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Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; – after AD 119) was a
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
Middle Platonist
philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigates philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Suc ...
,
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the st ...
, biographer,
essay An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a Letter (message), letter, a term paper, paper, an article (publishing), article, a pamphlet, and a short ...
ist, and priest at the Temple of Apollo in
Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle ...
. He is known primarily for his ''
Parallel Lives Plutarch's ''Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans'', commonly called ''Parallel Lives'' or ''Plutarch's Lives'', is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably writt ...
'', a series of biographies of illustrious Greeks and Romans, and ''
Moralia The ''Moralia'' ( grc, Ἠθικά ''Ethika''; loosely translated as "Morals" or "Matters relating to customs and mores") is a group of manuscripts dating from the 10th–13th centuries, traditionally ascribed to the 1st-century Greek scholar Plu ...
'', a collection of essays and speeches. Upon becoming a
Roman citizen Citizenship in ancient Rome (Latin language, Latin: ''civitas'') was a privileged political and legal status afforded to free individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance. Citizenship in Ancient Rome was complex and based upon many d ...
, he was possibly named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ().


Life


Early life

Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of
Chaeronea Chaeronea (English language, English: or ; el, wikt:Χαιρώνεια, Χαιρώνεια , ) is a village and a former municipality in Boeotia, Greece, located about 35 kilometers east of Delphi. Since the 2011 local government reform it is pa ...
, about east of
Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle ...
, in the Greek region of
Boeotia Boeotia ( ), sometimes Latinisation of names, Latinized as Boiotia or Beotia ( el, wikt:Βοιωτία, Βοιωτία; modern Greek, modern: ; ancient Greek, ancient: ), formerly known as Cadmeis, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is pa ...
. His family was long established in the town; his father was named Autobulus and his grandfather was named
Lamprias Lamprias (Ancient Greek, Greek: Λαμπρίας) was Plutarch's grandfather as he attested in ''Moralia'',''Symposiacs'', Book IX, questions II and IIIonline text at Adelaide library) and in his Life of Antony. According to Plutarch, Lamprias was ...
. His name is derived from
Pluto Pluto (minor-planet designation: 134340 Pluto) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of trans-Neptunian object, bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object to directly orbit the S ...
(πλοῦτον), an epithet of
Hades Hades (; grc-gre, ᾍδης, Háidēs; ), in the ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the Greek underworld, underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Cro ...
, and Archos (ἀρχός) meaning "Master", the whole name meaning something like "Whose master is Pluto". His brothers, Timon and Lamprias, are frequently mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work ''Life of Plutarchus'', recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, Timoxena, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, who was named Timoxena after her mother. He hinted at a belief in
reincarnation Reincarnation, also known as rebirth or transmigration, is the Philosophy, philosophical or Religion, religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being begins a new life in a different physical form or physical body, body after ...
in that letter of consolation. Plutarch studied
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some ...
in
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
under Ammonius from AD 66 to 67. He attended the games of Delphi where the emperor
Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( ; born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68), was the fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 unti ...
competed and possibly met prominent Romans, including future emperor
Vespasian Vespasian (; la, Vespasianus ; 17 November AD 9 – 23/24 June 79) was a Roman emperor who reigned from AD 69 to 79. The fourth and last emperor who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empir ...
. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them, Autobulus and the second Plutarch, are often mentioned. Plutarch's treatise ''De animae procreatione in Timaeo'' is dedicated to them, and the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere definitely stated. His treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the former as having recently lived in his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch was the uncle or grandfather of Sextus of Chaeronea, who was one of the teachers of
Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Latin: áːɾkus̠ auɾέːli.us̠ antɔ́ːni.us̠ English: ; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good ...
, and who may have been the same person as the philosopher
Sextus Empiricus Sextus Empiricus ( grc-gre, Σέξτος Ἐμπειρικός, ; ) was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher and Empiric school physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Comm ...
. Plutarch was a
vegetarian Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the Eating, consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, insects as food, insects, and the flesh of any other animal). It may also include abstaining from eating all by-products of animal slau ...
, though how long and how strictly he adhered to this diet is unclear. He wrote about the
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
of meat-eating in two discourses in ''Moralia''. At some point, Plutarch received
Roman citizenship Citizenship in ancient Rome (Latin language, Latin: ''civitas'') was a privileged political and legal status afforded to free individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance. Citizenship in Ancient Rome was complex and based upon many d ...
. His sponsor was Lucius Mestrius Florus, who was an associate of the new emperor Vespasian, as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus. As a Roman citizen, Plutarch would have been of the equestrian order, he visited Rome some time with Florus, who served also as a historical source for his ''Life of Otho''. He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, and was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, Apóllōnos, label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, Apéllōn, ; grc, Ἀπείλων, Apeílōn, label=Arcadocypriot Greek Arcadocypriot, or southern Achaeans (tribe), Achaean, was an ancient ...
. He probably took part in the
Eleusinian Mysteries The Eleusinian Mysteries ( el, Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια, Eleusínia Mystḗria) were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Elefsina in ancient Greece. They are the ...
. During his visit to Rome he may have been part of a municipal embassy for
Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle ...
: around the same time, Vespasian granted Delphi various municipal rights and privileges.


