Plutarch's Lives of Themistocles, Pericles, Aristides...


Book Details

Author  Plutarch Plutarch
Publisher  Forgotten Books
Publication Date   July 6, 2012
Pages  404

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Plutarch, the great biographer of antiquity, had not the fortune himself to find a biographer. For the facts of his Ufe we are dependent wholly upon the fragmentary information that he scattered casually throughout his writings. From these we learn that he was born in the small Boeotian town of Chaeroneia in Greece, between 46 and 51 A. D., of a family of good standing and long residence there; that he married a certain Timoxena, to whom he wrote a tender letter of consolation on the death of their daughter; and that he had four sons, to two of whom he dedicated one of his philosophical treatises. He began the study of philosophy at A thens, travelled to Alexandria and in various parts of I taly, and sojourned for a considerable period in Rome; but he seems to have continued to regard Chaeroneia as his home, and here he did a large part of his writing and took his share in public service. As a lecturer and teacher of philosophy he achieved considerable repute, and the nature of his doctrine may be gathered from the treatises in which the substance of many of the lectures has been preserved. His death is placed between 120 and 130 A. D. The ruling passion of Plutarch slife was ethical. His miscellaneous writings are known collectively as his Morals, and though they deal with a great variety of themes, the prevailing interest is so strongly centred on conduct that the tide is not unsuitable. Many of the subjects of his biographies, even, are treated as models of virtue or warnings against vice, and as a rule he was more concerned about portraying character than about intricacies of political history. The Parallel Lives of Famous Greeks and Romans have their name from the authors plan of setting side by side a Greek statesman, soldier, or orator, and a Roman of eminence in the same field, in order to gain illumination from the comparison; and in this way he cov
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