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Plutarch

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Overview

Written around the year 100, Plutarch's Lives have shaped perceptions of the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks and Romans for nearly two thousand years. This engaging and stimulating book introduces both general readers and students to Plutarch's own life and work.

Robert Lamberton sketches the cultural context in which Plutarch worked-Greece under Roman rule-and discusses his family relationships, background, education, and political career. There are two sides to Plutarch: the most widely read source on Greek and Roman history and the educator whose philosophical and pedagogical concerns are preserved in the vast collection of essays and dialogues known as the Moralia. Lamberton analyzes these neglected writings, arguing that we must look here for Plutarch's deepest commitment as a writer and for the heart of his accomplishment. Lamberton also explores the connection between biography and historiography and shows how Plutarch's parallel biographies served the continuing process of cultural accommodation between Greeks and Romans in the Roman Empire. He concludes by discussing Plutarch's influence and reputation through the ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Frances B. Titchener
An excellent book that offers real literary and historical criticism, sound scholarship, and an interesting interpretation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300088113
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/11/2002
  • Series: Hermes Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
List of Abbreviations
1 Plutarch's Present 1
Plutarch in Context 1
The Internal Autobiography 2
The Reader, the Writer, and His Books 12
Plutarch the Thinker 26
Plutarch the Educator 44
Plutarch the Priest at Delphi 52
2 Plutarch's Past 60
The Project of the Parallel Lives 60
The Lives and the Function of Biography 69
The Mythic Limits of History 74
Conquerors 91
Heroes and Villains 115
The Project in Retrospect 143
3 Between Past and Present: The Dialogues 146
The Dialogue as a Genre 146
The Delphic Dialogues 155
The Face in the Moon 172
Socrates' Sign 179
4 Plutarch's Readers 188
App. 1 The Works of Plutarch 197
App. 2 Translations and Select Bibliography 211
Index 215
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