By Plutarch, Sarah B. Pomeroy
Whereas maybe top identified for his Lives, Plutarch additionally wrote philosophical dialogues that represent a tremendous highbrow legacy from the 1st century A.D. This assortment offers very important brief works from his writings in ethical philosophy. They display Plutarch at his best--informative, sympathetic, wealthy in narrative--and are followed via an in depth remark that situates Plutarch and his perspectives on marriage of their historic context.
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Extra info for Plutarch's Advice to the Bride and Groom and A Consolation to His Wife: English Translations, Commentary, Interpretive Essays, and Bibliography
Discourses of Sexuality from Aristotle to Aids (Ann Arbor 1992), 10 48-77- 36 Translations, Texts, and Commentaries Plato, Xenophon was a disciple of Socrates, and Plutarch was a Platonist. Despite Platonism, Plutarch declares that heterosexual and conjugal love is superior to other kinds of sexual connection, for it provides companionship, produces children, and is morally elevating (Advice ch. 32, sec also Eroticus). Xenophon also favors heterosexual and conjugal intercourse, though less unambiguously than Plutarch.
Horse to kneel. Feeble husbands make rich and noble wives lower themselves. They should respect their dignity, but curb them. The analogy between the male as rider and the woman as horse was common in Greek literature. The sexual connotations are patent. See above on Rampant Stallion (1386). Horses also connote luxury, for only the wealthy could afford them. Thus, 48 Translations, Texts, and Commentaries according to Semonidcs (ir. 57—70), the woman who is like a mare does not work and is considered a suitable wife only lor a king or a tyrant.
He was not the first to use history as an agent for moral reform. In the same way, on a larger scale, Livy had created a mythology around the virtuous women of the early Roman Republic as a means of critici/ing the women of his own time. In the late Republic, when the women of his own day were not behaving like Claudia Quinta and Cornelia, he wrote about these paragons and many other heroines of the past. When viewed in their own historical contexts, both Livy and Plutarch are seen to be social conservatives.