“Family quarrels – regular repairs of dilapidated family love.” A subtle observation of Vasily Klyuchevsky is relevant at all times.
The Precepts of Socrates
Scenarios of a marital quarrel are unchanged from ancient times to the present. From ancient mythology, it suffices to recall the discrepancies between Hera (Juno) and Zeus (Jupiter): the wife is dissatisfied with her husband’s infidelities – her husband does not like the jealousy of his wife. A familiar story, right? Once, the formidable head of the Olympic Pantheon in the heat of anger shackled Hera’s hands with a gold chain, tied two anvils to his feet – and hung the shrew between the radiance of the ether and the clouds.
Jan-Erasmus Quellinus “Jupiter, Semele, and Juno”
However, the same gods had to constantly reconcile ordinary mortals. For the restoration of marital consent, the ancient Romans went to the temple of Juno the Mother of God on the Palatine Hill. There they expressed mutual claims to the statue of the guardian of the family hearth – and Juno helped! The wife and husband left the temple, cleansed of anger.
Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, who endlessly plagued him with abuse and cavil, won fame for the most scandalous of all wives. Sandals, jugs, and even tables flew around the philosopher’s house. Once Xanthippe poured a bucket of slop on Socrates’s head, another time in a rage she tore a cloak on it right in the middle of the market square. The name Xantippa went down in history as a household name for evil wives.
Reyer van Blommendahl “Xanthippus makes fun of Socrates in the presence of Alcibiades,” approx. 1655
“Why don’t you drive this woman away?” Why did you even marry her? ”Socrates’s friends asked in amazement. “Wanting to learn the art of living with people, I married Xanthippe. I reasoned that if I could bear her temper, I would get along with people of all sorts of characters, ”Socrates replied meekly.
Great gender struggle
Known from the late Middle Ages, the everyday story – “Battle for pants” (English Battle for pants; Who wears the breeches) – described marital strife and the struggle for supremacy in marriage. An element of a man’s suit symbolized the woman’s vicious desire to dominate the family. Female arbitrariness is reflected in the German idiom “Sie hat die Hosen an” (She is in pants). Israel van Mekenem portrayed a satirical scene in which the wife makes the henpecked husband wind the yarn and bashes it with a spinning wheel under the supervision of a jubilant devil. Some kind of pants lying on the ground, waiting for the winner. The work of the Dutch engraver Nikolaas Bre makes fun of the malevolent little wife, who drags her husband by the hair and takes his pants.
Israel van Mekenem “The Angry Wife”, approx. 1500
Nikolaas Bre “The Battle for the Pants”, approx. 1608
In medieval German law, family conflicts could be formally resolved through a judicial duel between spouses. In Germany, fencing-books came out – engraved manuals for conducting such fights. The German fencing book by Hans Talhoffer represents a man standing waist-deep in a pit, with one hand tied to the body, in order to ensure power equality. A woman wields a long combat stocking with a heavy stone. At the disposal of the husband are three wooden rods against the wife of three stones. According to the rules, a man touching the edge of the pit robbed him of one wand, and a blow at the time of handing the wand to the judges deprived the woman of one “stocking”. High relations, not weak family in every sense.