JQR on One Foot

JQR’s archive is more than a century deep, and much of the scholarship of the decades that precede ours remains vital. This winter’s issue of JQR features a note in which Naphtali Meshel extends a conversation started by Raphael Jospe in an essay titled “Hillel’s Rule,” which ran in our pages thirty-four years ago. (JQR 81.1 [1990]: 45–57).

Secundus the Silent and the Vanishing Seduction of Beruriah

Secundus the Silent was a first-century Greek philosopher who in order to prove his assertion that women were incapable of chastity, undertook successfully to seduce his own mother. Though he revealed his identity to her while the two were in bed together—before consummating the affair—her willingness, and resultant shame, led her to hang herself. Though Secundus’s point was carried, his growing sense of the dishonor of his action and its fallout led him to take a vow of silence about the event; thus his epithet.