Searching for: "Bernadotte Perrin"

  • Plutarch

    The story of Romulus is perhaps the most noteworthy entry in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. According to legend, Romulus and his brother Remus founded Rome after being raised by a “she-wolf,” though Plutarch notes that this word was also used to describe sexually immoral women. “The Life of Romulus” shows how it is impossible to separate the man from the myth. For this reason, Plutarch’s portrait of Romulus argues that legends often have as great an influence on culture as the...read more

  • Plutarch

    Cato the Elder rose from his Plebeian ancestry to become a great Roman senator, orator, and historian. While he was the first in his family to hold elected office, Cato proudly declared that his military roots made bravery a family trait. Plutarch praises him for his actions as a father, his strength as an orator, and his wise ethics, but he criticizes his behavior toward animals and slaves. While there are several historical biographies of what Cato did, this entry in Parallel Lives creates an intimate portrait of who Cato was in character and in...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus formed the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey. The collaboration proved difficult, as egos clashed amidst the wars the men waged. Yet Crassus proved himself to be the linchpin of their alliance in the age when Roman Republic became Roman Empire; after his death, Caesar turned on Pompey, the partnership dissolved. Plutarch’s account of Crassus’ life unfolds like a drama, documenting the trials and triumphs of one of Rome’s most powerful...read more

  • Plutarch

    In “The Life of Cicero,” Plutarch details the priceless contributions Cicero made to Roman society. He translated the works of Greek philosophers into Latin, gained acclaim as an orator and lawyer, and was elected to office. Politics ultimately got the better of him, however, and his life ended in assassination while in exile. Cicero’s ideas live on through his body of work, but to learn about the man himself, Plutarch’s biography is an excellent starting...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Roman statesman Sulla had the nickname “Felix,” meaning “lucky.” Yet his accomplishments were more a matter of brute force than good fortune. He put an end to a civil war, declared himself dictator, and used his power to bring Rome back to its former value system, purging thousands of Roman enemies along the way. Plutarch’s biography of Sulla shows how one man’s use of force to obtain political power influenced many who came after him, most notably Julius...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Romans hated Pompey’s greedy father, Strabo, with a vengeance. Yet when Pompey rose in prominence, Plutarch notes that he developed the opposite character, and the Romans loved him for it. Pompey had many great accomplishments in his military and political life, but his legacy lies in forming the First Triumvirate with Crassus and Caesar. When the alliance eventually dissolved, and Pompey fled from Caesar to his death, the Roman world would never be the...read more

  • Plutarch

    Mark Antony’s personal life was almost as storied as his immensely successful political career. In Plutarch’s biography, the most striking sections revolve around Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra. Plutarch’s characterization inspired Shakespeare, whose play Antony and Cleopatra would not be the same without its influence. With such close ties to Shakespeare, it’s no wonder that the “The Life of Antony” holds great literary merit all its...read more

  • Plutarch

    Athenian politician Solon made a name for himself as a reformer and poet. Unfortunately, little of his work survives today. Plutarch’s biography serves as a leading resource on his life, even though it was written hundreds of years after Solon’s death. In his lifetime, Solon drove political efforts to preserve Greek morality, economy, and politics, laying the groundwork for Athenian democracy as we know...read more

  • Plutarch

    Alcibiades was a powerful man who made powerful enemies. Within a single war, his loyalties changed multiple times as he fled one enemy after another, bringing his unorthodox tactics to every strategic position he held. This charismatic, self-interested leader inspired admiration and hate in near equal measure. His complex character avoids simplification, so Plutarch skillfully portrays him as the multi-faceted man he was, leaving readers to make their own...read more

  • Plutarch

    Born into a royal household, Pyrrhus was destined for greatness. He fought in many battles throughout his life, but his campaigns against Rome established his reputation as a commander. Many of his victories were only achieved through heavy losses, however, which is where the term “Pyrrhic victory” comes from. From this dramatic account of Pyrrhus’ life, it’s easy to see why his contemporaries considered his valor...read more

