Plutarch Virtues of Women

-Virtue- behavior showing moral high standards.

-Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετή “arete”) is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice.

-Virtuous- morally good

Who is consider a woman of virtue?

I remember when going to church that everyone used to want to be the woman of virtue, but whenever someone was asked are they a virtuous woman, they would say no. Or if the men were asked do they want a virtuous or a woman of virtue, the men would say yes, but they didn’t want a woman of virtue right then. It’s weird, right?

We’ll when I got older to read the scripture of a virtuous woman in the Bible, I begin to realize that being a woman of virtue requires so much. The four classic cardinal virtues are: temperance, prudence, courage, and justice. The scripture in Bible about a virtuous woman is that of Proverbs 31. The entire chapter……. all of it! Often women believe that Proverbs 31 doesn’t really apply to our modern lives. Oh, but it does apply to modern lives. The words of the Bible stands the test of time. Blogger Ringstaff wrote the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman as the mission statement for A Virtuous Woman, but she soon realized that it was more than a mission statement. The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman demonstrates how women can all be Proverbs 31 Women. Being a virtuous woman is not about being perfect, but instead learning how to live life on purpose.

Ringstaff (blogger) went on to share the ten virtues of a “Proverbs 31” woman:


1. Faith — A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29–31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15

2. Marriage — A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)

3. Mothering — A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)

4. Health — A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14–15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service — A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)

6. Finances — A Virtuous Woman spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)

7. Industry — A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)

8. Homemaking — A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20–22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)

9. Time — A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )

10. Beauty — A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21–22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1–6)

Proverbs 31:10–31King James Version (KJV)

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

I discussed all of that to transition into Plutarch’s Virtues of Women. Plutarch seems worried that readers won’t take his stories about women seriously.

-Why might that be? What does Plutarch concern tell us about prevailing ancient attitudes towards women in the public sphere?

Women are not taken serious in so many areas whether it is sports, work, doctor’s office, etc. It hasn’t happened just in today’s time. Women not being taken serious has been going on for many of years. Take a mental step back in history where Rosa Parks sat on the bus, it wasn’t mentioned the numerous times she sat on the bus before she was taken serious. Because of its association with power, and the fact that men are typically seen as having greater dominance than women, gravitas (sense of seriousness and power that people communicate through a combination of body language) and dress) is a notion we think of as a male quality. Women who wish to appear powerful often have to do so by putting on more masculine clothes, such as the traditional business suit or at least a blazer. Most women don’t wear ties, but they may wear “statement” scarves or jewelry.

How would you describe Plutarch and Clea’s relationship? Plutarch and Clea are very close friends. He admire Clea alot.

Plutarch’s Virtues of Women started out with Plutarch saying that he does not hold the same opinon about Thucydides as he does Clea. The reason being is because Thucydides declares that the best woman is she about whom there is the least talk among persons outside regarding either censure or commendation, feeling that the name of the good woman, like her person, ought to be shut up indoors and never go out. However, Plutarch feel that Gorgias had better taste regarding women because he advised that what is important is not the form but it is the fame of a woman which should be known to many. Plutarch feels that best of all is the Roman custom. The Roman custom publicily renders to women, as to men, a fitting commemoration after the end of their life.

Leontis was a friend to both Plutarch and Clea before she died. Leontis was considered the most excellent woman. One of the things that Plutarch said that stuck out to me was when he said “man’s virtues and woman’s virtues are one and the same.”

Step 2 of the module go on to document the encounters that women worked together as groups.

I. The Trojan Women

The Trojan Women is about the escape from Troy. It was during a storm and bad weather. While the men were out wandering around the country for information, the women decided to do something. The women burned the ships. Roma took the lead. The women then meet with the men and greeted them with kisses in fear of their anger. This is the origin of the custom, which still persists among the Roman women, of greeting their kinsfolk with a kiss.

I. The Women of Phocis

The women of Phocis is attested by imposing sacred rites which the Phocians perform even to this day in the neighbourhood of Hyampolis, and by ancient decrees. Of these events a detailed account of the achievements is given in the Life of Daïphantus, and the women’s part was as follows.

The Thessalians were engaged in a war without quarter against the Phocians. For the Phocians had slain on one day all the Thessalian governors and despots in their cities. Whereupon the Thessalians massacred two hundred and fifty Phocian hostages; then with all their forces they made an invasion through Locris. Invasion of Locris brought about the resolution to spare no grown man and to make slaves of children and women. Daïphantus persuaded the men to meet the Thessalians in battle, and to bring together into some one place the women with their children from all Phocis. Nearly all voted approval of the plan, but one man arose in the council and said it was only right that the women approve this also; otherwise they must reject it, and use no compulsion. When report of this speech reached the women, they held a meeting by themselves and passed the same vote. The children held an assemble as well and passed their votes too. After this, the Phocians engaged the enemy near Cleonae of Hyampolis, and gained the victory. To this vote of the Phocians the Greeks gave the name of “Desperation”; and the greatest festival of all, the Elaphebolia in honour of Artemis, they celebrate in Hyampolis even to this day in commemoration of that victory.

III. The Women of Chios

One of the men who appear to have been prominent in Chios was getting married and the king, Hippoclus, jumped up into the chariot, whereas the friends of the bridegroom killed him. They became involved in war with the Erythreans because of this. The women called them cowards if they purposed to lay down their arms and go forth naked through the midst of the enemy. But when the men said that they had given their oath, the women bade them not to leave their arms behind, but to say, by way of answer to the enemy, that the spear serves as a cloak, and the shield as a shirt, to a man of spirit. The Chians took this advice, and when they used bold words towards the Erythraeans and displayed their weapons, the Erythraeans were frightened at their boldness, and no one approached nor hindered them, but all were well pleased at their departure. So the Chians, having been taught courage by their women, were saved in this way.

