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This webpage reproduces a portion of
Roman Questions


published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1936

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. IV) Plutarch, Moralia

 p137  Roman Questions

(Part 5 of 5 on this website)

90 285e Why is it that, when the sacrifice to Hercules takes place, they mention by name no other god, and why is a dog never seen within his enclosure,206 as Varro has recorded?

Do they make mention of no other god because they regard Hercules as a demigod? But, as some207 relate, even while he was still on earth, Evander erected an altar to him and brought him sacrifice. And of all animals he contended most with a dog, for it is a fact that fthis beast always gave him much trouble, Cerberus, for instance. And, to crown all, when Oeonus, Licymnius's son, had been murdered by the sons of Hippocoön208 because of a dog, Hercules was compelled to engage in battle with them, and lost many of his friends and his brother Iphicles.

91 1   Why was it not permitted the patricians to dwell about the Capitoline?

Was it because Marcus Manlius,209 while he was dwelling there, tried to make himself king? They say that because of him the house of Manlius was bound by an oath that none of them should ever bear the name of Marcus.

Or does this fear date from early times? At any rate, although Publicola210 was a most democratic man, the nobles did not cease traducing him nor the commoners fearing him, until he himself razed his house, the situation of which was thought to be a threat to the Forum.

 p139  286 92 1   Why do they give a chaplet of oak leaves to the man who has saved the life of a citizen in time of war?211

Is it because it is easy to find an abundance of oak leaves everywhere on a campaign?

Or is it because the chaplet is sacred to Jupiter and Juno, whom they regard as guardians of the city?

Or is the custom an ancient inheritance from the Arcadians, who have a certain kinship with the oak? for they are thought to have been the first men sprung from the earth, even as the oak was the first plant.

93 1   Why do they make most use of vultures in augury?

Because vultures are not much use for anything else! (Now back to Plutarch:)

Is it because twelve vultures appeared to Romulus at the time of the founding of Rome? Or is it because this is the least frequent and familiar of birds? For it is not easy to find a vulture's nest, but these birds suddenly swoop down from afar; bwherefore the sight of them is portentous.

Or did they learn this also from Hercules? If Herodorus212 tells the truth, Hercules delighted in the appearance of vultures beyond that of all other birds at the beginning of any undertaking, since he believed that the vulture was the most righteous of all flesh-eating creatures; for, in the first place, it touches no living thing, nor does it kill any animate creature, as do eagles and hawks and the birds that fly by night; but it lives upon that which has been killed in some other way. Then again, even of these  p141 it leaves its own kind untouched; for no one has ever seen a vulture feeding on a bird, as eagles and hawks do, pursuing and striking their own kind particularly. cAnd yet, as Aeschylus213 says,

How can a bird that feeds on birds be pure?

And we may say that it is the most harmless of birds to men, since it neither destroys any fruit or plant nor injures any domesticated animal. But if, as the Egyptians fable, the whole species is female, and they conceive by receiving the breath of the East Wind, even as the trees do by receiving the West Wind, then it is credible that the signs from them are altogether unwavering and certain. But in the case of the other birds, their excitements in the mating season, as well as their abductions, retreats, and pursuits, have much that is disturbing and unsteady.

94 1   Why is the shrine of Aesculapius214 outside the city?

dIs it because they considered it more healthful to spend their time outside the city than within its walls? In fact the Greeks, as might be expected, have their shrines of Asclepius situated in places which are both clean and high.

Or is it because they believe that the god came at their summons from Epidaurus, and the Epidaurians have their shrine of Asclepius not in the city, but at some distance?

Or is it because the serpent came out from the trireme into the island,215 and there disappeared, and thus they thought that the god himself was indicating to them the site for building?

 p143  95 1   Why is it the customary rule that those who are practising holy living must abstain from legumes?216

Did they, like the followers of Pythagoras,217 religiously abstain from beans for the reasons which are commonly offered,218 and from vetch and chickpea, because their names (lathyros and erebinthos) esuggest Lethê and Erebus?

Or is it because they make particular use of legumes for funeral feasts and invocations of the dead?

Or is it rather because one must keep the body clean and light for purposes of holy living and lustration? Now legumes are a flatulent food and produce surplus matter that requires much purgation.

Or is it because the windy and flatulent quality of the food stimulates desire?

