Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stay-at-home Dads

I read something earlier today that shows that the concept of "stay-at-home dads" is not such a novel thing:

Just as the Egyptians have a climate peculiar to themselves, and their river is different in its nature from all other rivers, so, too, have they instituted customs and laws contrary for the most part to those of the rest of mankind. Among them, the women buy and sell (ἀγοράζουσι καὶ καπηλεύουσι), the men stay at home and weave; and whereas in weaving all others push the woof upwards, the Egyptians push it downwards.
-- Herodotus, Histories, 2.35.2

I suppose maybe Herodotus was trying to exaggerate the fact that Egyptians do things "backwards", especially given the fact that even the Nile River seemed to flow "backwards" (South to North) in their eyes. Nonetheless, it appears that stay-at-home dads wasn't an invention of the 20th century.

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