Again we have epideictic orations similar to the preceding and the following essays, and the conclusion again is abrupt, as if the speaker had been obliged to stop after a certain period of time had elapsed. Note, however, the very considerable difference in length between the first and the second part of the present work.

We know nothing of the circumstances under which these orations were delivered, but it is quite possible that they were spoken at Rome to show the Romans what an educated Greek could do in the treatment of a controversial subject.

The first oration deals mainly with the manner in which Fortune used Alexander ; but much is also said of the manner in which he met the buffetings of Fortune and rose superior to them. In the second oration Fortune is by no means neglected, but rather more is said of Alexander's Virtue ; thus it is not surprising to find in Lamprias's list of Plutarch's works two entries : the first, No. 176, Alexander's Fortune (Περὶ τῆς Ἀλεξάνδρου τύχης) and the second, No. 186, Alexander's Virtue (Περὶ τῆς Ἀλεξάνδρου ἀρετῆς).

Much that is included here is found also in Plutarch's Life of Alexander, in Arrian's Anabasis, and in other writers cited in the notes. [p. 381]

The genuineness of the tradition which ascribes these works to Plutarch (for the attribution had been attacked by A. Schäfer and by L. Weber) has been brilliantly vindicated by W. Nachstädt in his dissertation, De Plutarchi Declamationibus quae sunt De Alexandri Fortuna (Berliner Beiträge für klassischen Philologie, ii.), Karl Vogt, Berlin, 1895. This excellent work also contains a discussion of many of the problems which confront the editor of these essays and has been of great service.

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