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Plutarch
Plutarch
(/ˈpluːtɑːrk/; Greek: Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhos, Koine Greek: [plǔːtarkʰos]; c. CE 46 – CE 120),[1] later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, (Λούκιος Μέστριος Πλούταρχος)[a] was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives
Parallel Lives
and Moralia.[2] He is classified[3] as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.[4]

Contents

1 Life

1.1 Early life 1.2 Work as magistrate and ambassador 1.3 Late period: Priest
Priest
at Delphi

2 Works

2.1 Lives of the Roman emperors 2.2 Parallel Lives

2.2.1 Spartan lives and sayings 2.2.2 Life of Alexander 2.2.3 Life of Caesar 2.2.4 Life of Pyrrhus 2.2.5 Criticism of Parallel Lives

2.3 Moralia

2.3.1 Questions

2.4 On the Malice of Herodotus 2.5 Other works 2.6 Lost works

3 Philosophy 4 Influence 5 Translations of Lives and Moralia

5.1 French translations 5.2 English translations 5.3 Italian translations 5.4 Latin
Latin
translations 5.5 German translations

5.5.1 Hieronymus Emser 5.5.2 Gottlob Benedict von Schirach 5.5.3 Johann Friedrich Salomon Kaltwasser 5.5.4 Subsequent German translations

5.6 Hebrew translations

6 Pseudo-Plutarch 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Sources 11 Further reading 12 External links

Life[edit] Early life[edit]

Ruins of the Temple of Apollo
Apollo
at Delphi, where Plutarch
Plutarch
served as one of the priests responsible for interpreting the predictions of the oracle

Plutarch
Plutarch
was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 km (50 miles) east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia. His family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was probably Nikarchus (Nίκαρχoς). The name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia[5] and in his Life of Antony. 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
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. Interestingly, he hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation.[6] 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
Eurydice
and Pollianus, seems to speak of her[who?] as having been recently an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not.[7] Plutarch
Plutarch
studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67.[8] At some point, Plutarch
Plutarch
took Roman citizenship. As evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch
Plutarch
also used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.[9]

"The soul, being eternal, after death is like a caged bird that has been released. If it has been a long time in the body, and has become tame by many affairs and long habit, the soul will immediately take another body and once again become involved in the troubles of the world. The worst thing about old age is that the soul's memory of the other world grows dim, while at the same time its attachment to things of this world becomes so strong that the soul tends to retain the form that it had in the body. But that soul which remains only a short time within a body, until liberated by the higher powers, quickly recovers its fire and goes on to higher things."

Plutarch
Plutarch
(The Consolation, Moralia)

He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, and was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch
Plutarch
served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo
Apollo
at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch
Plutarch
became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, and actively participated in local affairs, even serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch
Plutarch
in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, and the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia.[citation needed] Work as magistrate and ambassador[edit] In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was also a magistrate at Chaeronea
Chaeronea
and he represented his home[clarification needed] on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch
Plutarch
held the office of archon in his native municipality, probably only an annual one which he likely served more than once. He busied himself with all the little matters of the town and undertook the humblest of duties.[10] The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch
Plutarch
procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria
Illyria
was not a procuratorial province, and Plutarch
Plutarch
probably did not speak Illyrian.[11] According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul.[12] Late period: Priest
Priest
at Delphi[edit]

Portrait of a philosopher and Hermaic stele at Delphi
Delphi
Museum

Plutarch
Plutarch
spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi. He thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia
Pythia
does not give oracles in verse" ( Moralia
Moralia
11) ( "Περὶ τοῦ μὴ χρᾶν ἔμμετρα νῦν τὴν Πυθίαν").[13] Even more important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi" ("Περὶ τοῦ Εἶ τοῦ ἐν Δελφοῖς"),[14] 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
Apollo
in Delphi
Delphi
originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were also written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but actually five: Chilon, Solon, Thales, Bias and Pittakos. However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros
Periandros
used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims actually originated from the five real wise men. The portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past 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. The portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. Next to this portrait stands a fragmentary hermaic stele, bearing a portrait probably of the author from Chaeronea
Chaeronea
and priest in Delphi. Its inscription, however, reads: Δελφοὶ Χαιρωνεῦσιν ὁμοῦ Πλούταρχον ἔθηκαν τοῖς Ἀμφικτυόνων δόγμασι πειθόμενοι. (Syll.3 843=CID 4, no. 151) The citizens of Delphi
Delphi
and Chaeronea
Chaeronea
dedicated this to Plutarch
Plutarch
together, following the precepts of the Amphictyony. Works[edit] Lives of the Roman emperors[edit] Plutarch's first biographical works were the Lives of the Roman Emperors from Augustus
Augustus
to Vitellius. Of these, only the Lives of Galba and Otho
Otho
survive. The Lives of Tiberius
Tiberius
and Nero
Nero
are extant only as fragments, provided by Damascius (Life of Tiberius, cf. his Life of Isidore)[15] and Plutarch
Plutarch
himself (Life of Nero, cf. Galba
Galba
2.1), respectively. These early emperors’ biographies were probably published under the Flavian dynasty
Flavian dynasty
or during the reign of Nerva (AD 96–98). There is reason to believe that the two Lives still extant, those of Galba
Galba
and Otho, "ought to be considered as a single work."[16] Therefore, they do not form a part of the Plutarchian canon of single biographies – as represented by the Life of Aratus of Sicyon
Aratus of Sicyon
and the Life of Artaxerxes II (the biographies of Hesiod, Pindar, Crates and Daiphantus were lost). Unlike in these biographies, in Galba- Otho
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 (cf. Galba
Galba
1.3; Moralia
Moralia
328D–E).[17] Arguing from the perspective of Platonic political philosophy (cf. Republic 375E, 410D-E, 411E-412A, 442B-C), in Galba- Otho
Otho
Plutarch reveals the constitutional principles of the Principate
Principate
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.[17] "The Caesars' house in Rome, the Palatium, received in a shorter space of time no less than four Emperors", Plutarch
Plutarch
writes, "passing, as it were, across the stage, and one making room for another to enter" ( Galba
Galba
1).[18] Galba- Otho
Otho
was handed down through different channels. It can be found in the appendix to Plutarch's Parallel Lives
Parallel Lives
as well as in various Moralia
Moralia
manuscripts, most prominently in Maximus Planudes' edition where Galba
Galba
and Otho
Otho
appear as Opera XXV and XXVI. Thus it seems reasonable to maintain that Galba- Otho
Otho
was from early on considered as an illustration of a moral-ethical approach, possibly even by Plutarch himself.[19] Parallel Lives[edit]

A page from the 1470 Ulrich Han printing of Plutarch's Parallel Lives

Main article: Parallel Lives Plutarch's best-known work is the Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues and vices. 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
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. In many ways, he must be counted amongst the earliest moral philosophers. Some of the Lives, such as those of Heracles, Philip II of Macedon, Epaminondas
Epaminondas
and Scipio Africanus, 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, Themistocles, Aristides, Agesilaus
Agesilaus
II, Pericles, Alcibiades, Nicias, Demosthenes, Pelopidas, Philopoemen, Timoleon, Dion of Syracuse, Eumenes, Alexander the Great, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Coriolanus, Theseus, Aemilius Paullus, Tiberius
Tiberius
Gracchus, Gaius Gracchus, Gaius Marius, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Cato the Elder, Mark Antony, and Marcus Junius Brutus. Spartan lives and sayings[edit] Since Spartans wrote no history prior to the Hellenistic period, and since 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 one of the richest sources for historians of Lacedaemonia.[20] But while they are important, they are also controversial. Plutarch
Plutarch
lived centuries after the Sparta
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 what he wrote.[20] Plutarch's sources themselves can be problematic. As the historians Sarah Pomeroy, Stanley Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts have written, " Plutarch
Plutarch
was influenced by histories written after the decline of Sparta
Sparta
and marked by nostalgia for a happier past, real or imagined."[20] Turning to Plutarch
Plutarch
himself, they write, "the admiration writers like Plutarch
Plutarch
and Xenophon
Xenophon
felt for Spartan society led them to exaggerate its monolithic nature, minimizing departures from ideals of equality and obscuring patterns of historical change."[20] 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
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.[20] Life of Alexander[edit] Plutarch's Life of Alexander, written as a parallel to that of Julius Caesar, is one of only five extant tertiary sources on the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great. It includes anecdotes and descriptions of events that appear in no other source, just as Plutarch's portrait of Numa Pompilius, the putative second king of Rome, holds much that is unique on the early Roman calendar. Plutarch
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
Plutarch
emphasizes his unusual degree of self-control. 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. Much, too, is made of Alexander's scorn for luxury: "He desired not pleasure or wealth, but only excellence and glory." This is mostly true, for Alexander's tastes grew more extravagant as he grew older only in the last year of his life and only[according to whom?] as a means of approaching the image of a ruler his Persian subjects were better accustomed to — thus making it easier for him to succeed in uniting the Greek and Persian worlds together, according to the plan he had announced in his famous Speech given in Opis in 324 BC. Life of Caesar[edit] Together with Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars, and Caesar's own works de Bello Gallico and de Bello Civili, this Life is the main account of Julius Caesar's feats by ancient historians. Plutarch
Plutarch
starts by telling the audacity of Caesar and his refusal to dismiss Cinna's daughter, Cornelia. Other important parts are these containing his military deeds, accounts of battles and Caesar's capacity of inspiring the soldiers.

His soldiers showed such good will and zeal in his service that those who in their previous campaigns had been in no way superior to others were invincible and irresistible in confronting every danger to enhance Caesar's fame. Such a man, for instance, was Acilius, who, in the sea-fight at Massalia, boarded a hostile ship and had his right hand cut off with a sword, but clung with the other hand to his shield, and dashing it into the faces of his foes, routed them all and got possession of the vessel. Such a man, again, was Cassius Scaeva, who, in the battle at Dyrrhachium, had his eye struck out with an arrow, his shoulder transfixed with one javelin and his thigh with another, and received on his shield the blows of one hundred and thirty missiles. In this plight, he called the enemy to him as though he would surrender. Two of them, accordingly, coming up, he lopped off the shoulder of one with his sword, smote the other in the face and put him to flight, and came off safely himself with the aid of his comrades. Again, in Britain, when the enemy had fallen upon the foremost centurions, who had plunged into a watery marsh, a soldier, while Caesar in person was watching the battle, dashed into the midst of the fight, displayed many conspicuous deeds of daring, and rescued the centurions, after the Barbarians had been routed. Then he himself, making his way with difficulty after all the rest, plunged into the muddy current, and at last, without his shield, partly swimming and partly wading, got across. Caesar and his company were amazed and came to meet the soldier with cries of joy; but he, in great dejection, and with a burst of tears, cast himself at Caesar's feet, begging pardon for the loss of his shield. Again, in Africa, Scipio captured a ship of Caesar's in which Granius Petro, who had been appointed quaestor, was sailing. Of the rest of the passengers Scipio made booty, but told the quaestor that he offered him his life. Granius, however, remarking that it was the custom with Caesar's soldiers not to receive but to offer mercy, killed himself with a blow of his sword. — Life of Caesar, XVI

However, this Life shows few differences between Suetonius' work and Caesar's own works (see De Bello Gallico
De Bello Gallico
and De Bello Civili). Sometimes, Plutarch
Plutarch
quotes directly from the De Bello Gallico
De Bello Gallico
and even tells us of the moments when Caesar was dictating his works. In the final part of this Life, Plutarch
Plutarch
counts Caesar's assassination, and several details. The book ends on telling the destiny of his murderers, and says that Caesar's "great guardian-genius" avenged him after life. Life of Pyrrhus[edit] 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 BC, for which neither Dionysius nor Livy
Livy
have surviving texts.[21] Criticism of Parallel Lives[edit]

"It is not histories I am writing, but lives; and in the most glorious deeds there is not always an indication of virtue or vice, indeed a small thing like a phrase or a jest often makes a greater revelation of a character than battles where thousands die."

