Searching for: "Plutarch"

  • Plutarch

    The Life of Alexander is one of many notable Greek figure biographies written by Plutarch in his series “Parallel Lives”. Alexander is arguably one of the most notable Greek figures, immortalized in stories and legends that are commonly used in mythology classes today. With the lingering feeling of discontent after the Persian invasion and the political unrest that surrounded him, his life made for an interesting topic in Plutarch’s works. Parallel lives is often lauded as one of the most reliable references to Alexander’s life that is currently...read more

  • Plutarch

    Though Sparta and Greece were once bitter rivals, this did not stop Plutarch from writing about Spartan figureheads in his book, Parallel lives. Cleomenes was one of these Spartan figureheads – and was the King of Sparta for many years. From involvement in many wars to his effort to maintain the Spartan state, Cleomenes was still not free from drama. His life ended tragically at his own hands after one final Spartan defeat, but his legacy lived on through the works of Plutarch and...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Life of Aratus is one of the many biographies detailed in Plutarch’s integral work, Parallel Lives. In the Life of Aratus, Plutarch details the dynamic work done by the successor of Nicocles and talks about his advocacy to turn Greece into a united country. Working as a soldier first and then a diplomat, he fought for the betterment of his fellow countrymen. Disaster hit during his later reign, as it so often did, and though many wanted him dead, the great Oracle at Delphi had other...read more

  • Plutarch

    Plutarchs's (46-120 A.D.) epic chronicle of the lives of great Grecians and Romans. Beginning with the founding of Rome and Athens, the lives of the men who created the ancient world are brought to life in this new, high quality recording. Greats such as Romulus, Pericles, Theseus, Lycurgus, and many others come alive as their politics, economy, and their individual stories play out in the time of the Ancients. This translation by John Dryden, which is considered by scholars to be the quintessential...read more

  • Plutarch

    Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names still resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives pose a question that haunts us still: how to safeguard a republic from the flaws of its leaders. This edition of Plutarch delivers a fresh translation of notable clarity, explanatory notes, and ample historical...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

  • Plutarch

    Publius Valerius Publicola, the subject of Plutarch’s, The Life of Publicola, is one of the most influential Roman figures to be written about in the author’s Parallel Lives series. Originally from Sabine, Publicola made his life in Rome with the intent to support the unification of Rome’s people. However, when the revolution happened, he and four others drove out Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and reformed the state. His political presence only grew, and by the time of his death he was one of the most beloved Roman politicians in the...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Life of Philopoemen is one of the many lives described in Plutarch’s famous Parallel Lives. Philopoemen, whose father died when he was very young, was adopted by a notable Megalopolan figurehead and studied under the local Greek philosophers. Not only was he smart, but he went on to advise and help defend Greece from Cleomenes III and the many people attempting to gain control of the powerful empire. But as Sparta began to rise in his later years, his political actions became more and more risky – which ultimately lead to his...read more

  • Plutarch

    Smart, resourceful, and cruel – three words which might describe Titus Quinctius Flamininus, the subject of Plutarch’s The Life of Flaminius. Brother to the later-to-be-exiled senator Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, the former Flamininus was a well-known general and state politician. As a general, he occupied many overthrown Greek and Macedonian lands, becoming quite well known. Although his political prowess was well known, he became cruel during his latter life – even being pivotal in the death of a harmless...read more

  • Plutarch

    The Life of Cimon is just one of many notable biographies in Plutarch’s informative Parallel Lives series. Cimon, an Athenian Statesman, was the son of the general who won Greece’s battle of Marathon. Battling and defeating the Persian Empire on water, Cimon was crucial in the construction of the Athenian Maritime Empire. However, like so many others in the series, Cimon was eventually ostracized from the empire when his political views took a radical...read more