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ON AFFECTION FOR OFFSPRING (DE AMORE PROLIS)This essay, or declamation, is clearly in an unfinished state throughout and a good deal is doubtless lost at the end, for the author has done little more with his subject than to show that φιλοστοργία 1 is more complete in man than in beasts.2 The efforts of Döhner3 and Weissenberger4 to prove that the essay is not genuine have not been successful. Dohner is, further, quite wrong, as Patzig5 and Weissenberger have shown, in assuming the work to be an epitome. [p. 329] It is best regarded as an unfinished fragment, containing, so far as it goes, the rough and unrevised hand of Plutarch. Dyroff's6 attempt to show that this work was composed before De Esu Carnium, De Sollertia Animalium, and Gryllus is not to be taken seriously : the grounds are too slight. The text is very corrupt. The work is not listed in the Lamprias catalogue.
1 Volkmann reminds us that De Amore Prolis is a bad Latin translation for the title, but that there is no better: cf. Fronto, i. p. 280, ii. p. 154 ed. Haines (L.C.L.) for the statement that there is no such quality as τὸ φιλόστοργον at Rome and consequently no name for it. See also Marcus Aurelius, i. 11.
2 Volkmann, Leben, Scriften, u. Philos, Plutarchs, ii. pp. 165-167, attempts to complete the thought of this treatise.
3 Quaest. Plut., iii. pp. 26 ff.
4 Die Sprache Plutarchs, ii. pp. 31-33. When Weissenberger attempts to find discrepancies between Plutarch's thought here and elsewhere, he chooses examples in which he either misinterprets the meaning or else forgets that Plutarch is ironical and intends the opposite of what he says.
5 Quaest. Plut., pp. 3-21: by far the most complete discussion of the vocabulary and syntax of this strange work. Patzig's conclusion is that we have here a finished essay of Plutarch; this is untenable, but his arguments for genuineness are quite conclusive. None of his successors, not even Pohlenz, shows any knowledge of his valuable work.
6 Program Würzburg, 1896/7.