This paper discusses the advice on rhetorical matters that Plutarch gives in the Quaestiones
Convivales to stress the importance of good conversational skills in establishing fruitful
relationships with other people during after-dinner table talk. Reflecting the association
between education and the symposiac context under the Roman Empire, Plutarch suggests
procedures for choosing and discussing the best themes for conversation, and for interacting
in an appropriate manner with the other guests. Rhetoric thus takes up a central position in
situations in which friendships may be made or strengthened.