96 1   Why do they inflict no other punishment on those of the Holy Maidens219 who have been seduced, fbut bury them alive?220

Is it because they cremate their dead, and to use fire in the burial of a woman who had not guarded the holy fire in purity was not right?

Or did they believe it to be against divine ordinance to annihilate a body that had been consecrated by the greatest of lustral ceremonies, or to lay hands upon a holy woman? Accordingly they devised that she should die of herself; they conducted her underground into a chamber built there, in which had been placed a lighted lamp, a loaf of bread,  p145 and some milk and water. Thereafter they covered over the top of the chamber with earth. 287And yet not even by this manner of avoiding the guilt have they escaped their superstitious fear, but even to this day the priests proceed to this place and make offerings to the dead.

97 1   Why is it that after the chariot-race on the Ides of December221 the right-hand trace-horse of the winning team is sacrificed to Mars, and then someone cuts off its tail, and carries it to the place called Regia and sprinkles its blood on the altar, while some come down from the street called the Via Sacra, and some from the Subura, and fight for its head?

Is it, as some222 say, that they believe Troy to have been taken by means of a horse; and therefore they punish it, since, forsooth, they are

bNoble scions of Trojans commingled with children of Latins.223

Or is it because the horse is a spirited, warlike, and martial beast, and they sacrifice to the gods creatures that are particularly pleasing and appropriate for them; and the winner is sacrificed because Mars is the specific divinity of victory and prowess?

Or is it rather because the work of the god demands standing firm, and men that hold their ground defeat those that do not hold it, but flee? And is swiftness punished as being the coward's resource, and do they learn symbolically that there is no safety for those who flee?

 p147  98 1   Why do the censors, when they take office, do nothing else before they contract for the food of the sacred geese224 cand the polishing of the statue?225

Is it that they begin with the most trivial things, matters that require little expense or trouble?

Or is this a commemoration of an old debt of gratitude owed to these creatures for their services in the Gallic wars?226 For when in the night the barbarians were already climbing over the rampart of the Capitol, the geese perceived the invaders, although the dogs were asleep, and waked the guards by their clamour.

Or is it because the censors are guardians of the most important matters, and, since it is their duty to oversee and to busy themselves with sacred and State affairs and with the lives, morals, and conduct of the people, they immediately take into account the most vigilant of creatures, and at the same time by their care of the geese they urge the citizens dnot to be careless or indifferent about sacred matters?

But the polishing227 of the statue is absolutely necessary; for the red pigment, with which they used to tint ancient statues, rapidly loses its freshness.

99 1   Why is it that, if any one of the other priests is condemned and exiled, they depose him and elect another, but the augur, as long as he lives, even if they find him guilty of the worst offences, they do not  p149 deprive of his priesthood?228 They call "augurs" the men who are in charge of the omens.

Is it, as some say, because they wish no one who is not a priest to know the secrets of the holy rites?

Or, because the augur is bound by oaths to reveal the sacred matters to no one, are they unwilling to release him from his oath as would be the case eif he had been reduced to private status?

Or is "augur" a name denoting, not a rank or office, but knowledge and skill? Then to prevent a soothsayer from being a soothsayer would be like voting that a musician shall not be a musician, nor a physician a physician; for they cannot deprive him of his ability, even if they take away his title. They naturally appoint no successor since they keep the original number of augurs.

100 1   Why is it that on the Ides of August, formerly called Sextilis, all the slaves, female and male, keep holiday, and the Roman women make a particular practice of washing and cleansing their heads?

Do the servants have release from work because on this day King Servius was born from a captive maidservant?229 fAnd did the washing of their heads begin with the slave-women, because of their holiday, and extend itself to free-born women?

101 1   Why do they adorn their children's necks with amulets which they call bullae?230

Was it, like many another thing, in honour of their  p151 wives, who had been made theirs by force, that they voted this also as a traditional ornament for the children born from them?

Or is it to honour the manly courage of Tarquin? For the tale is told that, while he was still but a boy, 288in the battle against the combined Latin and Etruscan forces he charged straight into the enemy; and although he was thrown from his horse, he boldly withstood those that hurled themselves upon him, and thus gave renewed strength to the Romans. A brilliant rout of the enemy followed, sixteen thousand were killed, and he received this amulet as a prize of valour from his father the king.

Or did the Romans of early times account it not disreputable nor disgraceful to love male slaves in the flower of youth, as even now their comedies231 testify, but they strictly refrained from boys of free birth; and that they might not be in any uncertainty, even when they encountered them unclad, bdid the boys wear this badge?

