Plutarchs Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice

Paperback | March 15, 2002

byTimothy E. Duff

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The Parallel Lives of Plutarch (c. AD 45-120), a vast retrospective series of biographies of Greek and Roman statesmen, have always been one of the most widely read of the works which survive from classical antiquity. They were written when Roman imperial power was reaching its height, and aresophisticated examples of a renaissance classicism - linguistic, literary, philosophical and historical - which formed a Greek reaction to Roman domination. The Parallel Lives thus offer us a unique insight into the reception of Classical Greece and Republican Rome in the Greek world of the secondcentury AD. They also explore and challenge issues of psychology, education, morality, and cultural identity. In this new study discussions of Plutarch's literary techniques and moral conceptions are combined with case studies of a number of paired Lives (Pyrrhos - Marius, Phokion - Cato Minor,Lysander - Sulla, and Coriolanus - Alkibiades). As the author demonstrates, the parallel structure of the Lives is not only vital to their interpretation but also reflects a Greek attempt to appropriate and make sense of the pasts of both Greece and Rome.

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The Parallel Lives of Plutarch (c. AD 45-120), a vast retrospective series of biographies of Greek and Roman statesmen, have always been one of the most widely read of the works which survive from classical antiquity. They were written when Roman imperial power was reaching its height, and aresophisticated examples of a renaissance cla...

Tim Duff is a Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading
Format:PaperbackDimensions:446 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.97 inPublished:March 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199252742

ISBN - 13:9780199252749

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. The Moralizing Programme1. The Programmatic Statements of the Lives2. Moralism in Plutarch's Lives3. The Soul of a Plutarchan HeroII. Exploring Virtue and Vice: The case Studies4. The Lives of Pyrrhos and Marius5. The Lives of Phokion and Cato Minor6. The Lives of Lysander and Sulla7. The Lives of Coriolanus and AlkibiadesIII. Writing in Parallel8. Synkrisis and the Synkriseis in the Parallel Lives9. The Politics of ParallelismAppendix 1Plutarch and AncestorsAppendix 2Plutarch and Chronology

Editorial Reviews

`The book gains its appeal from the rich contents - a look at the index proves it - the fine analysis, the consistent approach, and the freshness of ideas.'Th.Schmidt, Les Etudes Classiques, University of Namur, Vol.68.