the LXX for Isaiah 3:22, τὰ διαφανῆ Λακωνικά is an extremely important addition! (Brenton
has "the Spartan transparent dresses," and Silva "the transparent
Laconian fabrics.") The Greek male lore outside of Laconia about the
Sparta females is rather pronounced. In "Dissoi Logoi," a treatise of
cultural relativisms, there is the singular consensus that Spartan women
went into the gymnasium and there went nude: "In Sparta it is seemly
for girls to exercise naked, in Sparta it is shameful for girls to
exercise naked" (trans. T. M. Robinson, p. 51). In his "Laws," Plato's
Athenian does "commend [the male] Laconian lawgivers" for "letting the
female sex indulge in luxury and expense and disorderly ways of life,
while supervising the male sex." In his "Rhetoric," Aristotle suggests
that in Laconia the women are φαῦλα
(i.e., cheap, easy, or at the very least paltry). AND, a good bit
later, the Spartans and the Jews identify themselves as brethren: 1
Macc 12:2,5,6,20,21; 14:20,23; 15:23; 2 Macc 5:9. In Macc 12:21, the
Spartan King to the Jewish High Priest declares: εὑρέθη ἐν γραφῇ περί
τε τῶν Σπαρτιατῶν καὶ Ιουδαίων ὅτι εἰσὶν ἀδελφοὶ καὶ ὅτι εἰσὶν ἐκ γένους
Αβρααμ. "It has been found in Scripture concerning the Spartans and
the Jews that they are brethren and are of the family of Abraham."
Could Greek Isaiah 3:22 be one way the Laconians and the Jews are
linked, if in this bit there they're perhaps both somewhat disparaged?!
3:17, there seems to be something explicitly sexual: τὸ σχῆμα αὐτῶν in
reference to θυγατέρας Σιών. At first glance, it might appear that the
Hebrew is more suggestive (if ambiguous), having HaShem "lay bare /
discover their secret parts" (JPS / KJV - that is, פת of בנות ציון).
But the Greek translator has κύριος ἀποκαλύψει τὸ σχῆμα αὐτῶν. And in
Aristotle's writings (Hist. of Animals, 579b 20), the biologist is
comparing visible male and female parts and discusses τῷ σχήματι τῷ τοῦ
θήλεος (or as D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson renders it "the female organ").
What is Isaiah in Hebrew and in Greek saying here? How must we
interpret the sexed language?