Or is this a safeguard to insure orderly conduct, a sort of bridle on incontinence, that they may be ashamed to pose as men before they have put off the badge of childhood?

What Varro and his school say is not credible: that since boulê (counsel) is called bolla by the Aeolians, the boys put on this ornament as a symbol of good counsel.

But consider whether they may not wear it because of the moon. For the visible shape of the moon at the first quarter is not like a sphere, but like a lentil-seed  p153 or a quoit; and, as Empedocles232 thinks, so also is the matter of which the moon is composed.

102 1   Why do they name boys when they are nine days old, cbut girls when they are eight days old?

Does the precedence of the girls have Nature as its cause? It is a fact that the female grows up, and attains maturity and perfection before the male. As for the days, they take those that follow the seventh; for the seventh is dangerous for newly-born children in various ways and in the matter of the umbilical cord; for in most cases this comes away on the seventh day; but until it comes off, the child is more like a plant than an animal.233

dOr did they, like the adherents of Pythagoras, regard the even number as female and the odd number as male?234 For the odd number is generative, and, when it is added to the even number, it prevails over it. And also, when they are divided into units, the even number, like the female, yields a vacant space between, while of the odd number an integral part always remains. Wherefore they think that the odd is suitable for the male, and the even for the female.

Or is it that of all numbers nine235 is the first square from the odd and perfect triad, while eight is the first cube from the even dyad? Now a man should be four-square,236 eminent, and perfect; but a woman, like a cube, eshould be stable, domestic, and difficult to remove from her place. And this should be added,  p155 that eight is the cube of two and nine the square of three; women have two names, men have three.

103 1   Why do they call children of unknown fathers spurii?237

Now the reason is not, as the Greeks believe and lawyers in court are wont to assert, that these children are begotten of some promiscuous and common seed; but Spurius is a first name like Sextus and Decimus and Gaius. They do not write first names in full, but by one letter, as Titus (T.) and Lucius (L.) and Marcus (M.); or by two, as Tiberius (Ti.) and Gnaeus (Cn.); or by three, as Sextus (Sex.) and Servius (Ser.). Spurius, then, is one of those written by two letters: Sp. fAnd by these two letters they also denote children of unknown fathers, sine patre,238 that is "without a father"; by the s they indicate sine and by the p patre. This, then, caused the error, the writing of the same abbreviation for sine patre and for Spurius.

I must state the other explanation also, but it is somewhat absurd: They assert that the Sabines use the word spurius for the pudenda muliebria, and it later came about that they called the child born of an unmarried, unespoused woman by this name, as if in mockery.

104 1   Why do they call Bacchus Liber Pater ("Free Father")?239

 p157  Is it because he is the father of freedom to drinkers? 289For most people become bold and are abounding in frank speech when they in their cups.240 Or is it because he has provided the means for libations? Or is it derived, as Alexander241 asserts, from Dionysus Eleuthereus,242 so named from Eleutherae in Boeotia?

105 1   For what reason is it not the custom for maidens to marry on public holidays, but widows do marry at this time?243

Is it, as Varro has remarked, that maidens are grieved over marrying, but older women are glad, and on a holiday one should do nothing in grief or by constraint?

Or is it rather because it is seemly that not a few should be present when maidens marry, bbut disgraceful that many should be present when widows marry? Now the first marriage is enviable; but the second is to be deprecated, for women are ashamed if they take a second husband while the first husband is still living, and they feel sad if they do so when he is dead. Wherefore they rejoice in a quiet wedding rather than in noise and processions. Holidays distract most people, so that they have no leisure for such matters.

Or, because they seized the maiden daughters of the Sabines at a holiday festival, and thereby became involved in war, did they come to regard it as ill-omened to marry maidens on holy days?

 p159  106 1   Why do the Romans reverence Fortuna Primigenia,244 or "First-born," as one might translate it?

cIs it because by Fortune, as they say, it befell Servius, born of a maidservant, to become a famous king of Rome? This is the assumption which the majority of Romans make.

Or is it rather because Fortune supplied the origin and birth of Rome?245

Or does the matter have an explanation more natural and philosophic, which assumes that Fortune is the origin of everything, and Nature acquires its solid frame by the operation of Fortune, whenever order is created in any store of matter gathered together at haphazard.

