰ καὶ τέκνα εἴη αὐτῷ καὶ γυνή. τοῦ δ᾿ ὁμολογήσαντος προσεπύθετο· Πῶς τι οὖν χρῇ τῷ πράγματι;—Ἀθλίως, ἔφη.—Καὶ ὅς· Τίνα τρόπον; οὐ γὰρ δὴ τούτου γ᾿ ἕνεκα γαμοῦσιν ἄνθρωποι καὶ παιδοποιοῦνται, ὅπως ἄθλιοι ὦσιν, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ὅπως εὐδαίμονες.—

Crono e Rea assistita da Iride, affresco, quarto stile, c. 65 d. C., da modello di età classica. Da Pompei, Casa del Poeta tragico. Napoli, Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Luciano Pedicini, Napoli)

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