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Paperback Greek Lives Book

ISBN: 0192825011

ISBN13: 9780192825018

Greek Lives

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Here, Plutarch introduces the major figures and periods of classical Greece, detailing the lives of nine personages, including Lycurgus, Solon, Themistocles, Cimon, Alexander, Pericles, Nicias, Alcibiades, and Agesilaus. Oxford presents the most comprehensive selection available, superbly translated and accompanied by a lucid introduction, explanatory notes, bibliographies, maps, and indexes.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The truth shines but the world doesn't listen.

Unfortunately, nowadays, we have many people and countries claiming that Alexander the Great and Macedonia weren't part of the Hellenic Period and that Alexander spoke a Slavic Language and not a Hellenic dialect. Although there is a distortion and Falsifycation of the Hellenic history in regards to Ancient Macedonia by many authors, this book, by Plutarch, proves that both King Philip 'the Philhellen' and Alexander the Great of Makedonia were part of the Hellenic civilization and considered Hellenes and not barbarians as some authors claim. In general, this book was enlightning with sources and is directed to the intellectual society. No where does it state that Macedonians were Slavic.

A Timeless Classic By One Of The Best Biographers In History

Plutarch in his "Lives Of The Noble Grecians And Romans" written around 100 C.E., sheds new light on Greek and Roman history from their Bronze Age beginnings, shrouded in myth, down through Alexander and late Republican Rome. Plutarch is the lens that we use today to view the Greco-Roman past; his work has shaped our perceptions of that world for 2,000 years. Plutarch writes of the rise of Roman Empire while Gibbon uses his scholarship to advance the story to write about its decline. He was a proud Greek that was equally effected by Roman culture, a Delphic priest, a leading Platonist, a moralist, educator and philosopher with a deep commitment as a first rate writer. Being a Roman citizen, Plutarch was afforded the opportunity to become an intimate friend to prominent Roman citizens and a member of the literary elite in the court of Emperor Trajan. Plutarch's influence and enormous popularity during and after the Renaissance is legendary among classicist. Plutarch's "Lives", served as the sourcebook for Shakespeare's Roman Plays "Julius Caesar", "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Coriolanus". By the way Plutarch is even the only contemporary source of all the biographical information on Cleopatra, whom he writes about in his biographies of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian. Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew that there were three books every gentleman had to have familiarity with; Plutarch's "Lives", Livy's "History of Rome" and Virgil's Aeneid. In fact all the founding fathers of note had read Plutarch and learned much from his fifty biographies of noble men of Greece and Rome. When Hamilton, Jay and Madison write "The Federalist Papers" they use many examples of good and bad leadership traits that they read in Plutarch's work. His biographies are a great study in human character and what motivates leaders to decide and act the way they do, this masterpiece has proven to be still prescient today. If you are truly interested in a classical education, put this book on the top of your list! I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in political philosophy, and history.

Good reading

Some of these bios are simply fascinating, especially the ones of Lycurgus, Alexander the Great and Themistocles. Plutarch tends to do character sketches, as opposed to lenghty reports of battles. For example, most of the military campaigns of Alexander the Great are simply glossed over. However, he does show the moral actions and personalities of his characters. He is also a very good writer and fun to read; not too dry at all. I would suggest this book for several reasons: 1) To decide if you would like to read more Plutarch. 2) You have mastered ancient history and are looking for character portrayals of these people. 3) You are looking for in introduction for study of the ancients.

Easy and great fun to read!

This fresh translation of Plutarch makes these wonderful timeless stories easy to enter. In a world of insipid shallow middle managers, multinational corporate slaves, and boring billionaire silicon valley geeks these stories are a wonderful relief! I was delighted to learn that Pericles was in love with a brilliant courtesan named Aspasia who influenced him as well as others, including Socrates and Cicero. If you are as weary of dispicable characters like the selfish-seinfield types as I am, read this book and imagine a less limited world. The ancient world may have been more brutal, but it wasn't boring! Susan Ferguson
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