Eclectic essays on ethics, education, and much else besides.
Plutarch (Plutarchus), ca. AD 45–120, was born at Chaeronea in Boeotia in central Greece, studied philosophy at Athens, and, after coming to Rome as a teacher in philosophy, was given consular rank by the emperor Trajan and a procuratorship in Greece by Hadrian. He was married and the father of one daughter and four sons. He appears as a man of kindly character and independent thought, studious and learned.
Plutarch wrote on many subjects. Most popular have always been the forty-six Parallel Lives, biographies planned to be ethical examples in pairs (in each pair, one Greek figure and one similar Roman), though the last four lives are single. All are invaluable sources of our knowledge of the lives and characters of Greek and Roman statesmen, soldiers and orators. Plutarch’s many other varied extant works, about sixty in number, are known as Moralia or Moral Essays. They are of high literary value, besides being of great use to people interested in philosophy, ethics, and religion.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of the Moralia is in fifteen volumes, volume XIII having two parts. Volume XVI is a comprehensive Index.
This miscellany of essays makes Plutarch the Montaigne or Hazlitt of antiquity. He is best known for his Lives, a series of parallel biographies of heroic exemplification describing the great men of Greece and Rome. But the Moralia are as rich, and even more diverse, containing much to instruct and entertain. Written in Greek during the course of Plutarch’s life—he flourished about 100 CE—they had an enormous influence on western culture until a century or two ago. Some are classics in every sense of the word… This is agreeable and civilised stuff, refreshingly contemporaneous despite having been matured for two thousand years in the casks of literature.
- 512 pages
- 1-1/8 x 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
- Harvard University Press
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