Work as magistrate and ambassador

In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was also a
magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''Roman magistrate, magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and poss ...
at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of
archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, mean ...
in his native municipality, probably only an annual one which he likely served more than once. Plutarch was epimeletes (manager) of the
Amphictyonic League In Archaic Greece, an amphictyony ( grc-gre, ἀμφικτυονία, a "league of neighbors"), or amphictyonic league, was an ancient religious association of tribes formed before the rise of the Greek ''poleis''. The six Dorians, Dorian cities o ...
for at least five terms, from 107 to 127, in which role he was responsible for organising the
Pythian Games The Pythian Games ( grc-gre, Πύθια;) were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. They were held in honour of Apollo at his sanctuary at Delphi every four years, two years after the Ancient Olympic Games, Olympic Games, and be ...
. He mentions this service in his work, ''Whether an Old Man Should Engage in Public Affairs'' (17 = ''Moralia'' 792f). The ''
Suda The ''Suda'' or ''Souda'' (; grc-x-medieval, Σοῦδα, Soûda; la, Suidae Lexicon) is a large 10th-century Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman ...
'', a
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
Greek encyclopedia, states that
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Traianus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared ''optimus princeps'' ("best ruler") by the Roman Senate, senate, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emper ...
made Plutarch procurator of
Illyria In classical antiquity, Illyria (; grc, Ἰλλυρία, ''Illyría'' or , ''Illyrís''; la, Illyria, ''Illyricum'') was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of people collectively known as the Illyr ...
. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Trâiānus Hadriānus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born in Italica (close to modern Santiponce in Spain), a Roman ''municipium'' founded by Italic peoples, Italic settlers ...
appointed him nominal procurator of
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek language, Greek as Akhaia (, ''Akhaïa'' ), is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Western Greece and is situated in the northweste ...
– which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul.


Late period: Priest at Delphi

Some time , Plutarch was made one of the two sanctuary priests for the temple of Apollo at Delphi; the site had declined considerably since the classical Greek period. Around the same time in the 90s, Delphi experienced a construction boom, financed by Greek patrons and possible imperial support. His priestly duties connected part of his literary work with the Pythian oracle at Delphia: one of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse".(). Even more important is the dialogue “On the ‘E’ at Delphi” (), which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, and Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter ‘E’ written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: The
Seven Sages of Greece The Seven Sages (of Greece) or Seven Wise Men ( Greek: ''hoi hepta sophoi'') was the title given by classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world ...
, whose maxims were also written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but actually five: Chilon,
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων;  BC) was an History of Athens, Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in A ...
,
Thales Thales of Miletus ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Θαλῆς, Θαλῆς; ) was a Greeks, Greek Greek Mathematics, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and Pre-Socratic philosophy, pre-Socratic philosopher from Miletus in Ionia, Asia Minor. He was one of ...
,
Bias Bias is a disproportionate weight ''in favor of'' or ''against'' an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group ...
, and Pittakos. However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the ‘E’, which was used to represent the number 5, constituted an acknowledgement that the Delphic maxims actually originated from only five genuine wise men.


Portrait

There was a portrait bust dedicated to Plutarch for his efforts in helping to revive the Delphic shrines. The portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dates to the 2nd century; due to its inscription, in the past it had been identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a relatively young age: His hair and beard are rendered in coarse volumes and thin incisions. The gaze is deep, due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils. But a fragmentary hermaic
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek language, Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ...
''next'' to the portrait probably did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians, along with the Chaeroneans, dedicated this (image of) Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony" ( , .


Works

Plutarch's surviving works were intended for Greek speakers throughout the Roman Empire, not just Greeks.


Lives of the Roman emperors

Plutarch's first biographical works were the Lives of the Roman Emperors from
Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pri ...
to
Vitellius Aulus Vitellius (; ; 24 September 1520 December 69) was Roman emperor for eight months, from 19 April to 20 December AD 69. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civi ...
. Of these, only the Lives of Galba and
Otho Marcus Otho (; born Marcus Salvius Otho; 28 April 32 – 16 April 69) was the seventh Roman emperor, ruling for three months from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. A member of a noble Etrus ...
survive. The Lives of
Tiberius Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Roman emperor. He reigned from AD 14 until 37, succeeding his stepfather, the first Roman emperor Augustus. Tiberius was born in Rome in 42 BC. His father ...
and
Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( ; born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68), was the fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 unti ...
are extant only as fragments, provided by Damascius (Life of Tiberius, cf. his Life of Isidore) and Plutarch himself (Life of Nero, cf. Galba 2.1), respectively. These early emperors’ biographies were probably published under the
Flavian dynasty The Flavian dynasty ruled the Roman Empire between AD 69 and 96, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69–79), and his two sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian (81–96). The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as ...
or during the reign of Nerva (AD 96–98). There is reason to believe that the two Lives still extant, those of Galba and Otho, "ought to be considered as a single work." Therefore, they do not form a part of the Plutarchian canon of single biographies – as represented by the Life of Aratus of Sicyon and the Life of
Artaxerxes II Arses ( grc-gre, Ἄρσης; 445 – 359/8 BC), known by his regnal name Artaxerxes II ( peo, 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂 ; grc-gre, Ἀρταξέρξης), was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 405/4 BC to 358 BC. He was the son and suc ...
(the biographies of
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is generally regarded by western authors as 'the first written poet i ...
,
Pindar Pindar (; grc-gre, Πίνδαρος , ; la, Pindarus; ) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian wrote, "Of the nine lyric poets, Pindar ...
, Crates and Daiphantus were lost). Unlike in these biographies, in ''Galba-Otho'' the individual characters of the persons portrayed are not depicted for their own sake but instead serve as an illustration of an abstract principle; namely the adherence or non-adherence to Plutarch's morally founded ideal of governing as a
Princeps ''Princeps'' (plural: ''principes'') is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then kn ...
(cf. Galba 1.3; Moralia 328D–E).Cf. Holzbach, op. cit., 24, 67–83 Arguing from the perspective of Platonic political philosophy (cf. Republic 375E, 410D-E, 411E-412A, 442B-C), in ''Galba-Otho'' Plutarch reveals the constitutional principles of the
Principate The Principate is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in AD 284, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate. ...
in the time of the civil war after Nero's death. While morally questioning the behavior of the autocrats, he also gives an impression of their tragic destinies, ruthlessly competing for the throne and finally destroying each other. "The Caesars' house in Rome, the Palatium, received in a shorter space of time no less than four Emperors", Plutarch writes, "passing, as it were, across the stage, and one making room for another to enter" (Galba 1). ''Galba-Otho'' was handed down through different channels. It can be found in the appendix to Plutarch's ''Parallel Lives'' as well as in various Moralia manuscripts, most prominently in
Maximus Planudes Maximus Planudes ( grc-gre, Μάξιμος Πλανούδης, ''Máximos Planoúdēs''; ) was a Byzantine Greek monk, scholar, anthologist, translator, mathematician, grammarian and theologian at Constantinople. Through his translations fr ...
' edition where Galba and Otho appear as ''Opera'' XXV and XXVI. Thus it seems reasonable to maintain that ''Galba-Otho'' was from early on considered as an illustration of a moral-ethical approach, possibly even by Plutarch himself.


''Parallel Lives''

Plutarch's best-known work is the ''
Parallel Lives Plutarch's ''Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans'', commonly called ''Parallel Lives'' or ''Plutarch's Lives'', is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably writt ...
'', a series of biographies of illustrious Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...
virtues and vices, thus it being more of an insight into human nature than a
historical History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbr ...
account. The surviving ''Lives'' contain 23 pairs, each with one Greek life and one Roman life, as well as four unpaired single lives. As is explained in the opening paragraph of his ''Life of Alexander'', Plutarch was not concerned with history so much as the influence of character, good or bad, on the lives and destinies of men. Whereas sometimes he barely touched on epoch-making events, he devoted much space to charming anecdote and incidental triviality, reasoning that this often said far more for his subjects than even their most famous accomplishments. He sought to provide rounded portraits, likening his craft to that of a painter; indeed, he went to tremendous lengths (often leading to tenuous comparisons) to draw parallels between physical appearance and
moral character Moral character or character (derived from charaktêr) is an analysis of an individual's steady Morality, moral qualities. The concept of ''character'' can express a variety of attributes, including the presence or lack of virtues such as empat ...
. In many ways, he must be counted amongst the earliest moral philosophers. Some of the ''Lives'', such as those of
Heracles Heracles ( ; grc-gre, Ἡρακλῆς, , glory/fame of Hera), born Alcaeus (, ''Alkaios'') or Alcides (, ''Alkeidēs''), was a divine hero in Greek mythology A major branch of classical mythology, Greek mythology is the body of my ...
,
Philip II of Macedon Philip II of Macedon ( grc-gre, Φίλιππος ; 382 – 21 October 336 BC) was the king (''basileus'') of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia from 359 BC until his death in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead ...
,
Epaminondas Epaminondas (; grc-gre, Ἐπαμεινώνδας; 419/411–362 BC) was a Greeks, Greek general of Thebes, Greece, Thebes and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek polis, city-state, leading it out o ...
,
Scipio Africanus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (, , ; 236/235–183 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, most notable as one of the main architects of Rome's victory against Ancient Carthage, Carthage in the Second Punic War. Often regarded as one of the ...
,
Scipio Aemilianus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Aemilianus (185–129 BC), known as Scipio Aemilianus or Scipio Africanus the Younger, was a Roman general and statesman noted for his military exploits in the Third Punic War against Ancient Carthage, Cartha ...
and possibly Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus no longer exist; many of the remaining ''Lives'' are truncated, contain obvious lacunae or have been tampered with by later writers. Extant ''Lives'' include those on
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων;  BC) was an History of Athens, Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in A ...
,
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
,
Aristides Aristides ( ; grc-gre, Ἀριστείδης, Aristeídēs, ; 530–468 BC) was an ancient Athenian statesman. Nicknamed "the Just" (δίκαιος, ''dikaios''), he flourished in the early quarter of Athens' Classical period and is remember ...
,
Agesilaus II Agesilaus II (; grc-gre, Ἀγησίλαος ; c. 442 – 358 BC) was king of Sparta from c. 399 to 358 BC. Generally considered the most important king in the history of Sparta, Agesilaus was the main actor during the period of Spartan hegemony ...
,
Pericles Pericles (; grc-gre, Περικλῆς; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, ...
,
Alcibiades Alcibiades ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Ἀλκιβιάδης, Ἀλκιβιάδης; 450 – 404 BC) was a prominent Athens (polis), Athenian statesman, Public speaking, orator, and general. He was the last of the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominen ...
,
Nicias Nicias (; Νικίας ''Nikias''; c. 470–413 BC) was an Ancient Athens, Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father ...
,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greeks, Greek statesman and orator in History of Athens, ancient Athens. His Public speaking, orations constitute a significant expression ...
,
Pelopidas Pelopidas (; grc-gre, Πελοπίδας; died 364 BC) was an important Thebes, Greece, Theban statesman and general in Greece, instrumental in establishing the mid-fourth century Theban hegemony. Biography Athlete and warrior Pelopidas was ...
, Philopoemen, Timoleon,
Dion of Syracuse Dion (; el, wikt:Δίων, Δίων ὁ Συρακόσιος; 408–354 BC), tyrant of Syracuse, Italy, Syracuse in Sicily, was the son of Hipparinus (father of Dion), Hipparinus, and brother-in-law of Dionysius I of Syracuse. A disciple of Plat ...
,
Eumenes Eumenes (; grc-gre, Εὐμένης; c. 362316 BC) was a Ancient Greece, Greek general and satrap. He participated in the Wars of Alexander the Great, serving as both Alexander the Great, Alexander's personal secretary and as a battlefield comman ...
,
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
,
Pyrrhus of Epirus Pyrrhus (; grc-gre, Πύρρος ; 319/318–272 BC) was a Greeks, Greek king and wikt:statesman, statesman of the Hellenistic period.Plutarch. ''Parallel Lives'',Pyrrhus... He was king of the List of ancient Greek tribes#Epirus, Greek tribe o ...
,
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus ...
,
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–672 BC; reigned 715–672 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions ...
,
Coriolanus ''Coriolanus'' ( or ) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608. The play is based on the life of the legendary Roman Republic, Roman leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Sh ...
,
Theseus Theseus (, ; grc-gre, Θησεύς ) was the mythical king and founder-hero of Athens. The myths surrounding Theseus his journeys, exploits, and friends have provided material for fiction throughout the ages. Theseus is sometimes describe ...
, Aemilius Paullus,
Tiberius Gracchus Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus ( 163 – 133 BC) was a Roman politician best known for his agrarian reform law entailing the transfer of land from the Roman state and wealthy landowners to poorer citizens. He had also served in the Roma ...
,
Gaius Gracchus Gaius Sempronius Gracchus ( – 121 BC) was a reformist Ancient Roman, Roman politician in the 2nd century BC. He is most famous for his tribunate for the years 123 and 122 BC, in which he proposed a wide set of laws, including law ...
,
Gaius Marius Gaius Marius (; – 13 January 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbrian War, Cimbric and Jugurthine War, Jugurthine wars, he held the office of Roman consul, consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. ...
, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Cato the Elder, Mark Antony, and Marcus Junius Brutus.