IV. The Women of Argos

In this section, the women carried out at the instigation of Telesilla the poetess. She was sickly in body, and so she sent to the god to ask about health; and when an oracle was given her to cultivate the Muses, she followed the god’s advice, and by devoting herself to poetry and music she was quickly relieved of her trouble, and was greatly admired by the women for her poetic art.

Cleomenes king of the Spartans came to the younger women to try to hold off the enemy. Under the lead of Telesilla they took up arms, and, taking their stand by the battlements, manned the walls all round, so that the enemy were amazed. The result was that Cleomenes they repulsed with great loss, and the other king, Demaratus, who managed to get inside, as Socrates says, and gained possession of the Pamphyliacum, they drove out. In this way the city was saved. The women who fell in the battle they buried close by the Argive Road, and to the survivors they granted the privilege of erecting a statue of Ares as a memorial of their surpassing valour.

In addition, To repair the scarcity of men they did not unite the women with slaves, as Herodotus records, but with the best of their neighbouring subjects, whom they made Argive citizens. It was reputed that the women showed disrespect and an intentional indifference to those husbands in their married relations from a feeling that they were underlings. Wherefore the Argives enacted a law, the one which says that married women having a beard must occupy the same bed with their husbands!

V. The Persian Women

As the Persians were fleeing to the city, with the enemy not far from forcing their way in along with the Persians, the women ran out to meet them before the city, and, lifting up their garments, said, “Whither are you rushing so fast, you biggest cowards in the whole world? Surely you cannot, in your flight, slink in here whence you came forth.” The Persians, mortified at the sight and the words, chiding themselves for cowards, rallied and, engaging the enemy afresh, put them to rout. As a result of this it became an established custom that, whenever the king rode into the city, each woman should receive a gold coin; the author of the law was Cyrus. But Ochus, they say, being a mean man and the most avaricious of the kings, would always make a detour round the city and not pass within, but would deprive the women of their largess. Alexander, however, entered the city twice, and gave all the women who were with child a double amount.

VI. The Celtic Women

The women put themselves between the armed forces, and, taking up the controversies, arbitrated and decided them with such irreproachable fairness that a wondrous friendship of all towards all was brought about between both States and families. As the result of this they continued to consult with the women in regard to war and peace, and to decide through them any disputed matters in their relations with their allies.

XXI. Stratonice

This story is about sacrifices. It would be tough for me to allow someone to sleep with my significant other so this story is rather powerful even though it may not seem like much to others. Stratonice knew her husbad wanted children to succeed the kingdom, but having no child, made her husband have a child by another woman. Deiotarus procured a comely maiden from among the prisoners, Electra by name, and sealed her to Deiotarus. The children that were born she brought up with loving care and in royal state as if they had been her own.

All in all, Plutarch’s catalog of virtuous women leaders also gives us the opportunity to explore “bad” male leadership. The Greek word for “courage” is andreia. It was created from the stem of the word for “man”, (andr-), and an ending that makes an abstract noun. In other words, courage to the Greeks is the essence of manliness. The same point stands in the Latin language, too, where virtus (courage, virtue) is related to vir (man).

Is courage, a hallmark trait of a leader, something inaccessible to women?

I do believe that woman have the capability to be courageous and no, I do not being that it is something inaccessible to women. Women have rights at this very day and age due to women who stepped up in the past. There are even more women stepping out on courage now who will make an impact on years to come. Courage does not have a gender.

Do women need to become “manly” in order to be courageous or virtuous?

I do not believe women have to be manly in order to be courageous or virtuous. What exactly is “become manly?” I feel that once society break the stereotype that men are this and that, then and only then will people remove the blinders that women cannot do similar things to men. I feel there is a description of what men and women are supposed to be and we all try to fit and live those invisible standards. There are women now doing jobs, taking care of responsibilities, and so much more that “supposedly” a man is supposed to take care off. If men don’t step up, then there leaves no one else, but women….. correct?

Is the virtue of men and women one and the same because it is always defined in masculine terms?

I believe that it’s all one in the same. I just believe that from birth, men are told of so many things that they have to do to be considered masculine. When in reality it could all work out if we worked together. Men are told that they are responsible for the house, maintenance of house and cars, work (but not just any work, but the work that cause callous on the hands because if not, that’s not consider manly-labor), being strong and masculine, passion (but not too much because the goal is to not be considered gay), chivalry, “bedroom maintenance” (insert whatever you want to think here), and decisiveness.

But if you look at those traits…… It’s exactly what women can do. So yes, I agree with Plutarch’s statement about the virtue of men and women being the the same.


Dr. Sandridge shared with the class about a conference he went to and one thing that he brought back to the class was the thoughts of civility.

What is civility? Civility is defined as formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. I’ve thought hard about who I could use as an example for civility in leadership and of course President Obama came up. He is the class example of this word. President Obama encountered so many instances where he could have reacted a certain way, but he was calm and responded or joked in a manner that seemed like a breeze of hate-free dialogue.

There is an epidemic of bad behavior in modern workplaces. However, leaders play an important role in creating more civil pleasant work environments. Like it or not, the workplace has become ground for unacceptable behavior. It is rather shocking at times because training is given for these types of things, but yet an employee now-a-days will react when the customer react. There is now a slogan instead of the “Customer is Always Right,” it is not, the “Customer is NOT Always Right.” Employees are getting tired and frustrated that they have to tolerate rudeness and also show forms of leadership even in those hostile situations and because of that, at time civility in leadership is not the move. As a leader, however; one play a critical role in creating a more civil environment. Even though the success of one’s efforts will ultimately depend on whether or not one receive that same gesture back, leaders that model and promote civility win several benefits.