Plutarch's well-chosen selection of stories about the bravery of women was composed for his friend Clea, who held high office among the priestesses at Delphi, and to whom he dedicated also his treatise on Isis and Osiris. He speaks of it as a supplement to a conversation on the equality of the sexes, which he had with Clea on the occasion of the death of Leontis, of blessed memory, suggested no doubt by the noble character of the departed. It is not impossible that some of the topics discussed in that conversation are included here also, so as to make the book a complete and finished whole.

The treatise stands as No. 126 in Lamprias's list of Plutarch's works.

Polyaenus drew freely from this book to embellish his Strategemata, as a glance at the notes on the following pages will show.

Novelists who still write of virtuous women and heartless villains may find some material in this work of Plutarch's. They need not be ashamed to glean where a great poet has reaped.

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