This book is a collection of essays with commentary and evaluative bibliography on Plutarch. Advice to the Bride and Groom and Consolation to His Wife along with the Greek texts and English translations. It is designed to help readers understand and appreciate two important documents for the study of gender and the family in the Graeco-Roman world and in later Western history. To populate the dearth of prior scholarly discussion of Plutarch's works on the family, Pomeroy has assembled a team of experts in Plutarch, the Hellenistic World, religion, cultural studies, and the family and gender, who use various historical and theoretical approaches in discussing the wide range of issues and questions raised by these texts. For example, what does one mean by "Roman" or "Greek" marriage in a Hellenistic context when Greeks and Romans were mutually influential? To begin to answer this question, it is imperative to take notice of Greek traditions, the Roman Imperial context, and the changing views of the family in Greek philosophy and early Christianity.
Furthermore, for an understanding of the Consolation to His Wife it is necessary to understand Roman demography and to examine contemporary Latin consolatory literature. Though Plutarch addressed both these essays to individual Greeks whom he knew personally, he had a much wider audience in mind. The commentary, essays, and bibliography are written so as to be accessible to those who are reading the English translation.
"In this highly energised field of debate [of ancient sexuality], Pomeroy's own contributions to this volume stand out for both their purposeful clarity and their defiant defence of historical narrative as a mode of explanation...This is a useful collection that will, no doubt, well serve its intended readership of students pursuing courses on women, gender and the family." --Tim Whitmarsh, St. John's College, Cambridge University "Valuable... the latest in Sarah Pomeroy's impressive list of publications on women and gender in the ancient world... Helpful, informative and well written." Ancient History Bulletin