ONE OF THE FEW COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED EDITIONS OF PLUTARCH'S LIVES--all fifty biographies, and eighteen comparisons.
"To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days." Plutarch
"I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent than in the extent of my power or possessions." Plutarch
"Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech." Plutarch
"To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future." Plutarch
"It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything." Plutarch
Plutarch's Lives is a brilliant collection of biographies by one of the greatest biographers and moralists of all time. By comparing a famous Roman with a famous Greek, Plutarch intended to provide model patterns of behaviour and to encourage mutual respect between Greeks and Romans. There are fifty biographies of famous soldiers, legislators, orators, and statesmen, and an additional eighteen comparisons. The form of Plutarch's Lives was new; he outlined the birth, youth, achievements, and death of his characters, followed by a formal comparison. The Lives display formidable learning and research. Plutarch is essentially a moralist whose aim is to edify the reader; destiny follows from character, which he illustrates by anecdotes.
Plutarch (AD 46 -119 ) was a philosopher, teacher, and biographer, whose writing strongly influenced the evolution of the essay, the biography, and historical writing in Europe from the 16th to the 19th century, especially the work of Michel de Montaigne and William Shakespeare. He lived mostly in Greece, where he was a local magistrate, though he was a Roman citizen who knew the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian.