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Plutarch’s vivid and engaging portraits of the Spartans and their customs are a major source of our knowledge about the rise and fall of their remarkable Greek city-state between the sixth and third centuries BC. Through his Lives of Sparta’s leaders and his recording of memorable Spartan Sayings, he depicts a people who lived frugally and mastered their emotions in all aspects of life, who disposed of unhealthy babies in a deep chasm, introduced a gruelling regimen of military training for boys, and treated their serfs brutally. Rich in anecdote and detail, Plutarch’s writing brings to life the personalities and achievements of Sparta with unparalleled flair and humanity.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140449433
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 425,346
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Richard Talbert was born in England in 1947. He was a scholar of The King’s School, Canterbury, and of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First Class Honors in Classics, followed by a doctorate which was the basis of his first book, Timoleon and the Revival of Greek Sicily. After his appointment in 1970 to teach ancient history at Queen’s University, Belfast, his research extended into Roman history and the production of his major work, The Senate of Imperial Rome, which won the Goodwin Award of Merit. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. After three years as Professor of History at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in 1988 he moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor. He currently directs an international project to produce what will be the first major classical atlas since the last century.

Christopher Pelling  is professor of classics at Oxford University and a fellow of Christ Church.

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