IV. (22) There follows after this a command not to espouse one’s sister: which is an injunction of great excellence, and one which contributes very greatly to temperance and good order. Therefore the Athenian lawgiver, Solon, when he permitted men to marry their sisters by the same father, forbade them to marry those by the same mother. But the lawgiver of the Lacedaemonians, on the other hand, allowed of marriages between brothers and sisters by the same mothers, but forbade those between brothers and sisters by the same father. (23) While the lawgiver of the Egyptians, ridiculing the cautious timidity of the others as if they had established imperfect ordinances, gave the reins to lasciviousness, supplying in great abundance that most incurable evil of intemperance both to body and soul, and permitting men fearlessly and with impunity to marry all their sisters, whether by both parents or by one, or by either, whether father or mother, and that too not only if younger than, but even when older than, or of the same age as themselves; for twins are very often born, which nature, indeed, at their very birth has dissevered and separated, but which incontinence and love of pleasure has invited to an association which ought never to be entered into, and to a most inharmonious agreement. (24) But the most sacred Moses, rejecting all those ordinances with detestation, as being quite inconsistent with and at variance with any praiseworthy kind of constitution, and as laws which encouraged and trained people to the most disgraceful of all habits, almost peremptorily prohibited any connection with a man’s sister, whether by both parents, or whether only by one of the two; (25) for why should any one seek to deface the beauty of modesty? And why make virgins destitute of all modesty, to whom it is becoming to blush? And, moreover, why should one be willing to limit the associations and connections with other men, and to confine a most honourable thing within the narrow space of the walls of a single house, which ought rather to be extended and diffused over all continents, and islands, and the whole inhabited world? For the intermarriages with strangers produce new relationships, which are in no respect inferior to those which proceed from ties of blood.