The Passionate Statesman: Eros and Politics in Plutarchs Lives

Hardcover | June 30, 2012

byJeffrey Beneker

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The Passionate Statesman explores the intersection of passion and politics in Plutarch's Parallel Lives, with special emphasis on how he represents the influence of eros, or erotic desire, on the careers of some of the most prominent statesmen from Greco-Roman antiquity. Using Aristotle's notion of friendship and Plato's conception of the soul to describe the ideal marriage as based on a mutual love of character (philia), supported by an enduring erotic attraction, Beneker examines how Plutarch applied his system of ethics both to his reading of history and to hiswriting of biography. With close readings focusing on the three pairs of biographies from Parallel Lives, namely the Greek kings (Alexander the Great, Demetrius 'the besieger', and Agesilaus) and Roman statesmen (Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marc Antony), the book draws a general conclusion about how Plutarch uses thenarration of his subjects' private erotic affairs to interpret their historical deeds.

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The Passionate Statesman explores the intersection of passion and politics in Plutarch's Parallel Lives, with special emphasis on how he represents the influence of eros, or erotic desire, on the careers of some of the most prominent statesmen from Greco-Roman antiquity. Using Aristotle's notion of friendship and Plato's conception of ...

Jeffrey Beneker is currently associate professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin. He has published several articles on Plutarch's Lives and on other aspects of the ancient biographical tradition.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:262 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:June 30, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199695903

ISBN - 13:9780199695904

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Table of Contents

PrefaceEditions and AbbreviationsIntroduction1. Eros and Marriage2. Moral Virtue, Eros, and History3. Eros and Ambition in the Alexander--Caesar4. Eros and the Fall of Marc Antony5. Eros and the StatesmanBibliography