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27 The Virtus Feminarum in 1 Timothy 2:9–15

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on 1 Timothy 2:9-15, which deals with ethics. It is the author's contention in the chapter that there is greater literary coherence to 2:9-15 than has been recognized, and that popular philosophical discussions of σωφροσύνη suggest that the text should be viewed within that rubric. In 1 Tim 2:9-15, the focus is entirely on women. Sōphrosynē was the primary virtue of women in antiquity, the most common one, often the only one, ascribed to women on tombstones. In the thinking of philosophers of diverse persuasion, it was preeminently their virtue, the virtus feminarum. Philosophy enables women to run their households well. In serving her husband, a wife will be an ornament (κόσμος) to her relatives.

Keywords: 1 Timothy 2:9-15; Sōphrosynē; virtus feminarum



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