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Moralia Volume 1
26 Ethical Essays
Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
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Though best known now for his collection of lively and vivid Parallel Lives from ancient Greece and Rome, Plutarch (c46 CD-120 CE) was, for centuries, more respected for his Moralia, a remarkable and wide-ranging collection of essays and speeches. No fewer than 78 in total, they range over a broad list of topics in which Plutarch observes, dispenses wisdom, admonishes, entertains and informs: covering social issues and politics, manners and religion - in short, life in general.
Plutarch (c. AD 46-AD 120) was born to a prominent family in the small Greek town of Chaeronea, about 20 miles east of Delphi in the region known as Boeotia. His best known work is the Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues and vices. The surviving lives contain 23 pairs, each with one Greek life and one Roman life as well as four unpaired single 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.
The ancient biographer and essayist Plutarch thought deeply about the leadership qualities of the eminent Greeks and Romans he profiled in his famous - and massive - Lives, including politicians and generals such as Pericles, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony. Luckily for us, Plutarch distilled what he learned about wise leadership in a handful of essays, which are filled with essential lessons for experienced and aspiring leaders in any field today.
This epic chronicle by Plutarch (A.D. 46-120) continues with the lives of great Grecians and Romans. These biographies of the men who created the ancient world are brought to life in this new, high-quality recording. Legends such as Caesar, Alexander, Cicero, Demosthenes, and many others come alive as their politics, economy, and their individual stories play out in the time of the ancients. This translation is by John Dryden and is considered by scholars to be the quintessential translation.
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 translation.
Cato the Younger was one of the many biographies documented by Plutarch in his series called Parallel Lives. Related to Cato the Elder, Cato the Younger was also a student of philosophy as well as a Roman Statesman. After his father died and he gained his inheritance, Cato the Younger began his life as philosopher, warrior, and political leader. His life ended, as so many Roman lives did back then, in tragedy.
Plutarch, James Romm - preface and notes, Pamela Mensch - translator
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
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Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives still haunt us as examples of how the hunger for personal power can overwhelm collective politics, how the exaltation of the military can corrode civilian authority, and how the best intentions can lead to disastrous consequences. Plutarch renders these history-making lives as flesh-and-blood characters.
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 Caesar.
Plutarch’s Lives remains one of the world’s most profoundly influential literary works. Written at the beginning of the second century, it forms a brilliant social history of the ancient world. His “parallel lives” were originally presented in a series of books that gave an account of one Greek and one Roman life, followed by a comparison of the two. Volume 1 compares Theseus and Romulus, Alcibiades and Coriolanus, and Aristides and Marcus Cato, among others.
Plutarch’s Lives remains one of the world’s most profoundly influential literary works. Written at the beginning of the second century, it forms a brilliant social history of the ancient world. second volume includes Alexander and Caesar, Demetrius and Antony, Dion and Marcus Brutus, the aforementioned Demosthenes and Cicero, as well as biographies of Alexander, Caesar, Cato the Younger, and others.
Plutarch’s series of biographies was the first of its kind, as much ground breaking in conception as Herodotus was with his Histories. Plutarch looked at the great men of the Ancient World and told their stories, in many cases drawing on sources no longer available to us. They offer a unique insight into the characters as well as the achievements of men who influenced their age and the empires that their culture dominated. They are as accessible now as they were when they were first written.is the companion volume to Roman Lives.
Though he was Greek, Plutarch wrote his Lives in the first century, a world dominated by the Roman Empire. Here he considers some of the major figures who had left their stamp on the history of Rome, including generals, rulers, philosophers, and politicians. These unabridged selections focus on Coriolanus, Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, and Mark Antony.
Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (46 ce - after 119) was born in Chaeronea, Boeotia, to a wealthy Greek family. He made the most of his varied background and experience as a philosopher, magistrate, ambassador and priest at the Delphic Temple of Apollo, to become one of the most important biographers and essayists of classical Greek and Roman times. Parallel Lives is his best-known text. But Moralia, his collection of essays on a rich variety of subjects, continues to fascinate and educate. Translations by Richard Shilleto.
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 plans.
When it came to Athens and their leaders, few were as influential as the politician and Stratego Nicias. In Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, he documents the Peloponnesian War and other great achievements of the time through the life of Nicias. Most importantly, he helped negotiate peace after a decades-long war, which made him popular after an unsuccessful start in politics. However, after many years of political truces and actions, his life took a turn for the worse.
One of the more hotly contested lives documented in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, the Life of Dion investigates the intense politics of the tyrant of Syracuse. Starting out in politics, he initially was one of Dionysus’ most trusted advisors. But after Dionysus expressed that he no longer wanted to be a tyrant, which went against the advisement of Dion, his most trusted advisor was banished.
We all know the founder of Rome, but do we know much about the widely-proclaimed second founder of Rome? The monarchy, tyranny, and victorious battles of Marcus Furius Camillus, the second founder, are documented in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. After the destruction of Veii, Camillus returned to Rome as a pompous victor and dictator, causing quite a stir when he refused to follow the wishes of the senate when it came to dealing with Veii. Sensing banishment was in his future, Camillus’s time in Rome was much less bloody than many of his predecessors.
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 same.
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 own.