It is generally believed that the essay which stands first in the collected works of Plutarch cannot have been written by him. The arguments against the genuineness of the essay, based both on external and internal evidence, are too long to be repeated here, but they may be found in Wyttenbach's edition vol. vi. pp. 29-64.

The essay, however, is interesting in itself, since it reflects in many ways the educational conditions of its time. Frankly recognizing the difference in natural endowments, the author insists on the great benefits which inevitably come from training. Physical training is of course required, and military training is held to be most important for preparing men to win in battle. A knowledge of philosophy is the final goal of education.

The invectives against the indifference of parents about the education of their children, and their unwillingness to pay adequate salaries so as to secure men of character as teachers, may have the same familiar ring two thousand years hence.

Finally, a word is added on the excesses of young men, and a warning against flatterers,—suggested perhaps by Plutarch's essay devoted to that subject.

[p. 5]

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