THE GREEK QUESTIONS
In the Greek Questions
, as in the Roman Questions
Plutarch endeavours to give the reason or explanation
of fifty-nine matters concerned with Greek life. The
vast majority of them are customs or names and, as
the explanations are usually historical, they often go
back to very early times. A full commentary may
be found in W. R. Halliday, The Greek Questions of
(Oxford, 1928), an excellent work, embodying
also much of the modern speculation in regard to
The sources for the information contained in this
essay seem to be somewhat varied, but there is little
doubt that Aristotle's account of the numerous Greek
was Plutarch's principal source. The
matter is treated at length by Halliday.
J. J. Hartman (Mnemosyne
, xii. p. 216, or De
Plutarcho scriptore et philosophos
p. 139) is the only
modern scholar who has doubted the authenticity of
the attribution to Plutarch of this work1
; the author
was not primarily interested in ethical matters,
according to Hartman, and hence cannot be Plutarch.
J. B. Titchener2
has promised a discussion of this
matter, but stylistic considerations alone seem to
make it uncertain whether the work is correctly
attributed to Plutarch.
A few of the topics treated in the Greek Questions
appear also in other works of Plutarch, but the
number naturally is not large.
The ms. tradition is good; the few difficulties
found are generally with single words.
The work is No. 166 in Lamprias's list of Plutarch's
works, where the title is given as Αἰτίαι Ἑλλήνων