Plutarch’s Sons- and Bothers-in-law
Keywords:Plutarch, Consolatio uxoris, Quaestiones Convivales, Family, Brothers-in-law, Sons-in-law
From the Consolatio uxoris we learn that Plutarch and Timoxena had one single daughter, who was born after four sons and only lived to be two years old. Since in the Quaestiones convivales we encounter three different characters (Craton, Firmus and Patrocleas) indicated as Plutarch’s gambroi, some critics state them to be his sons-in-law, thus supposing the existence of three married daughters; others prefer to consider them as the husbands of Plutarch’s nieces; still others reject both conclusions and think the term gambroi merely refers to “relatives” in general. A careful analysis of all the passages involved clearly shows, in the first place, that gambros can only refer to sons-in-law and brothersin- law, then that – in the case in hand – the three men were Plutarch’s brothersin- law: very probably three brothers of Timoxena.
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