Plutarch's Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice

Plutarch's Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice


By (author) Timothy E. Duff

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 446 pages
  • Dimensions: 143mm x 217mm x 25mm | 531g
  • Publication date: 23 May 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199252742
  • ISBN 13: 9780199252749
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,157,250

Product description

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 are sophisticated 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 second century 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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Author information

Tim Duff is a Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading

Review quote

This is an outstanding book and will remain a standard work. The Journal of Classics Teaching

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. THE PROGRAMMATIC STATEMENTS OF THE LIVES ; 2. Moralism in Plutarch's Lives ; 3. The Soul of a Plutarchan Hero ; 4. THE LIVES OF PYRRHOS AND MARIUS ; 5. The Lives of Phokion and Cato Minor ; 6. The Lives of Lysander and Sulla ; 7. The Lives of Coriolanus and Alkibiades ; 8. SYNKRISIS AND THE SYNKRISEIS IN THE PARALLEL LIVES ; 9. The Politics of Parallelism ; PLUTARCH AND ANCESTORS ; PLUTARCH AND CHRONOLOGY