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.
Ian Scott-Kilvert was the director of English Literature at the British Council and the editor of Writers and Their Works. For the Penguin Classics, he translated Plutarch's Makers of Rome, The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives and The Age of Alexander, and Cassius Dio's The Roman History. He died in 1989.
Christopher Pelling is Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University. He published a commentary on Plutarch's Life of Antony in 1988 (Cambridge University Press) and most of his articles on Plutarch are collected in his Plutarch and History (Classical Press of Wales and Duckworth, 2002).