  • Plutarch

    Plutarch begins this biography by stating, “Concerning Lycurgus the lawgiver, in general, nothing can be said which is not disputed.” What he recorded captures the essence of Lycurgus and his legacy, if not the unquestionable truth. The great lawgiver founded Sparta after consulting the Oracle of Delphi, and his laws established a totalitarian society that flourished for five hundred years. With this kind of unprecedented success, it is no wonder the man’s legacy became entangled in myths surrounding how he did...read more

  • Plutarch

    Plutarch wrote all the biographies in Parallel Lives with a certain flair for valuing characterization over strict historical documentation. “The Life of Brutus” was no exception. By painting a complex portrait of the man behind Julius Caesar’s assassination, Plutarch provided Shakespeare with the dramatic character sketch he needed to write the play Julius Caesar. For fans of Classics, this literary masterpiece is not one to...read more

  • Plutarch

    In this biography, Plutarch recounts the radical events that took place in Roman history from AD 68-69. After Nero committed suicide, the Roman Empire entered a civil war with Galba taking immediate power. He ruled for seven turbulent months before being assassinated. Plutarch’s “The Life of Galba” is an essential text for understanding this shocking era of Roman...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Greeks glorified Theseus as the historical founder of Athens. Plutarch’s record of his life incorporates all known facts and legends about him, from his defeat of the minotaur to his actions as a political leader. As this work comes from Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, he draws many parallels between Theseus and his Roman counterpart, Romulus. Plutarch’s “The Life of Theseus” is a must-read for mythology buffs and anyone with an interest in Greek history and...read more

  • Plutarch

    Numa Pompilius was chosen by the senate to become Rome’s second king. Plutarch recounts the transition between Romulus’ mysterious death and the strategic emergence of Numa as the next king. He paints Numa as a sly, shrewd leader who sought approval from the gods in order to gain the acceptance of the people. Rome was not built in a day, and “The Life of Numa” represents just the second stage of this great...read more

  • Plutarch

    Caius Gracchus was barely a man when his older brother Tiberius was assassinated for his reforms on behalf of the poor. After this, Caius tried to live a quiet life away from the public eye, perhaps afraid of meeting the same fate. Yet in Plutarch’s biography of Caius, he recounts that Tiberius appeared to his brother in a dream, telling him that they were both destined to fight and die for the working class. Caius eventually answered the call, served in the tribune for two years, and was likewise assassinated for his...read more

  • Plutarch

    In this biography, Plutarch states that Tiberius Gracchus was known more for his virtue than for his achievements. Tiberius’ virtue, and thus his legacy, lies in his actions as a reformer. Himself of plebeian leader, he sought to aid the poor by giving them some of the land belonging to wealthy landowners. These reforms shook the Roman world and led to his assassination, making Tiberius a martyr for working class people and the politicians who fight for their...read more

  • Plutarch

    In this entry of Parallel Lives, Plutarch tells the true story of Lysander, the great Spartan leader. Lysander led a fleet of Spartan ships to victory against the Athenians in the battle at Aegospotami. History also credits him with forcing the Greeks to surrender at the end of the Peloponnesian War. With this biography, Plutarch combines Lysander’s accomplishments with fascinating details about his character, creating a full portrait of the man behind the...read more

  • Plutarch

    Julius Caesar peaked as one of the most powerful generals in Roman history. In “The Life of Caesar,” Plutarch attempts to capture the greatness of this man on paper. With stirring prose, he documents Caesar’s military might and rousing spirit. The biography ends with the details of Caesar’s assassination, but Plutarch’s assures readers that the murderers eventually paid for the...read more

  • Plutarch

    Plutarch picks some of the most interesting Greek politicians and notable figures to write about in his Parallel Lives series, and Otho does not disappoint. From his beginning as an underling of famous emperor Nero, he loses his wife to him and is sent away to govern a town. After Nero, Otho begins to plot his overtaking of the throne. But when he finally gets it – and manages to lose over 40,000 men in battle – his ending is a little less...read more