107 1   Why do the Romans call the Dionysiac artists246 histriones?247

Is it for the reason that Cluvius Rufus248 dhas recorded? For he states that in very ancient times, in the consulship of Gaius Sulpicius and Licinius Stolo,249 a pestilential disease arose in Rome and destroyed to a man all persons appearing on the stage. Accordingly, at the request of the Romans, there came many excellent artists from Etruria, of whom the first in repute and the one who for the longest time enjoyed success in their theatres, was named Hister; and therefore all actors are named histriones from him.

 p161  108 1   Why do they not marry women who are closely akin to them?

Do they wish to enlarge their relationships by marriage and to acquire many additional kinsmen eby bestowing wives upon others and receiving wives from others?

Or do they fear the disagreements which arise in marriages of near kin, on the ground that these tend to destroy natural rights?

Or, since they observe that women by reason of their weakness need many protectors, were they not willing to take as partners in their household women closely akin to them, so that if their husbands wronged them, their kinsmen might bring them succour?

109 1   Why was it not permitted for the priest of Jupiter, whom they call the Flamen Dialis, to touch either flour or yeast?250

Is it because flour is an incomplete and crude food? For neither has it remained what it was, wheat, nor has it become what it must become, bread; but it has both lost the germinative power of the seed fand at the same time it has not attained to the usefulness of food. Wherefore also the Poet by a metaphor applied to barley-meal the epithet mylephatos,251 as if it were being killed or destroyed in the grinding.

Yeast is itself also the product of corruption, and produces corruption in the dough with which it is mixed; for the dough becomes flabby and inert, and altogether the process of leavening seems to be one of putrefaction;252 at any rate if it goes too far, it completely sours and spoils the flour.

 p163  110 1   Why is this priest also forbidden to touch raw flesh?

Is this custom intended to deter people completely from eating raw meat, or do they scrupulously repudiate flesh for the same reason as flour? 290For neither is it a living creature nor has it yet become a cooked food. Now boiling or roasting, being a sort of alteration and mutation, eliminates the previous form; but fresh raw meat does not have a clean and unsullied appearance, but one that is repulsive, like a fresh wound.

111 1   Why did they bid the priest avoid the dog and the goat, neither touching them nor naming them?

Did they loathe the goat's lasciviousness and foul odour, or did they fear its susceptibility to disease? For it is thought to be subject to epilepsy beyond all other animals, and to infect persons who eat it253 or touch it when it is possessed of the disease. bThe reason, they say, is the narrowness of the air passages, which are often suddenly contracted; this they deduce from the thinness of its voice. So also in the case of men, if they chance to speak during an epileptic fit, the sound they make is very like a bleat.

The dog has, perhaps, less of lasciviousness and foul odour. Some, however, assert that a dog may not enter either the Athenian acropolis254 nor the island of Delos255 because of its open mating, as if cattle and swine and horses mated within the walls of a chamber  p165 and not openly and without restraint! For these persons are ignorant of the true reason: because the dog is a belligerent creature cthey exclude it from inviolable and holy shrines, thereby offering a safe place of refuge for suppliants. Accordingly it is likely that the priest of Jupiter also, since he is, as it were, the animate embodiment and sacred image of the god, should be left free as a refuge for petitioners and suppliants, with no one to hinder them or to frighten them away. For this reason his couch was placed in the vestibule of his house, and anyone who fell at his knees had immunity from beating or chastisement all that day; and if any prisoner succeeded in reaching the priest, he was set free, and his chains they threw outside, not by the doors, but over the roof. So it would have been of no avail for him to render himself so gentle and humane, if a dog had stood before him frightening and keeping away those who had need of a place of refuge.

dNor, in fact, did the men of old think that this animal was wholly pure, for it was never sacrificed to any of the Olympian gods; and when it is sent to the cross-roads as a supper for the earth-goddess Hecatê,256 it has its due portion among sacrifices that avert and expiate evil. In Sparta they immolate puppies to the bloodiest of the gods, Enyalius; and in Boeotia the ceremony of public purification is to pass between the parts of a dog which has been cut in twain. The Romans themselves, in the month of purification,257 at the Wolf Festival, which they call the Lupercalia, sacrifice a dog. Hence it is not out of keeping that those who have attained to the office of serving the  p167 highest and purest god should be forbidden to make a dog their familiar companion and housemate.

e 112 1   For what reason was it forbidden the priest of Jupiter to touch ivy or to pass along a road overhung by a vine growing on a tree?258

Is this second question like the precepts: "Do not eat seated on a stool," "Do not sit on a peck measure," "Do not step over a broom"? For the followers of Pythagoras259 did not really fear these things nor guard against them, but forbade other things through these. Likewise the walking under a vine had reference to wine, signifying that it is not right for the priest to get drunk; for wine is over the heads of drunken men, and they are oppressed and humbled thereby, fwhen they should be above it and always master its pleasure, not be mastered by it.