''Life of Alexander''

Plutarch's ''Life of Alexander'', written as a parallel to that of Julius Caesar, is one of five extant tertiary sources on the Macedonian conqueror
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
. It includes anecdotes and descriptions of events that appear in no other source, just as Plutarch's portrait of
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–672 BC; reigned 715–672 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions ...
, the putative second king of Rome, holds much that is unique on the early Roman calendar. Plutarch devotes a great deal of space to Alexander's drive and desire, and strives to determine how much of it was presaged in his youth. He also draws extensively on the work of Lysippus, Alexander's favourite sculptor, to provide what is probably the fullest and most accurate description of the conqueror's physical appearance. When it comes to his character, Plutarch emphasizes his unusual degree of self-control and scorn for luxury: "He desired not pleasure or wealth, but only excellence and glory." As the narrative progresses, however, the subject incurs less admiration from his biographer and the deeds that it recounts become less savoury. The murder of Cleitus the Black, which Alexander instantly and deeply regretted, is commonly cited to this end.


''Life of Caesar''

Together with Suetonius's ''The Twelve Caesars'', and Julius Caesar, Caesar's own works Commentarii de Bello Gallico, ''de Bello Gallico'' and ''Commentarii de Bello Civili, de Bello Civili'', the ''Life of Caesar'' is the main account of Julius Caesar's feats by ancient historians. Plutarch starts by telling of the audacity of Caesar and his refusal to dismiss Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Cinna's daughter, Cornelia (wife of Caesar), Cornelia. Other important parts are those containing his military deeds, accounts of battles and Caesar's capacity of inspiring the soldiers. However, Plutarch's life shows few differences from Suetonius' work and Caesar's own works (see ''De Bello Gallico'' and ''De Bello Civili''). Sometimes, Plutarch quotes directly from the ''De Bello Gallico'' and even tells us of the moments when Caesar was dictating his works. In the final part of this life, Plutarch recounts details of Assassination of Julius Caesar, Caesar's assassination. It ends by telling the destiny of his murderers, just after a detailed account of the scene when a Ghost, phantom appeared to Marcus Junius Brutus, Brutus at night.


''Life of Pyrrhus''

Plutarch's ''Life of Pyrrhus'' is a key text because it is the main historical account on Roman history for the period from 293 to 264 BCE, for which both Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Dionysius’ and Livy’s texts are lost.


''Moralia''

The remainder of Plutarch's surviving work is collected under the title of the ''
Moralia The ''Moralia'' ( grc, Ἠθικά ''Ethika''; loosely translated as "Morals" or "Matters relating to customs and mores") is a group of manuscripts dating from the 10th–13th centuries, traditionally ascribed to the 1st-century Greek scholar Plu ...
'' (loosely translated as ''Customs and Mores''). It is an eclectic collection of seventy-eight essays and transcribed speeches, including ''On Fraternal Affection''—a discourse on honour and affection of siblings toward each other, ''On the Fortune or the Virtue of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
''—an important adjunct to his Life of the great king, ''On the Worship of Isis and Osiris'' (a crucial source of information on Ancient Egypt, Egyptian religious rites), along with more philosophical treatises, such as ''On the Decline of the Oracles'', ''On the Delays of the Divine Vengeance'', ''On Peace of Mind'' and lighter fare, such as ''Odysseus and Gryllus'', a humorous dialogue between Homer's Odysseus and one of Circe's enchanted pigs. The ''Moralia'' was composed first, while writing the Lives occupied much of the last two decades of Plutarch's own life.


