gent tendencies of various Europeannpeoples. Reading that book, we maynonly lament that Pettigrew did not livento write his projected history of thenMoors in Spain for which he, a talentednlinguist, had prepared himself bynadding Arabic and Hebrew to hisnknowledge of French, German, Italian,nand Spanish, as well as Greek andnLatin. In the end, Wilson’s account ofnSpain and the Spaniards provides, asndoes the book itself, a picture of a mannand a Southern people who saw themselvesnas the heirs of a great WesternnChristian civilization, and yet whonfound themselves in opposition to then”progressive,” secular, industrializing,nand philosophically and politically radicalnturn it was taking.nOn one issue I must part companynwith Wilson. I refer to a big quarrelnnot only with him but with annoutstanding coterie of Southern conservativeninterpreters of the Old South —nwith Allen Tate, Richard Weaver, andnM.E. Bradford, to name only some ofnthe most illustrious. Wilson is herendefending the Southern Tradition innpolitics and social theory: its critique ofnegalitarianism and radical democracy;nits defense of family-based social order;nits commitment to a classical republicannpolity. His account of Pettigrew’s bitingncriticism of industrial capitalism andndevotion to Southern — and southernnEuropean — traditionalism makes especiallynthought-provoking reading.nBut Wilson, like his fellow Southernnconservatives, pays dearly for his philosophicalnidealism. Hostile to slavery andnracism, he seeks to root the positivenqualities he finds in the life of the OldnSouth in an older Christian civilizationnand trans-Atlantic republicanism. Toongood a historian to treat slavery as anbagatelle, he nonetheless underestimatesnits effect on the formation ofnSouthern culture, ideals, and character.nLurking beneath the surface is anninterpretation that stresses the yeomanrynand that thereby implicitly treats thenslaveholders as, as it were, wealthy andnprivileged extensions of yeomen and asnmen for whom slaveholding proved andisagreeable necessity. This will notndo. Europeans spread the kind ofnGhristian culture and conservative valuesnthat Wilson champions to all partsnof North America, but they sank deepnroots only in the South and at the verynmoment when they were, on Wilson’snown showing, striking bedrock in thenNorth. How, then, could we explainnthe dogged resistance to the kind ofnmodernity that the trans-Atiantic bourgeoisienwas vigorously promoting if wendiscount the organic, rather than thencash-nexus, basis of Southern socialnrelations? I do not believe that wencould, and, if I read Pettigrew and hisncompeers correctiy, they did not, either.nThis is a big subject for another day,nproperiy pursued in a full discussion ofnwhat is living and what is dead in thenSouthern Tradition. For the moment,nhowever disconcerting Wilson’s questionablenjudgment on this matter, itndetracts little from an admirable book.nnBRIEF MENTIONSnWOMEN AND LAW IN CLASSICAL GREECE by Raphael SealeynChapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press; 202 pp., $24.95 (cloth),n$10.95 (paper)n’Teminist indignation is out of place in the study of ancient Greece,”ncomments Raphael Sealey at the end of an appendix to his very sensible book.nRather than give way to his own indignation, Sealey, professor of history atnBerkeley, has wisely chosen to omit from his bibliography nearly the whole ofnrecent feminist scholarship. Avoiding polemics, he has concentrated on the legalnposition of women in ancient Greece. By comparing what is known of Athens,nGortyn, Sparta, and a sampling of Hellenistic law codes, Sealey concludes thatnunderlying the variety of legal terms and customs was a set of commonnassumptions.nSpecifically, a Greek woman was subject to the power of a kurios, a master,nusually her father or, if he were dead, her nearest male relative. Upon marriage,nshe was given with her dowry to her husband, who became her master; thendowry, however, while passing out of her control, remained in an importantnsense hers and, if the marriage were dissolved, went with the wife. Greek lawnwas also particularly concerned with two other questions concerning women:nfirst, what to do about an heiress, i.e., an unmarried woman without father ornbrothers; and second, what to do in cases of intestate succession, that is, when anman dies without leaving descendants. Both were concerned primarily withnpreserving the integrity and existence of a family from which both men andnwomen drew their identity.nThese are thorny subjects that cannot be easily explained even to scholars, ifnthey lack the requisite background. Sealey has done, however, a superb job ofnclarifying these issues, and anyone interested in questions of family history willnbenefit from a close reading of his book. His discussions of Athenian law and thenlaws of Gortyn are particularly illuminating. He is less successful in discussingnHomer—his chapter reads like an outline of 20th-century Homeric scholarshipn— the Roman parallels, where he does not avail himself of the abundantnevidence on Roman social life, and in his treatment of Aristotle.nMore than once Sealey claims that “Aristotle thought that women werenchildren who never grew up.” He deduces this from a famous passage in thenPolitics, where the philosopher distinguishes among types of rule: of a free mannover a slave, of a husband over a wife, and of a father over his children. Slaves, innhis view, are too irrational to be independent, while children are only potentiallynrational. Women, on the other hand, obviously possess reason but not in andecisive form, that is, they are like Euripides’ Phaedra, who knew what was rightnbut surrendered to passion. But weakness is not identical with immaturity, and itnis important to note that Aristotle said that while a man ruled as a king over hisnchildren, a husband’s regime was constitutional. It is something like thendifference between absolutism and representative government — a key distinctionnfor any interpretation of Aristotle’s view of sex roles.nAs Sealey elsewhere observes, Athens tended to be less doctrinaire in itsnpatriarchy than Republican Rome, and Aristotle continues to be the best sourcenfor our understanding of Greek political life as well as the best guide fornimproving our own. Despite these shortcomings. Women and Law is one of thenbest contributions made to women’s studies and is sure to outrage the “women’sncaucus” of the American Philological Association.n— Thomas FlemingnnnOCTOBER 1990/35n