Did they regard the ivy as an unfruitful plant, useless to man, and feeble, and because of its weakness needing other plants to support it, but by its shade and the sight of its green fascinating to most people? And did they therefore think that it should not be uselessly grown in their homes nor be allowed to twine about in a futile way, contributing nothing, since it is injurious to the plants forming its support? Or is it because it cleaves to the ground?260 291Wherefore it is excluded from the ritual of the Olympian gods, nor can any ivy be seen in the temple of Hera at Athens, or in the temple of Aphroditê at Thebes; but it has its place in the Agrionia261 and the Nyctelia,262 the rites of which are for the most part performed at night.

 p169  Or was this also a symbolic prohibition of Bacchic revels and orgies? For women possessed by Bacchic frenzies rush straightway for ivy and tear it to pieces, clutching it in their hands and biting it with their teeth; so that not altogether without plausibility are they who assert that ivy, possessing as it does an exciting and distracting breath of madness, bderanges persons and agitates them, and in general brings on a wineless drunkenness and joyousness in those that are precariously disposed towards spiritual exaltation.263

113 1   Why were these priests not allowed to hold office nor to solicit it, yet they have the service of a lictor and the right to a curule chair as an honour and a consolation for holding no office?264

Is this similar to the conditions in some parts of Greece where the priesthood had a dignity commensurate with that of the kingship, and they appointed as priests no ordinary men?

Or was it rather that since priests have definite duties, whereas officials have duties which are irregular and undefined, cif the occasions for these duties happened to coincide, it was impossible for the same man to be present at both, but oftentimes, when both duties were pressing, he had to neglect one of them and at one time commit impiety against the gods, and at another do hurt to his fellow-citizens?

Or did they observe that there is implicit in the government of men no less constraint than authority, and that the ruler of the people, as Hippocrates265 said  p171 of the physician, must see dreadful things and touch dreadful things and reap painful emotions of his own from the ills of other men? Did they, then, think it impious for a man to offer sacrifice to the gods, if he was concerned in pronouncing judgements and sentences of death upon citizens, and often upon kinsmen and members of his household, such as fell to the lot of Brutus?266

The Editor's Notes:

206 Cf. Pliny, Natural History, X.29 (79).

207 Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, I.40.2; Livy, I.7.12.

208 Cf. Apollodorus, II.7.3 with Frazer's note (L. C. L. vol. I, p251).

209 Cf. Life of Camillus, chap. xxxvi (148D); Livy, VI.20.13‑14.

210 Cf. Life of Publicola, chap. x (102C-D);

211 Cf. Life of Coriolanus, chap. iii (214E-F); Pliny, Natural History, XVI.4 (11‑14); Polybius, VI.39.6; Aulus Gellius, V.6.

212 Müller, Frag. Hist. Graec. II. p31: cf. Life of (p139) Romulus, IX. (23A-B); Pliny, Natural History, X.6 (19); Aelian, De Natura Animalium, II.46.

213 Suppliants, 226.

214 Cf. Pliny, Natural History, XXIX.1 (16); 4 (72); Livy, X.47, Epitome, xi.

215 The Insula Tiberina.

216 Cf. Pliny, Natural History, XVIII.12 (118‑119); Aulus Gellius, X.15.12.

217 Cf., for example, Juvenal, XV.9 "porrum et caepe nefas violare et frangere morsu"; Horace, Satires, II.6.63; Epistles, I.12.21.

218 The numerous reasons suggested may be found in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie, vol. III coll. 619‑620.

Thayer's Note: As often, there's more than meets the eye here, since Gellius (IV.XI.4) quotes Aristoxenus, and with approval for setting the record straight, as affirming that quite to the contrary, Pythagoras ate beans and recommended them; then Gellius goes on to adduce another writer who explains what is really going on.

