The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives

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Overview

Plutarch's Greek Lives can be seen as a summing up of the classical Greek age and its great writers.

The nine Lives translated here and arranged in chronological order follow the history of Athens from the legendary times of Theseus, the city's founder, to its defeat at the hands of Lysander, its Spartan conqueror. Included in this selection are the biographies of Themistocles, a brilliant but heavy-handed naval commander, Aristides 'the Just' and Pericles, who was responsible ...

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Overview

Plutarch's Greek Lives can be seen as a summing up of the classical Greek age and its great writers.

The nine Lives translated here and arranged in chronological order follow the history of Athens from the legendary times of Theseus, the city's founder, to its defeat at the hands of Lysander, its Spartan conqueror. Included in this selection are the biographies of Themistocles, a brilliant but heavy-handed naval commander, Aristides 'the Just' and Pericles, who was responsible for the buildings on the Acropolis. Plutarch's real interest in these men is not in the greatness of their victories or achievements but in their moral strengths, and for him responsibility for the eventual fall of Athens lay with the weakness and ambition of its great men.

Varying in historical accuracy, these accounts are nevertheless rich in anecdote, and Plutarch's skill as a social historian and his fascination with personal idiosyncracies make them of timeless interest.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140441024
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1960
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 140,516
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.85 (h) x 0.62 (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.

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Table of Contents

Translated with an Introduction by Ian Scott-Kilvert

Introduction
Theseus
Solon
Themistocles
Aristides
Cimon
Pericles
Nicias
Alcibiades
Lysander

Maps

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    accessible ancient

    I am homeschooling two teenage daughters and Plutarch is one of several Greek authors we read this year (the others included Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle). Just thought I'd share that Plutarch was a big hit with my daughters! We especially enjoyed his portraits of Theseus, Pericles and Alcibiades

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