GREECE: The Climax of Sin

A woman shall be good for everything in the home, but abroad good for nothing.

—Euripides

Greeks, mythological, ancient and modern, have long been the arbiters of womanly beauty, but their local queens have an uncertain record. Venus won the golden apple from Paris the shepherd, but helped him provoke the Trojan War; Callisto won the glances of Juno's husband, and was promptly turned into a bear; Aliki Diplarakou, Miss Greece of 1929, dressed up in men's clothes and smuggled herself into the monks' sanctuary on Mount Athos that had stood, inviolate, since the Byzantine Empire. The following year the contests were...