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Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 (Modern…
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Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 (Modern Library Classics) (edició 2001)

de Plutarch, Arthur Hugh Clough (Editor), John Dryden (Traductor), James Atlas (Introducció)

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Offers biographies of Greek and Roman leaders and compares their personal qualities and accomplishments.
Títol:Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 (Modern Library Classics)
Altres autors:Arthur Hugh Clough (Editor), John Dryden (Traductor), James Atlas (Introducció)
Informació:Modern Library (2001), Edition: Modern Library Paperback, Paperback, 816 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Plutarch's Lives, Volume I of the Dryden translation, edited by Arthur Hugh Clough. de Plutarch

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Plutarch wrote his lives to educate the reader. In doing so he used a combination of history and myth while assessing the politics and religion of the "Noble" Greeks and Romans whose lives he included in his writings. What was originally a series of books have been compiled into two volumes that span the lives from ancient Greece through the centuries until the Roman Empire flourished. I found that in creating his histories Plutarch admitted time and again to uncertainty about some of the specific events that he portrayed. In addition, he would sometimes note that there were those who held differing opinions about some of his characterizations of events.

One theme of his lives is the identification of key characteristics of success of the particular life depicted; in fact, he points out that success does not depend on one particular style of leadership or rule. However, that did not stop Plutarch for identifying some lives that were better than others. One of the most successful lives depicted was that of Pericles. Near the beginning of his life of Pericles, Plutarch observes "that it becomes a man's duty to pursue and make after the best and choicest of everything, that he may not only employ his contemplation, but may also be improved by it." (p 201)

Not only does he highlight the importance of contemplation (an activity that Aristotle considered the highest virtue in which a man might engage himself [Nichomachean Ethics]) for improvement of one's life, but also the application of his intellect to objects such as acts of virtue. All of this is merely introductory to a life that includes just such actions and provides some of the reasons why Athens under the leadership of Pericles was so successful. All of this is done, in part, to educate the reader and encourage an "admiration of the things done and desire to imitate the doers of them."(p 202)

Pericles led a life that did not leave any writings, not unlike that of Socrates, although we have some of his orations thanks to Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. What he did leave were public and sacred buildings, and evidence of a policy that encouraged great public shows, banquets, and processions to further the pleasure of the people of Athens. At one point, Plutarch compares him to a skillful physician who balances the pleasures with "keen pains and drug" when necessary to cure what ailments might exist among the citizenry. He maintained his rule through attention to the soul of the people. Plutarch adds, "The source of this predominance was not barely the power of language, but, as Thucydides assures us, the reputation of his life, and the confidence of his character; his manifest freedom from every kind of corruption, and superiority to all considerations of money." Would that we had leaders like that in America today.

Pericles may sound like the proverbial person that is too good to be true, however in his conclusion Plutarch reinforces his judgement with these words, "He was indeed a character deserving our high admiration not only for his equitable and mild temper . . .", but that he had not "gratified his envy or his passion". (p 234) It is such a character that made Pericles one of Plutarch's favorites among the many noble lives that he chronicled. Each of the lives in this volume receives what appears to be an objective study of the details of their character, actions, and relations with others. The result is a compendium that provides the reader with instruction in how to live as well as a magnificent narrative of how many of the noblest of Greeks and Romans actually lived their lives. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 1, 2020 |
War War War War War. Once I got used to the translator's style (a bit like Charles Dickens) I was able to proceed with some speed. This is not for the timid or for people who like short sentences. I like the one best where the general, upon being rebuked, took out his sword and killed himself. That's the way to take responsibility for ones actions. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
This book was a massive undertaking, but worth it. Fifty Greek and Roman leaders are described in mini-biographies by Plutarch. It was enlightening to me to see the difference between societies at that time, and our modern world. The similarities were also striking, given the current world violence we now try to tell ourselves is so unnatural and immoral.
It's becoming clear to me that the reason Greek and Roman history is so prevalent in our history classes, and in our way of thinking, is simply because the Greeks were the first to have a true alphabet. The first to record their history, at least in a way that has mostly survived. I can't help but think what a pity it is that other societies histories, of the Trojans, or of the "barbarians" of Northern Europe, or even the Aztec's or the Maya are lost. ( )
2 vota pickwick817 | Jan 7, 2007 |
A very beautifully written translation. Be warned, however, that you will want to consult another source for any serious study, as Clough has taken some serious liberties with the text. ( )
1 vota selfnoise | Oct 12, 2005 |
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Plutarchautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
(Editor), Arthur Hugh Cloughautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dryden, JohnTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Do not combine with complete editions or with editions that have more than two volumes. The Everyman edition is in three volumes and other reprints are in usually in four or five volumes.
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Offers biographies of Greek and Roman leaders and compares their personal qualities and accomplishments.

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