Plutarch
Plutarch
(Life of Alexander/Life of Julius Caesar, Parallel Lives, [tr. E.L. Bowie])

Plutarch
Plutarch
stretches and occasionally fabricates the similarities between famous Greeks and Romans in order to be able to write their biographies as parallel. The lives of Nicias
Nicias
and Crassus, for example, have little in common except that "both were rich and both suffered great military defeats at the ends of their lives".[22] In his Life of Pompey, Plutarch
Plutarch
praises Pompey's trustworthy character and tactful behaviour in order to conjure a moral judgement that opposes most historical accounts. Plutarch
Plutarch
delivers anecdotes with moral points, rather than in-depth comparative analyses of the causes of the fall of the Achaemenid Empire and the Roman Republic,[23] and tends on occasion to fit facts to hypotheses. On the other hand, he generally sets out his moral anecdotes in chronological order (unlike, say, his Roman contemporary Suetonius)[23] and is rarely narrow-minded and unrealistic, almost always prepared to acknowledge the complexity of the human condition where moralising cannot explain it. Moralia[edit]

Moralia, 1531

Main article: Moralia The remainder of Plutarch's surviving work is collected under the title of the Moralia
Moralia
(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—an important adjunct to his Life of the great king, On the Worship of Isis
Isis
and Osiris
Osiris
(a crucial source of information on Egyptian religious rites),[24] 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
Odysseus
and Gryllus, a humorous dialogue between Homer's Odysseus
Odysseus
and one of Circe's enchanted pigs. The Moralia
Moralia
was composed first, while writing the Lives occupied much of the last two decades of Plutarch's own life. Questions[edit] Book IV of the Moralia
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)[25] and then suggests answers to them. On the Malice of Herodotus[edit]

A bust of the early Greek historian Herodotus, whom Plutarch criticized in On the Malice of Herodotus

In On the Malice of Herodotus
Herodotus
Plutarch
Plutarch
criticizes the historian Herodotus
Herodotus
for all manner of prejudice and misrepresentation. It has been called the "first instance in literature of the slashing review."[26] 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
Plutarch
calls his malignity."[27] Plutarch
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
Plutarch
plays devil's advocate to see what could be said against so favourite and well-known a writer.[7] According to Plutarch
Plutarch
scholar R. H. Barrow, Herodotus’ real failing in Plutarch’s eyes was to advance any criticism at all of those states that saved Greece from Persia. “Plutarch”, he concluded, “is fanatically biased in favor of the Greek cities; they can do no wrong.”[28] Other works[edit] Symposiacs[29] (Συμποσιακά); Convivium Septem Sapientium. Lost works[edit] The Romans loved the Lives, and enough copies were written out over the centuries so that a copy of most of the lives has survived to the present day. An ancient list of works attributed to Plutarch, the 'Catalogue of Lamprias' contains 227 works, of which 78 have come down to us.[30] The lost works of Plutarch
Plutarch
are determined by references in his own texts to them and from other authors' references over time. There are traces of twelve more Lives that are now lost.[31] 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
Scipio Africanus
and Epaminondas, and the companions to the four solo biographies. Even the lives of such important figures as Augustus, Claudius
Claudius
and Nero
Nero
have not been found and may be lost forever.[26][32] Other lost works include "Whether One Who Suspends Judgment on Everything Is Condemned to Inaction", "On Pyrrho’s Ten Modes", and "On the Difference between the Pyrrhonians and the Academics".[33] Philosophy[edit] Plutarch
Plutarch
was a Platonist, but was open to the influence of the Peripatetics, and in some details even to Stoicism
Stoicism
despite his criticism of their principles.[34] He rejected only Epicureanism absolutely.[34] He attached little importance to theoretical questions and doubted the possibility of ever solving them.[35] He was more interested in moral and religious questions.[35] In opposition to Stoic materialism and Epicurean "atheism" he cherished a pure idea of God
God
that was more in accordance with Plato.[35] He adopted a second principle (Dyad) in order to explain the phenomenal world.[35] This principle he sought, however, not in any indeterminate matter but in the evil world-soul which has from the beginning been bound up with matter, but in the creation was filled with reason and arranged by it.[35] Thus it was transformed into the divine soul of the world, but continued to operate as the source of all evil.[35] He elevated God
God
above the finite world, and thus 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.[35] Platonic-Peripatetic ethics were upheld by Plutarch
Plutarch
against the opposing theories of the Stoics and Epicureans.[35] The most characteristic feature of Plutarch's ethics is, however, its close connection with religion.[36] However pure Plutarch's idea of God
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
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.[36] 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.[36] The myths contain philosophical truths which can be interpreted allegorically.[36] Thus Plutarch sought to combine the philosophical and religious conception of things and to remain as close as possible to tradition.[36] Influence[edit]

External video

Shakespeare: Metamorphosis - Plutarch’s “Lives” (1579), Senate House Library[37]

Plutarch's writings had an enormous influence on English and French literature. Shakespeare paraphrased parts of Thomas North's translation of selected Lives in his plays, and occasionally quoted from them verbatim.[38] Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
and the Transcendentalists were greatly influenced by the Moralia
Moralia
— so much so, in fact, that Emerson called the Lives "a bible for heroes" in his glowing introduction to the five-volume 19th-century edition.[39] He also opined that it was impossible to "read Plutarch
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.'"[40] Montaigne's Essays draw extensively on Plutarch's Moralia
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
Plutarch
and his works.[26] James Boswell
James Boswell
quoted Plutarch
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, Louis L'amour, and Francis Bacon, as well as such disparate figures as Cotton Mather
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[edit] There are translations, from the original Greek, in Latin, English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Hebrew. “One advantage to a modern reader who is not well acquainted with Greek is, that being but a moderate stylist, Plutarch
Plutarch
is almost as good in a translation as in the original.”[41] French translations[edit] 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
Moralia
in 1572, which were widely read by educated Europe.[42] 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[edit] Plutarch's Lives were translated into English, from Amyot's version, by Sir Thomas North in 1579. The complete Moralia
Moralia
was first translated into English from the original Greek by Philemon Holland
Philemon Holland
in 1603. In 1683, John Dryden
John Dryden
began a life of Plutarch
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
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, ISBN 0-85229-163-9, copyright 1952, Library of Congress catalogue card number 55-10323. In 1770, English brothers John and 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,[43] produced a new translation of the Lives for the Loeb Classical Library. The Moralia
Moralia
is also included in the Loeb series, translated by various authors. Penguin Classics
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.[44] Penguin continues to revise the volumes. Italian translations[edit] Note: just main translations from the second half of 15th century.[45]

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
Latin
translations[edit] There are multiple translations of Parallel Lives
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
Louis XV of France
and a 1470 Ulrich Han translation. German translations[edit] Hieronymus Emser[edit] In 1519, Hieronymus Emser translated De capienda ex inimicis utilitate (wie ym eyner seinen veyndt nutz machen kan, Leipzig). Gottlob Benedict von Schirach[edit] The biographies were translated by Gottlob Benedict von Schirach (1743–1804) and printed in Vienna by Franz Haas, 1776–80. Johann Friedrich Salomon Kaltwasser[edit] Plutarch's Lives and Moralia
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[edit]

Biographies

Konrat Ziegler (de) (Hrsg.): Große Griechen und Römer. 6 Bde. Zürich 1954-1965. (Bibliothek der alten Welt).

Moralia

Konrat Ziegler (Hrsg.):Plutarch. Über Gott und Vorsehung, Dämonen und Weissagung, Zürich 1952. (Bibliothek der alten Welt) Bruno Snell (Hrsg.):Plutarch. Von der Ruhe des Gemüts - und andere Schriften, Zürich 1948. (Bibliothek der alten Welt) Hans-Josef Klauck (Hrsg.): Plutarch. Moralphilosophische Schriften, Stuttgart 1997. (Reclams Universal-Bibliothek) Herwig Görgemanns (Hrsg.):Plutarch. Drei Religionsphilosophische Schriften, Düsseldorf 2003. (Tusculum)

Hebrew translations[edit] Following some Hebrew translations of selections from Plutarch's Parallel Lives
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, Fabius Maximus, Tiberius
Tiberius
Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus, Cato the Elder
Cato the Elder
and Cato the Younger, Gaius Marius, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Cicero, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Mark Anthony. The second volume, Greek Lives, first published in 1971 presents A. A. Halevy's translations of the biographies of Lycurgus, Aristides, Cimon, Pericles, Nicias, Lysander, Agesilaus, Pelopidas, Dion, Timoleon, Demosthenes, Alexander the Great, Eumenes and Phocion. Three more biographies presented in this volume, those of Solon, Themistocles
Themistocles
and Alcibiades
Alcibiades
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, Pyrrhus, Agis and Cleomenes, Aratus
Aratus
and Artaxerxes, Philopoemen, Camillus, Marcellus, Flamininus, Aemilius Paulus, Galba
Galba
and Otho, Theseus, Romulus, Numa Pompilius 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.[citation needed] Pseudo-Plutarch[edit] Main article: Pseudo-Plutarch Some editions of the Moralia
Moralia
include several works now known to have been falsely attributed to Plutarch. Among these are the Lives of the Ten Orators, a series of biographies of the Attic orators
Attic orators
based on Caecilius of Calacte; On the Opinions of the Philosophers, On Fate, and On Music.[46] These works are all attributed to a single, unknown author, referred to as "Pseudo-Plutarch".[46] Pseudo-Plutarch lived sometime between the third and fourth centuries A.D. Despite being falsely attributed, the works are still considered to possess historical value.[47] See also[edit]

Middle Platonism Numenius of Apamea

Notes[edit]

^ The name Mestrius or Lucius Mestrius was taken by Plutarch, as was common Roman practice, from his patron for citizenship in the empire; in this case Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman consul.

References[edit]

^ Lamberton, Robert. Plutarch. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.[page needed] ^ "Plutarch". Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.  ^ Dillon, John M. Middle Platonists: 80 BC to AD 220. Cornell University Press, 1996. p.184 ff. ^ Stadter, Philip A. (2015). Plutarch
Plutarch
and His Roman Readers. Oxford University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780198718338. Retrieved 2015-02-04. Although Plutarch
Plutarch
wrote in Greek and with a Greek point of view, [...] he was thinking of a Roman as well as a Greek audience.  ^ Symposiacs, Book IX, questions II & III ^ " Plutarch
Plutarch
• Consolatio ad Uxorem". penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ a b Aubrey Stewart, George Long. "Life of Plutarch". Plutarch's Lives, Volume I (of 4). The Gutenberg Project. Retrieved 2007-01-03.  ^ " Plutarch
Plutarch
Bio(46c.-125)". The Online Library of Liberty. Archived from the original on 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2006-12-06.  ^ Plutarch, Otho
Otho
14.1 ^ Clough, Arthur Hugh (1864). "Introduction". Plutarch's Lives. Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics.  ^ Gianakaris, C. J. Plutarch. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970. ^ Russell, D. A. Plutarch. New York: Scribner, 1973. ^ "Περί του μη χραν έμμετρα νυν την Πυθίαν (Πλούταρχος) - Βικιθήκη". el.wikisource.org. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ Plutarch, Moralia, On the E at Delphi
Delphi
(in ancient Greek) https://el.wikisource.org/wiki/%CE%97%CE%B8%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AC/%CE%A0%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%AF_%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85_%CE%95%CE%B9_%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85_%CE%B5%CE%BD_%CE%94%CE%B5%CE%BB%CF%86%CE%BF%CE%AF%CF%82 ^ Ziegler, Konrad, Plutarchos von Chaironeia (Stuttgart 1964), 258. Citation translated by the author. ^ Cf. among others, Holzbach, M.-C.(2006). Plutarch: Galba- Otho
Otho
und die Apostelgeschichte : ein Gattungsvergleich. Religion and Biography, 14 (ed. by Detlev Dormeyer et al.). Berlin London: LIT, p.13 ^ a b Cf. Holzbach, op. cit., 24, 67–83 ^ The citation from Galba
Galba
was extracted from the Dryden translation as given at the MIT Internet Classics Archive ^ Cf. Holzbach, op. cit., 24 ^ a b c d e Pomeroy, Sarah B, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Tolbert Roberts Jennifer. Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print. ^ Cornell, T.J. (1995). "Introduction". The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-264 BC). Routledge. p. 3.  ^ Plutarch
Plutarch
(1972). "Translator's Introduction". Fall Of The Roman Republic: Six Lives by Plutarch. translated by Rex Warner. Penguin Books. p. 8.  ^ a b " Plutarch
Plutarch
of Chaeronea". Livius.Org. Retrieved 2006-12-06.  ^ (but which according to Erasmus referred to the Thessalonians)Plutarch. " Isis
Isis
and Osiris". Frank Cole Babbitt (trans.). Retrieved 2006-12-10.  ^ " Plutarch
Plutarch
• Roman Questions, 90‑113". uchicago.edu.  ^ a b c Kimball, Roger. " Plutarch
Plutarch
& the issue of character". The New Criterion Online. Retrieved 2006-12-11.  ^ Grote, George (2000-10-19) [1830]. A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon
Solon
to 403 B.C. Routledge. p. 203.  ^ Barrow, R.H. (1979) [1967]. Plutarch
Plutarch
and His Times.  ^ Plutarch: Symposiacs, in The complete works of Plutarch: essays and miscellanies, New York: Crowell, 1909. Vol.III. ^ Russell, D.A.F.M. (1970) The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.849 ^ "Translator's Introduction". The Parallel Lives
Parallel Lives
(Vol. I ed.). Loeb Classical Library Edition. 1914.  ^ McCutchen, Wilmot H. " Plutarch
Plutarch
- His Life and Legacy". Retrieved 2006-12-10.  ^ Mauro Bonazzi, " Plutarch
Plutarch
on the Differences Between the Pyrrhonists and Academics", Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 2012 https://www.academia.edu/2362682/Plutarch_on_the_Difference_between_Academics_and_Pyrrhonists_in_Oxford_Studies_in_Ancient_Philosophy_43_2012_pp._271-298 ^ a b Eduard Zeller, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, 13th edition, page 306 ^ a b c d e f g h Eduard Zeller, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, 13th edition, page 307 ^ a b c d e Eduard Zeller, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, 13th edition, page 308 ^ "Shakespeare: Metamorphosis - Plutarch's "Lives" (1579)". Senate House Library at Vimeo. Retrieved 9 May 2016.  ^ Honigmann 1959. ^ Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1870). "Introduction". In William W. Goodwin. Plutarch's Morals. London: Sampson, Low. p. xxi.  ^ Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1850). "Uses of Great Men". Representative Men.  ^ H. J. Rose. A Handbook of Greek Literature: From Homer
Homer
to the Age of Lucian.. New York: Dutton, 1960. p. 409 (a Dutton paperback). ^ "Amyot, Jacques (1513-1593)". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910-1911).  ^ " Bernadotte Perrin Papers (MS 1018). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library".  ^ The Age of Alexander, rev. ed. (Penguin, 2012), "Penguin Plutarch". ^ Virgilio Costa, Sulle prime traduzioni italiane a stampa delle opere di Plutarco (secc. XV-XVI) ^ a b Blank, D. (2011). Martínez, J., ed. 'Plutarch' and the Sophistry of 'Noble Lineage'. Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Madrid: Ediciones Clásicas. pp. 33–60.  ^ Marietta, Don E. (1998). Introduction to Ancient Philosophy. M.E. Sharpe. p. 190. ISBN 9780765602169. 

Sources[edit]

Blackburn, Simon (1994). Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Russell, D.A. (2001) [1972]. Plutarch. Duckworth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85399-620-7.  Duff, Timothy (2002) [1999]. Plutarch's Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice. UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925274-9.  Hamilton, Edith (1957). The Echo of Greece. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 194. ISBN 0-393-00231-4.  Honigmann, E. A. J. "Shakespeare's Plutarch." Shakespeare Quarterly, 1959: 25-33. Pelling, Christopher: Plutarch
Plutarch
and History. Eighteen Studies, London 2002. Wardman, Alan (1974). Plutarch's "Lives". Elek. p. 274. ISBN 0-236-17622-6.  John M. Dillon, The Middle Platonists: 80 B.C. to A.D. 220, Cornell University Press, 1996 ISBN 978-0801483165

Library resources about Plutarch

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

By Plutarch

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Further reading[edit]

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
Plutarch
Society, Leuven, July 3–6, 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
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
Moralia
themes in the Lives, features of the Lives in the Moralia. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. Pelling, Christopher. 2002. Plutarch
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. 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
Herodotus
to Appian. Edited by Jonas Grethlein and Christopher B. Krebs, 175–98. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

External links[edit]

Plutarch's works

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Plutarch

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original works written by or about: Plutarch

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plutarch.

Works by Plutarch
Plutarch
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Plutarch
Plutarch
at Internet Archive Works by Plutarch
Plutarch
at LibriVox
LibriVox
(public domain audiobooks) Perseus Project: many texts of Plutarch
Plutarch
and Pseudo-Plutarch in Greek and English Didot edition of Plutarch's works in Greek, with Latin
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) (also via BNF) Collections of works in English translation: at University of Adelaide, at LacusCurtius, Project Gutenberg, Lives, trans. North (PDF) Also in English translation (by John Dryden, 1631-1700): Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Solon Free Audiobooks by Plutarch
Plutarch
from Librivox

Secondary material

Karamanolis, George. "Plutarch". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Plutarch
Plutarch
of Chaeronea
Chaeronea
by Jona Lendering at Livius.Org The International Plutarch
Plutarch
Society The relevance of Plutarch's book De Defectu Oraculorum for Christian Theology (Ploutarchos, Journal of the International Plutarch
Plutarch
Society)

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Lives

Alcibiades
Alcibiades
and Coriolanus1 Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and Julius Caesar Aratus of Sicyon
Aratus of Sicyon
/ Artaxerxes and Galba
Galba
/ Otho2 Aristides
Aristides
and Cato the Elder1 Crassus
Crassus
and Nicias1 Demetrius and Antony1 Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Cicero1 Dion and Brutus1 Fabius and Pericles1 Lucullus
Lucullus
and Cimon1 Lysander
Lysander
and Sulla1 Numa and Lycurgus1 Pelopidas
Pelopidas
and Marcellus1 Philopoemen
Philopoemen
and Flamininus1 Phocion
Phocion
and Cato the Younger Pompey
Pompey
and Agesilaus1 Poplicola and Solon1 Pyrrhus and Gaius Marius Romulus
Romulus
and Theseus1 Sertorius
Sertorius
and Eumenes1 Agis / Cleomenes1 and Tiberius
Tiberius
Gracchus / Gaius Gracchus Timoleon
Timoleon
and Aemilius Paulus1 Themistocles
Themistocles
and Camillus

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Jacques Amyot Arthur Hugh Clough John Dryden Philemon Holland Thomas North

1 Comparison extant 2 Four unpaired Lives

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