Essays

Overview

Born at the very heart of Greece—between Athens and Apollo's shrine at Delphi—in the mid-40s of the first century CE, Plutarch combined an intense love of his locality and family with a cosmopolitan outlook that embraced the whole Roman Empire. His encyclopaedic writings form a treasure trove of ancient wisdom, yet his strong religious feelings and deeply humanist temperament give them all a compelling and individual voice. Whether he is offering abstract speculation or practical ethics, fresh and arresting ...

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Overview

Born at the very heart of Greece—between Athens and Apollo's shrine at Delphi—in the mid-40s of the first century CE, Plutarch combined an intense love of his locality and family with a cosmopolitan outlook that embraced the whole Roman Empire. His encyclopaedic writings form a treasure trove of ancient wisdom, yet his strong religious feelings and deeply humanist temperament give them all a compelling and individual voice. Whether he is offering abstract speculation or practical ethics, fresh and arresting reflections on anger and flattery, military versus intellectual glory or the reasoning powers of animals, Plutarch's charm and personality constantly shine through. Above all, concludes Kidd, his essays remain magnificently readable, works that 'can still entertain, instruct, stimulate and educate us and also introduce us to one of the most attractive characters in classical literature'.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140445640
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 702,128
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Plutarch (c.50-c.120 AD) was a writer and thinker born into a wealthy, established family of Chaeronea in central Greece. He received the best possible education in rhetoric and philosophy, and traveled to Asia Minor and Egypt. Later, a series of visits to Rome and Italy contributed to his fame, which was given official recognition by the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Plutarch rendered conscientious service to his province and city (where he continued to live), as well as holding a priesthood at nearby Delphi. His voluminous surviving writings are broadly divided into the ‘moral’ works and the Parallel Lives of outstanding Greek and Roman leaders. The former (Moralia) are a mixture of rhetorical and antiquarian pieces, together with technical and moral philosophy (sometimes in dialogue form). The Lives have been influential from the Renaissance onwards.
Robin Waterfield is a graduate of Manchester University and studied Greek philosphy at King's College, Cambridge. He is currently writing a major biography of Kahlil Gibran.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction

ON LISTENING
Introduction Essay

HOW TO DISTINGUISH A FLATTERER FROM A FRIEND
Introduction Essay

ON BEING AWARE OF MORAL PROGRESS
Introduction Essay

WHETHER MILITARY OR INTELLECTUAL EXPLOITS HAVE BROUGHT ATHENS MORE FAME
Introduction Essay

ON THE AVOIDANCE OF ANGER
Introduction Essay

ON CONTENTMENT
Introduction Essay

ON GOD'S SLOWNESS TO PUNISH
Introduction Essay

ON SOCRATES' PERSONAL DEITY
Introduction Essay

IN CONSOLATION TO HIS WIFE
Introduction Essay

ON THE USE OF REASON BY 'IRRATIONAL' ANIMALS
Introduction Essay

Bibliography Textual Appendix Descriptive Index of Proper Names

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