Age of Alexander

ISBN-10: 0140449353
ISBN-13: 9780140449358
Edition: 2011
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Description: Plutarch#x19;s parallel biographies of the great men in Greek and Roman history are cornerstones of European literature, drawn on by writers and statesmen since the Renaissance, most notably by Shakespeare. This selection provides intimate glimpses  More...

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Book details

List price: $23.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/29/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 634
Size: 5.10" wide x 7.80" long x 1.10" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Plutarch#x19;s parallel biographies of the great men in Greek and Roman history are cornerstones of European literature, drawn on by writers and statesmen since the Renaissance, most notably by Shakespeare. This selection provides intimate glimpses into the lives of these men, depicting, as he put it, #x18;those actions which illuminate the workings of the soul#x19;. We learn why the mild Artaxerxes forced the killer of his usurping brother to undergo the horrific #x18;death of two boats#x19;; why the noble Dion repeatedly risked his life for the ungrateful mobs of Syracuse; why Demosthenes delivered a funeral oration for the soldiers he had deserted in battle; and why Alexander, the most enigmatic of tyrants, self-destructed after conquering half the world.

PLUTARCH. c.46--c.125 Considered by many the most important Greek writer of the early Roman period, Plutarch was a member of a well-to-do Greek family, a chief magistrate, a priest at Delphi, and an exceptionally well-read individual. His philosophical views were based on those of Plato (see Vol. 4) and, although a Greek, he esteemed the achievements and attributes of the Romans. By the time Plutarch's works were published for the first time in the eleventh century, some had already been lost. He wrote innumerable essays on philosophical, historical, political, religious, and literary subjects, 78 of which survive today and are known collectively as the "Moralia." He is known primarily, however, for his Parallel Lives of Greeks and Romans, which consists of 50 biographies---23 of prominent Greeks, 23 of Roman leaders, and 4 separate lives---accompanied at intervals by short comparative essays. Although historical information is included in the work, Plutarch wrote it originally to inspire emulation in youth, so the emphasis is on character, moral choice, and anecdote. Sir Thomas North's 1579 translation into English of Parallel Lives became an important source for William Shakespeare which he used for three plays, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus.

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