by Plutarch - trans. by Dryden, John
pub. by Random House - Modern Library, NY, 2001 - isbn; 0-375-75676-0 biography p.V-Vi Intro. by James Atlas p. ix-xv Preface by Arthur HUGH Clough P. xix-xxxvi Index p.757-764 Discussion Guide p.765 total size 766 p.
Plutarch was a Greek. He traveled to Rome and perhaps to Egypt. He was born about 45 AD and died about 120 AD.
There are at least 3 volumes of these biographies - titled Lives
Plutarch wrote short biographies of many luminaries in the ancient world, many who died as much as 600 years before he was born. A few of these people are considered mythical. He wrote the biographies in pairs, often a Greek and a Roman, then compared them for their merit, especially the strength of their character and their virtue. After the end of each pair of biographies he writes a few paragraphs evaluating each of the pair on how well they lived their lives.
Theseus and Romulus - the first pair
Lycurgus and Numa Pompilus - the second pair
Solon and Poplicola - 3rd pair
Pericles and Fabius
Alcibiades and Coriolanus (also called Marcius)
It soon becomes evident that these luminaries all had their faults.
There are many more - I read this far and intend to read more later.
There are many more. The translatons to English were originally done by poet John Dryden (1631-1700) and somewhat refreshed by Arthur Hugh (1819-1861) given that the English language has evolved since those translators died I expected the language to be more archaeic. It is not. The biographies are easy to read. However some place names are a challenge to understand. Have a decent map of the ancient Mediterranean world at hand if you want to thoroughly understand what is written.
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