Spartan lives and sayings

Since Spartans wrote no history prior to the Hellenistic period – their only extant literature is fragments of 7th-century lyrics – Plutarch's five Spartan lives and ''Sayings of Spartans'' and ''Sayings of Spartan Women'', rooted in sources that have since disappeared, are some of the richest sources for historians of Laconia (ancient region), Lacedaemonia.Pomeroy, Sarah B.; Burstein, Stanley M.; Donlan, Walter; and Tolbert Roberts, Jennifer (1999). ''Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History''. New York: Oxford University Press. . . But while they are important, they are also controversial. Plutarch lived centuries after the Sparta he writes about (and a full millennium separates him from the earliest events he records) and even though he visited Sparta, many of the ancient customs he reports had been long abandoned, so he never actually saw of what he wrote. Plutarch's sources themselves can be problematic. As the historians Sarah B. Pomeroy, Sarah Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Stanley Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts have written, "Plutarch was influenced by histories written after the decline of Sparta and marked by nostalgia for a happier past, real or imagined." Turning to Plutarch himself, they write, "the admiration writers like Plutarch and Xenophon felt for Spartan society led them to exaggerate its monolithic nature, minimizing departures from ideals of equality and obscuring patterns of historical change." Thus the Spartan egalitarianism and superhuman immunity to pain that have seized the popular imagination are likely myths, and their main architect is Plutarch. While flawed, Plutarch is nonetheless indispensable as one of the only ancient sources of information on Spartan life. Pomeroy et al. conclude that Plutarch's works on Sparta, while they must be treated with skepticism, remain valuable for their "large quantities of information" and these historians concede that "Plutarch's writings on Sparta, more than those of any other ancient author, have shaped later views of Sparta", despite their potential to misinform. He was also referenced in saying unto Sparta, "The beast will feed again."


''Questions''

Book IV of the ''Moralia'' contains the ''Roman and Greek Questions'' (Αἰτίαι Ῥωμαϊκαί and Αἰτίαι Ἑλλήνων). The customs of Romans and Greeks are illuminated in little essays that pose questions such as "Why were patricians not permitted to live on the Capitoline?" (no. 91) and then suggests answers to them.


''On the Malice of Herodotus''

In ''On the Malice of Herodotus'', Plutarch criticizes the historian Herodotus for all manner of prejudice and misrepresentation. It has been called the "first instance in literature of the slashing review". The 19th century English historian George Grote considered this essay a serious attack upon the works of Herodotus, and speaks of the "honourable frankness which Plutarch calls his malignity". Plutarch makes some palpable hits, catching Herodotus out in various errors, but it is also probable that it was merely a rhetorical exercise, in which Plutarch plays wikt:devil's advocate, devil's advocate to see what could be said against so favourite and well-known a writer. According to Barrow (1967), Herodotus' real failing in Plutarch's eyes was to advance ''any criticism at all'' of the city-states that saved Greece from Persia. Barrow concluded that ''"Plutarch is fanatically biased in favor of the Greek cities; they can do no wrong."''


Other works

''Symposiacs'' (Συμποσιακά); ''Convivium Septem Sapientium''. ''Dialogue on Love'' (Ερωτικος); Latin name = ''Amatorius''.


Lost works

The Lost work#Classical world, lost works of Plutarch are determined by references in his own texts to them and from other authors' references over time. Parts of the ''Lives'' and what would be considered parts of the ''Moralia'' have been lost. The 'Catalogue of Lamprias', an ancient list of works attributed to Plutarch, lists 227 works, of which 78 have come down to us. The Romans loved the ''Lives''. Enough copies were written out over the centuries so that a copy of most of the lives has survived to the present day, but there are traces of twelve more Lives that are now lost. Plutarch's general procedure for the ''Lives'' was to write the life of a prominent Greek, then cast about for a suitable Roman parallel, and end with a brief comparison of the Greek and Roman lives. Currently, only 19 of the parallel lives end with a comparison, while possibly they all did at one time. Also missing are many of his ''Lives'' which appear in a list of his writings: those of Hercules, the first pair of ''Parallel Lives'',
Scipio Africanus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (, , ; 236/235–183 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, most notable as one of the main architects of Rome's victory against Ancient Carthage, Carthage in the Second Punic War. Often regarded as one of the ...
and
Epaminondas Epaminondas (; grc-gre, Ἐπαμεινώνδας; 419/411–362 BC) was a Greeks, Greek general of Thebes, Greece, Thebes and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek polis, city-state, leading it out o ...
, and the companions to the four solo biographies. Even the lives of such important figures as
Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pri ...
, Claudius and
Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( ; born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68), was the fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 unti ...
have not been found and may be lost forever. Lost works that would have been part of the ''Moralia'' include "Whether One Who epoche, Suspends Judgment on Everything Is Condemned to Inaction", "On Pyrrho’s Ten Modes", and "On the Difference between the Pyrrhonism, Pyrrhonians and the Academic Skepticism, Academics".


Philosophy

Plutarch was a Middle Platonism, Platonist, but was open to the influence of the Peripatetics, and in some details even to Stoicism despite his criticism of their principles.Eduard Zeller, ''Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy'', 13th edition, p. 306 He rejected only Epicureanism absolutely. He attached little importance to theoretical questions and doubted the possibility of ever solving them.Eduard Zeller, ''Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy'', 13th edition, p. 307 He was more interested in moral and religious questions. In opposition to Stoic materialism and Epicurean atheism he cherished a pure idea of God that was more in accordance with Plato. He adopted a second principle (''Dyad (Greek philosophy), Dyad'') in order to explain the phenomenal world. This principle he sought, however, not in any indeterminate matter but in the evil Anima mundi, world-soul which has from the beginning been bound up with matter, but in the creation was filled with reason and arranged by it. Thus it was transformed into the divine soul of the world, but continued to operate as the source of all evil. He elevated God above the finite world, and thus Daemon (mythology), daemons became for him agents of God's influence on the world. He strongly defends freedom of the will, and the immortality of the soul. Platonic-Peripatetic
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
were upheld by Plutarch against the opposing theories of the Stoics and Epicureans. The most characteristic feature of Plutarch's ethics is, however, its close connection with religion.Eduard Zeller, ''Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy'', 13th edition, p. 308 However pure Plutarch's idea of God is, and however vivid his description of the vice and corruption which superstition causes, his warm religious feelings and his distrust of human powers of knowledge led him to believe that God comes to our aid by direct revelations, which we perceive the more clearly the more completely that we refrain in "enthusiasm" from all action; this made it possible for him to justify popular belief in divination in the way which had long been usual among the Stoics. His attitude to popular religion was similar. The gods of different peoples are merely different names for one and the same divine Being and the powers that serve it. The Greek mythology, myths contain philosophical truths which can be interpreted allegorically. Thus Plutarch sought to combine the philosophical and religious conception of things and to remain as close as possible to tradition. Plutarch was the teacher of Favorinus.


Influence

Plutarch's writings had an enormous influence on English Literature, English and French literature. William Shakespeare, Shakespeare paraphrased parts of Thomas North's translation of selected ''Lives'' in Shakespeare's plays, his plays, and occasionally quoted from them verbatim. Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes from Plutarch in the 1762 ''Emile, or On Education'', a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. Rousseau introduces a passage from Plutarch in support of his position against eating meat: You ask me', said Plutarch, 'why Pythagoras abstained from eating the flesh of beasts... Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalism, Transcendentalists were greatly influenced by the ''Moralia'' and in his glowing introduction to the five-volume, 19th-century edition, he called the ''Lives'' "a bible for heroes". He also opined that it was impossible to "read Plutarch without a tingling of the blood; and I accept the saying of the Chinese Mencius: 'A sage is the instructor of a hundred ages. When the manners of Loo are heard of, the stupid become intelligent, and the wavering, determined. Michel de Montaigne, Montaigne's ''Essays (Montaigne), Essays'' draw extensively on Plutarch's ''Moralia'' and are consciously modelled on the Greek's easygoing and discursive inquiries into science, manners, customs and beliefs. ''Essays'' contains more than 400 references to Plutarch and his works. James Boswell quoted Plutarch on writing lives, rather than biographies, in the introduction to his own ''Life of Samuel Johnson''. Other admirers included Ben Jonson, John Dryden, Alexander Hamilton, John Milton, Edmund Burke, Joseph De Maistre, Mark Twain, Louis L'amour, and Francis Bacon, as well as such disparate figures as Cotton Mather and Robert Browning. Plutarch's influence declined in the 19th and 20th centuries, but it remains embedded in the popular ideas of Greek and Roman history. One of his most famous quotes was one that he included in one of his earliest works. "The world of man is best captured through the lives of the men who created history."


Translations of ''Lives'' and ''Moralia''

There are translations, from the original Ancient Greek, Greek, in Latin, English language, English, French language, French, German language, German, Italian language, Italian, Polish language, Polish and Hebrew language, Hebrew. British classical scholar H. J. Rose writes "One advantage to a modern reader who is not well acquainted with Greek is, that being but a moderate stylist, Plutarch is almost as good in a translation as in the original."


French translations

Jacques Amyot's translations brought Plutarch's works to Western Europe. He went to Italy and studied the Vatican text of Plutarch, from which he published a French translation of the ''Lives'' in 1559 and ''Moralia'' in 1572, which were widely read by educated Europe. Amyot's translations had as deep an impression in England as France, because Thomas North later published his English translation of the ''Lives'' in 1579 based on Amyot's French translation instead of the original Greek.


English translations

Plutarch's ''Lives'' were translated into English, from Amyot's version, by Sir Thomas North in 1579. The complete ''Moralia'' was first translated into English from the original Greek by Philemon Holland in 1603. In 1683, John Dryden began a life of Plutarch and oversaw a translation of the ''Lives'' by several hands and based on the original Greek. This translation has been reworked and revised several times, most recently in the 19th century by the English poet and classicist Arthur Hugh Clough (first published in 1859). One contemporary publisher of this version is Modern Library. Another is Encyclopædia Britannica in association with the University of Chicago, , 1952, . In 1770, English brothers John Langhorne (poet), John and William Langhorne (clergyman), William Langhorne published "Plutarch's ''Lives'' from the original Greek, with notes critical and historical, and a new life of Plutarch" in 6 volumes and dedicated to Lord Folkestone. Their translation was re-edited by Archdeacon Wrangham in the year 1819. From 1901 to 1912, an American classicist, Bernadotte Perrin, produced a new translation of the ''Lives'' for the Loeb Classical Library. The ''Moralia'' is also included in the Loeb series, translated by various authors. Penguin Classics began a series of translations by various scholars in 1958 with ''The Fall of the Roman Republic'', which contained six Lives and was translated by Rex Warner. Penguin continues to revise the volumes.


Italian translations

Note: only the main translations from the second half of 15th century are given. *Battista Alessandro Iaconelli, ''Vite di Plutarcho traducte de Latino in vulgare in Aquila'', L’Aquila, 1482. *Dario Tiberti, ''Le Vite di Plutarco ridotte in compendio, per M. Dario Tiberto da Cesena, e tradotte alla commune utilità di ciascuno per L. Fauno, in buona lingua volgare'', Venice, 1543. *Lodovico Domenichi, ''Vite di Plutarco. Tradotte da m. Lodouico Domenichi, con gli suoi sommarii posti dinanzi a ciascuna vita...'', Venice, 1560. *Francesco Sansovino, ''Le vite de gli huomini illustri greci e romani, di Plutarco Cheroneo sommo filosofo et historico, tradotte nuovamente da M. Francesco Sansovino...'', Venice, 1564. *Marcello Adriani il Giovane, ''Opuscoli morali di Plutarco volgarizzati da Marcello Adriani il giovane'', Florence, 1819–1820. *Girolamo Pompei, ''Le Vite Di Plutarco'', Verona, 1772–1773.


Latin translations

There are multiple translations of ''Parallel Lives'' into Latin, most notably the one titled "Pour le Dauphin" (French for "for the Prince") written by a scribe in the court of Louis XV of France and a 1470 Ulrich Han translation.


