Plutarch's essay on friendship may possibly have been offered on some occasion as a lecture, but there is nothing to prove or disprove this assumption. From what we know of Plutarch's relations to his friends we can well believe that he was singularly happy in his friendships, and hence well fitted to speak on the subject. He was familiar, too, with the literature dealing with friendship, and the result is an essay well worth reading. Cicero's essay on friendship (De amicitia) may profitably be compared with Plutarch's.

Two or three emendations of a more radical nature have been adopted in the text, in the effort to make it intelligible: for example, in 96 a the translation probably gives the right sense of the passage, as Wyttenbach seemed to see, but whether the emendation is right is more doubtful. Even more doubtful is Paton's προσεντείνειν, based on an even more dubious emendation of ἐντείνασθαι in the quotation from Euripides ; for Plutarch would not be apt to refer to an aorist middle by a present active form. In these matters Plutarch was more careful than Paton.

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