This essay examines Plutarch’s manipulation of epithalamial imagery in the Amatorius in
conjunction with the motif of the discourse on love from Plato’s Symposium. In particular, it
explores how the topos of “fruit”, traditionally representing fertility in wedding poetry, is separated
from human reproduction by pederastic discourse and instead held to represent “virtue”, the
fruit of philosophical friendship between men. Women are associated with an inferior “flower”,
incapable of friendship or virtue. Yet Plutarch combines and develops these images to produce a
philosophy on love that is at once relevant to marriage and to philosophic discourse.