German translations


Hieronymus Emser

In 1519, Hieronymus Emser translated ''De capienda ex inimicis utilitate'' (''wie ym eyner seinen veyndt nutz machen kan'', Leipzig).


Gottlob Benedict von Schirach

The biographies were translated by Gottlob Benedict von Schirach (1743–1804) and printed in Vienna by Franz Haas (1776–1780).


Johann Friedrich Salomon Kaltwasser

Plutarch's ''Lives'' and ''Moralia'' were translated into German by Johann Friedrich Salomon Kaltwasser: * ''Vitae parallelae. Vergleichende Lebensbeschreibungen''. 10 Bände. Magdeburg 1799–1806. * ''Moralia. Moralische Abhandlungen''. 9 Bde. Frankfurt a.M. 1783–1800.


Subsequent German translations

* ''Lives'' ** ''Große Griechen und Römer''. , 6 vols. Zürich 1954–1965. (''Bibliothek der alten Welt''). * ''Moralia'' ** ''Plutarch. Über Gott und Vorsehung, Dämonen und Weissagung'', Zürich: Konrat Ziegler, 1952. (''Bibliothek der alten Welt'') ** ''Plutarch. Von der Ruhe des Gemüts – und andere Schriften'', Zürich: Bruno Snell, 1948. (''Bibliothek der alten Welt'') ** ''Plutarch. Moralphilosophische Schriften'', Stuttgart: Hans-Josef Klauck, 1997. (''Reclams Universal-Bibliothek'') ** ''Plutarch. Drei Religionsphilosophische Schriften'', Düsseldorf: Herwig Görgemanns, 2003. (''Tusculum'')


Hebrew translations

Following some Hebrew translations of selections from Plutarch's ''Parallel Lives'' published in the 1920s and the 1940s, a complete translation was published in three volumes by the Bialik Institute in 1954, 1971 and 1973. The first volume, ''Roman Lives'', first published in 1954, presents the translations of Joseph G. Liebes to the biographies of Coriolanus, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, Fabius Maximus,
Tiberius Gracchus Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus ( 163 – 133 BC) was a Roman politician best known for his agrarian reform law entailing the transfer of land from the Roman state and wealthy landowners to poorer citizens. He had also served in the Roma ...
and
Gaius Gracchus Gaius Sempronius Gracchus ( – 121 BC) was a reformist Ancient Roman, Roman politician in the 2nd century BC. He is most famous for his tribunate for the years 123 and 122 BC, in which he proposed a wide set of laws, including law ...
, Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger,
Gaius Marius Gaius Marius (; – 13 January 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbrian War, Cimbric and Jugurthine War, Jugurthine wars, he held the office of Roman consul, consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. ...
, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Cicero, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Mark Antony, Mark Anthony. The second volume, ''Greek Lives'', first published in 1971 presents A. A. Halevy's translations of the biographies of Lycurgus of Sparta, Lycurgus,
Aristides Aristides ( ; grc-gre, Ἀριστείδης, Aristeídēs, ; 530–468 BC) was an ancient Athenian statesman. Nicknamed "the Just" (δίκαιος, ''dikaios''), he flourished in the early quarter of Athens' Classical period and is remember ...
, Cimon,
Pericles Pericles (; grc-gre, Περικλῆς; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, ...
,
Nicias Nicias (; Νικίας ''Nikias''; c. 470–413 BC) was an Ancient Athens, Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father ...
, Lysander, Agesilaus,
Pelopidas Pelopidas (; grc-gre, Πελοπίδας; died 364 BC) was an important Thebes, Greece, Theban statesman and general in Greece, instrumental in establishing the mid-fourth century Theban hegemony. Biography Athlete and warrior Pelopidas was ...
, Dion of Syracuse, Dion, Timoleon,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greeks, Greek statesman and orator in History of Athens, ancient Athens. His Public speaking, orations constitute a significant expression ...
,
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
,
Eumenes Eumenes (; grc-gre, Εὐμένης; c. 362316 BC) was a Ancient Greece, Greek general and satrap. He participated in the Wars of Alexander the Great, serving as both Alexander the Great, Alexander's personal secretary and as a battlefield comman ...
and Phocion. Three more biographies presented in this volume, those of
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων;  BC) was an History of Athens, Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in A ...
,
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
and
Alcibiades Alcibiades ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Ἀλκιβιάδης, Ἀλκιβιάδης; 450 – 404 BC) was a prominent Athens (polis), Athenian statesman, Public speaking, orator, and general. He was the last of the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominen ...
were translated by M. H. Ben-Shamai. The third volume, ''Greek and Roman Lives'', published in 1973, presented the remaining biographies and parallels as translated by Halevy. Included are the biographies of Demetrius I of Macedon, Demetrius, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Pyrrhus, Agis IV, Agis and Cleomenes III, Cleomenes, Aratus and Artaxerxes I of Persia, Artaxerxes, Philopoemen, Marcus Furius Camillus, Camillus, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, Marcellus, Flamininus, Aemilius Paulus, Galba and
Otho Marcus Otho (; born Marcus Salvius Otho; 28 April 32 – 16 April 69) was the seventh Roman emperor, ruling for three months from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. A member of a noble Etrus ...
,
Theseus Theseus (, ; grc-gre, Θησεύς ) was the mythical king and founder-hero of Athens. The myths surrounding Theseus his journeys, exploits, and friends have provided material for fiction throughout the ages. Theseus is sometimes describe ...
,
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus ...
,
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–672 BC; reigned 715–672 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions ...
and Poplicola. It completes the translation of the known remaining biographies. In the introduction to the third volume Halevy explains that originally the Bialik Institute intended to publish only a selection of biographies, leaving out mythological figures and biographies that had no parallels. Thus, to match the first volume in scope the second volume followed the same path and the third volume was required.