219 Plutarch elsewhere uses a similar expression (παρθένος (p143)ἱέρεια) for the vestal virgins, e.g. in his Life of Publicola, chap. viii (101B) or Moralia, 89E.

220 Cf. Life of Numa, chap. x (67A-C); Ovid, Fasti, VI.457‑460; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, II.67.4, VIII.89.5; Pliny, Epistles, IV.11.6.

221 Presumably an error of Plutarch's: he means the tenth month, October: cf. Festus, s.v. October equus, p178.5.

222 Such as the historian Timaeus: cf. Polybius XII.4b.

223 A verse made in imitation of Homer, Il. XVIII.337 (or XXIII.23), blended with a part of X.424.

224 Cf. Pliny, Natural History, X.22 (51).

225 The statue of Jupiter Capitolinus: Pliny, Natural History, XXXIII.7 (112).

226 Cf. 325C-D, infra; Life of Camillus, xxvii (142D ff.); Livy, V.47; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, XIII.7‑8; Diodorus, XIV.116.

227 The high polish of the Roman statues is very noticeable in contrast with the duller surface of Greek statues. This is one of the factors in the controversy over the genuineness of the Hermes of Praxiteles at Olympia.

228 Cf. Pliny, Letters, IV.8.1.

229 Cf. 323B-C, infra.

230 Cf. Life of Romulus, xx (30C); Pliny, Natural History, XXXIII.1 (10); Macrobius, Saturnalia, I.6.7‑17.

231 The so‑called togatae, of which no complete specimen has survived; the palliatae of Plautus and Terence, being based on the Greek New Comedy, would prove nothing.

232 Cf. Moralia, 891C; Diogenes Laertius, VIII.77; Diels, Frag. der Vorsokratiker, I p210, A 60.

233 Cf. Aulus Gellius, XVI.16.2‑3.

234 Cf. 264A, supra.

235 Cf. Moralia, 744A-B.

236 Cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec., Simonides, Frag. 5 (or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, in L. C. L. ii p284).

237 Cf. Gaius, Institutiones, I.64; Valerius Maximus, De Praenominibus, 6 (p590 of Kempf's ed.).

238 The MSS. have sine patris; did Plutarch, or some Greek copyist, confuse the Latin genitive and ablative, since they are one in Greek?

239 Cf. Petronius, Satyricon, 41, and Housman's commentary in Classical Review, XXXII. p164.

240 Cf. Moralia, 716B.

241 Müller, Frag. Hist. Graec. iii p244; Alexander Polyhistor.

242 Cf. the inscription on the chair of the priest of Dionysus in the theatre at Athens, Ἱερέως Διονύσου Ἐλευθερέως.

243 Cf. Macrobius, Saturnalia, I.15.21.

244 Cf. 281E, supra, 322F, infra; Cicero, De Legibus, II.11; Livy, XXXIV.53.

245 Cf. 320B ff., infra.

246 Cf. Moralia, 87F.

247 Cf. Livy, VII.2; closely followed by Valerius Maximus, II.4.4.

248 Peter, Frag. Hist. Rom. p314, Cluvius, Frag. 4.

249 In 361 B.C.

250 Cf. Aulus Gellius, X.15.19.

251 Homer, Od. II.355: "mill-slaughtered."

252 Cf. Moralia, 659B.

253 Contrast Pliny, Natural History, XXVIII.16 (226), who says that goat's meat was given for epilepsy.

254 Cf. Comparison of Demetrius and Antony, chap. iv (95‑97B); Dionysius of Halicarnassus, De Dinarcho, 3.

255 Cf. Strabo, X.5.5, p684 (Meineke).

256 Cf. 277B, 280C, supra; Life of Romulus, xxi (31E).

257 February; cf. 280B, supra.

258 Cf. Aulus Gellius, X.15.12.

259 Cf. 281A, supra; Moralia, 727C.

260 It clings to the earth, unless it finds support, and is therefore unacceptable to the higher gods.

261 Cf. 299F, infra.

262 Cf. Moralia, 365E.º

263 Plutarch's fullest treatment of the properties of ivy will be found in Moralia, 648B-649F.

264 Cf. Aulus Gellius, X.15.4.

265 In the De Flatibus: vol. VI p213 (ed. Chartier); vol. I p569 (Kühn); cf. Lucian, Bis Accusatus, 1.

266 The first consul, who condemned his own sons to death; cf. Livy, II.5; Life of Publicola, chap. vi (99E-F).

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