Euripides on Marriage: Misleading Fragments

Euripides, fr. 137 (Andromeda)


“Best of all riches is to find a noble spouse.”


τῶν γὰρ πλούτων ὅδ’ ἄριστος

γενναῖον λέχος εὑρεῖν.


This might be one of the few positive comments about marriage from Classical Greece. But, then again, it comes from a woman in a play about a girl rescued from a sea monster…And the positive comment is really about class…


The following is much more typical:


Euripides, fr. 78 (Alcmeon)


“A wife brings her husband

The greatest aid and the greatest



γυναῖκα καὶ ὠφελίαν

καὶ νόσον ἀνδρὶ φέρειν



Every sickness contains its own cure?