Pseudo-Plutarch

Some editions of the ''Moralia'' include several works now known to have been Pseudepigrapha, falsely attributed to Plutarch. Among these are the ''Lives of the Ten Orators'', a series of biographies of the Attic orators based on Caecilius of Calacte; ''On the Opinions of the Philosophers'', ''On Fate'', and ''On Music''. These works are all attributed to a single, unknown author, referred to as "Pseudo-Plutarch". Pseudo-Plutarch lived sometime between the third and fourth centuries AD. Despite being falsely attributed, the works are still considered to possess historical value.


See also

* Middle Platonism * Numenius of Apamea * 6615 Plutarchos * Plutarchia (wasp), ''Plutarchia'' (wasp) * Plutarchia (plant), ''Plutarchia'' (plant) (named after Plutarch)


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * Honigmann, E.A.J. "Shakespeare's Plutarch." ''Shakespeare Quarterly'', 1959: 25–33. * * * * * John M. Dillon ( 1996).''The Middle Platonists: 80 B.C. to A.D. 220'', Cornell University Press,


Further reading

*Beck, Mark. 2000. "Anecdote and the representation of Plutarch’s ethos." In ''Rhetorical theory and praxis in Plutarch: Acta of the IVth international congress of the International Plutarch Society, Leuven, 3–6 July 1996.'' Edited by Luc van der Stockt, 15–32. Collection d’Études Classiques 11. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters. *--, ed. 2014. ''A companion to Plutarch.'' Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell. *Beneker, Jeffrey. 2012. ''The passionate statesman:'' Eros ''and politics in Plutarch’s Lives.'' Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. *Duff, Timothy E. 1999. ''Plutarch’s Lives: Exploring virtues and vice.'' Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. *Georgiadou, Aristoula. 1992. "Idealistic and realistic portraiture in the Lives of Plutarch." In ''Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung.'' Vol. 2.33.6, ''Sprache und Literatur: Allgemeines zur Literatur des 2. Jahrhunderts und einzelne Autoren der trajanischen und frühhadrianischen Zeit.'' Edited by Wolfgang Haase, 4616–23. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. *Gill, Christopher. 1983. "The question of character-development: Plutarch and Tacitus." ''Classical Quarterly'' 33. no. 2: 469–87. *Humble, Noreen, ed. 2010. ''Plutarch’s Lives: Parallelism and purpose.'' Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. *McInerney, Jeremy. 2003. "Plutarch’s manly women." In Andreia'': Studies in manliness and courage in classical Athens.'' Edited by Ralph M. Rosen and Ineke Sluiter, 319–44. Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava, Supplementum 238. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill. *Mossman, Judith. 2015. "Dressed for success? Clothing in Plutarch’s Demetrius." In ''Fame and infamy: Essays for Christopher Pelling on characterization and Roman biography and historiography.'' Edited by Rhiannon Ash, Judith Mossman, and Frances B. Titchener, 149–60. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. *Nikolaidis, Anastasios G., ed. 2008. ''The unity of Plutarch’s work:'' Moralia ''themes in the'' Lives'', features of the'' Lives'' in the'' Moralia. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. *Pelling, Christopher. 2002. ''Plutarch and history: Eighteen studies.'' Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. *Scardigli, Barbara, ed. 1995. ''Essays on Plutarch’s Lives.'' Oxford: Clarendon. *Stadter, Philip. 1996. "Anecdotes and the thematic structure of Plutarchean biography." In ''Estudios sobre Plutarco: Aspectos formales; Actas del IV Simposio español sobre Plutarco, Salamanca, 26 a 28 de mayo de 1994.'' Edited by José Antonio Fernández Delgado and Francisca Pordomingo Pardo, 291–303. Madrid: Ediciones Clásicas. *--. 2015. "The rhetoric of virtue in Plutarch’s Lives." In ''Plutarch and his Roman readers.'' By Philip A. Stadter, 231–45. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. *Lieve Van Hoof, Van Hoof, Lieve. 2010. ''Plutarch's practical ethics: the social dynamics of philosophy'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. *Wardman, Alan E. 1967. "Description of personal appearance in Plutarch and Suetonius: The use of statues as evidence." ''Classical Quarterly'' 17, no. 2: 414–20. *Zadorojnyi, Alexei V. 2012. "Mimesis and the (plu)past in Plutarch’s Lives." In ''Time and narrative in ancient historiography: The “plupast” from Herodotus to Appian.'' Edited by Jonas Grethlein and Christopher B. Krebs, 175–98. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.


External links

;Plutarch's works * * *
Perseus Digital Library
* Plutarch o

* Didot edition of Plutarch's works in Greek, with Latin translation (1857–1876)
vol. 1 (Lives, pt. 1)vol. 2 (Lives, pt. 2)vol. 3 (Moralia, pt. 1)vol. 4 (Moralia, pt. 2)vol. 5 (fragmenta et spuria)
(als
via BNF
;Secondary material *
Plutarch of Chaeronea
by Jona Lendering at Livius


The relevance of Plutarch's book ''De Defectu Oraculorum'' for Christian Theology (Ploutarchos, Journal of the International Plutarch Society)
{{Authority control Plutarch, 46 births 120 deaths 1st-century Romans 2nd-century Romans 1st-century philosophers 2nd-century philosophers 1st-century historians 2nd-century historians Ancient Roman antiquarians Ancient Greek biographers Ancient Greek essayists Roman-era biographers Roman-era Greeks Roman-era Greek historians Ancient Boeotians Middle Platonists Sources of ancient Iranian religion Roman-era philosophers Historians of Roman Achaia Roman-era Greek priests 1st-century Greek people 2nd-century Greek people Year of birth unknown Historians of ancient Greece Academic skepticism Conversationalists