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Plutarch's Lives : Exploring Virtue and Vice - Tim Duff

Plutarch's Lives

Exploring Virtue and Vice

By: Tim Duff

Hardcover Published: 1st July 1999
ISBN: 9780198150589
Number Of Pages: 444

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The Parallel Lives of Plutarch (c. AD 45-120), a vast retrospective series of biographies of Greek and Roman statesmen, have always been one of the most widely read of the works which survive from classical antiquity. They were written when Roman imperial power was reaching its height, and are sophisticated examples of a renaissance classicism, both linguistic, literary, philosophical and historical, which formed a Greek reaction to Roman domination. The Parallel Lives thus offer us a unique insight into the reception of Classical Greece and Republican Rome in the Greek world of the second century AD. They also explore and challenge issues of psychology, education, morality, and cultural identity. In this new study discussions of Plutarch's literary techniques and moral conceptions are combined with case studies of a number of paired Lives (Pyrrhos - Marius, Phokion - Cato Minor, Lysander - Sulla, and Coriolanus - Alkibiades). As the author demonstrates, the parallel structure of the Lives is not only vital to their interpretation but also reflects a Greek attempt to appropriate and make sense of the pasts of both Greece and Rome.

Industry Reviews

`students of the Lives will need to own this book, which is now the starting point for subsequent debate about Plutarchan moralism in his biographical writings' Ploutarchos (Journal of the International Plutarch Society) `The appearance of Tim Duff's book is an event in Plutarchan studies. This is not the first attempt to appreciate the ethical purpose of the Lives, nor to understand the importance of parallelism in Plutarch's biographical project. But Duff, whose erudition is only one of this book's merits, has undertaken a reconsideration of these crucial issues that is thorough, thoughtful and thought-provoking.' Ploutarchos (Journal of the International Plutarch Society) `Duff provides an extensive bibliography that will be invaluable to all students of the Parallel Lives. While the scholarly tone of the volume will win it primarily a graduate student and professional audience, there is much of value for undergraduates as well in a work that offers a fresh view of these perennially-fascinating works' The Classical Outlook, Vol.78, No.4 `This excellent book by an able scholar will set a new standard in Plutarch studies' Frances B. Titchener, American Journal of Philology `Duff's general thoroughness is one of the book's strengths. He supports his statements throughout with multiple examples from Plutarch's Lives as well as from other writers, and he controls the massive bibliography to good effect.' Frances B. Titchener, American Journal of Philology `an outstanding contribution to the field' Frances B. Titchener, American Journal of Philology `stimulating ... this intelligent, learned, and lucid book will undoubtedly (and deservedly) have an immediate and profound impact upon studies of the Lives. In its sensitive and nuanced attention to the texture and detail of Plutarch's writing, as well as its methodological reorientations, it raises the stakes substantially. No serious Plutarchan scholar (as they say) will want to be without this one.' Tim Whitmarsh, The Classical Review, Vol.51, No.1, 2001 `the first monograph in English on the lives for a quarter of a century ... his book length study offers an intelligent, controlled, and scholarly development of his central claims.' Simon Goldhill, BMCR. `The qualities of Duff's work are varied and sterling ... The structure of the argument is intelligent and its conclusions convincing.' Simon Goldhill, BMCR. `It is a book that will be used, as well as read, by scholars and if it succeeds in resuscitating the idea of actually reading Plutarch's corpus it will have proved itself a major achievement.' Simon Goldhill, BMCR. `Duff has done a good job in giving a solid basis for the study of Plutarch's lives.' Simon Goldhill, BMCR. `The book gains its appeal fromt eh rich contents - a look at the index proves it - the fine analysis the consistent approach and the freshness of ideas.' Th.Schmidt, Les Etudes Classiques, University of Namur, Vol.68.

Editions and Abbreviations
Introductionp. 1
The Moralizing Programme
The Programmatic Statements of the Livesp. 13
Moralism in Plutarch's Livesp. 52
The Soul of a Plutarchan Herop. 72
Exploring Virtue and Vice: The Case Studies
The Lives of Pyrrhos and Mariusp. 101
The Lives of Phokion and Cato Minorp. 131
The Lives of Lysander and Sullap. 161
The Lives of Coriolanus and Alkibiadesp. 205
Writing in Parallel
Synkrisis and the Synkriseis in the Parallel Livesp. 243
The Politics of Parallelismp. 287
Plutarch and Ancestorsp. 310
Plutarch and Chronologyp. 312
Bibliographyp. 315
Indicesp. 353
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198150589
ISBN-10: 019815058X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 444
Published: 1st July 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.6  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.64