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Lives of the Noble Romans by Plutarch

Lives of the Noble Romans

by Plutarch, Edmund Fuller (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (2)

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174299,258 (3.61)3

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It would be very easy to be negative about this book: a lot of the 'information' supplied would not be accepted in a modern biography. One must, however, give weight to the time at which it was written.

Biography was a new art form. Plutarch is, in many ways, making up the rules of the genre. To be fair to the man, he is very clear when he is reporting hearsay and has a healthy scepticism when discussing Romulus, for example. Two points that need to be considered when casting a critical eye over the work are; firstly, that there would have been a paucity of any solid written evidence of these people. Cicero's diaries would not have existed, never mind being available at the local library. Secondly, were he to ignore, or belittle, the mythological details of his story, he may not have proved popular with the audience of his day: and that could have had far more severe consequences than a bad review in the Times.

Plutarch does flash warnings when his biographies slip into unlikely details. He tries to offer rational explanations as to how an unlikely theory might have evolved. So, before I adversely compare Plutarch to someone like Peter Ackroyd, I must ask, 'Would I be able to produce nearly such a cogent document, based upon the limited sources available to Plutarch?' The answer? A resounding, 'NO!!!' ( )
1 vote the.ken.petersen | Aug 7, 2012 |
This is half the original book. The original title was The Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans. Well worth reading.
  xenchu | Oct 9, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Plutarchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fuller, EdmundEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ax, WilhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, EdmundEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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