Plutarch's Moralia

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Harvard University Press, 1970 - Literary Collections - 241 pages
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Plutarch (Plutarchus), ca. 45120 CE, was born at Chaeronea in Boeotia in central Greece, studied philosophy at Athens, and, after coming to Rome as a teacher in philosophy, was given consular rank by the emperor Trajan and a procuratorship in Greece by Hadrian. He was married and the father of one daughter and four sons. He appears as a man of kindly character and independent thought, studious and learned.

Plutarch wrote on many subjects. Most popular have always been the 46 Parallel Lives, biographies planned to be ethical examples in pairs (in each pair, one Greek figure and one similar Roman), though the last four lives are single. All are invaluable sources of our knowledge of the lives and characters of Greek and Roman statesmen, soldiers and orators. Plutarch's many other varied extant works, about 60 in number, are known as Moralia or Moral Essays. They are of high literary value, besides being of great use to people interested in philosophy, ethics and religion.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of the Moralia is in fifteen volumes, volume XIII having two parts.

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Roman Questions. Greek Questions. Greek and Roman Parallel Stories. On the Fortune of the Romans. On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander. Were the Athenians More Famous in War or in Wisdom? This ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
133
Text and Translation
148
Index
231
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

PLUTARCH. c.46--c.125 Considered by many the most important Greek writer of the early Roman period, Plutarch was a member of a well-to-do Greek family, a chief magistrate, a priest at Delphi, and an exceptionally well-read individual. His philosophical views were based on those of Plato (see Vol. 4) and, although a Greek, he esteemed the achievements and attributes of the Romans. By the time Plutarch's works were published for the first time in the eleventh century, some had already been lost. He wrote innumerable essays on philosophical, historical, political, religious, and literary subjects, 78 of which survive today and are known collectively as the "Moralia." He is known primarily, however, for his Parallel Lives of Greeks and Romans, which consists of 50 biographies---23 of prominent Greeks, 23 of Roman leaders, and 4 separate lives---accompanied at intervals by short comparative essays. Although historical information is included in the work, Plutarch wrote it originally to inspire emulation in youth, so the emphasis is on character, moral choice, and anecdote. Sir Thomas North's 1579 translation into English of Parallel Lives became an important source for William Shakespeare which he used for three plays, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus.