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Plutarch and his Roman Readers$
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Philip A. Stadter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718338.001.0001

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Plutarch and Trajanic Ideology

Plutarch and Trajanic Ideology

(p.165) 11 Plutarch and Trajanic Ideology
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares the ideologies of government of Plutarch and of Pliny the Younger, setting the former’s thinking on leadership alongside Pliny’s restrained praise of the emperor Trajan in his Panegyric as a means of illuminating common elements in their political thinking. Pliny hoped to influence both Trajan and future emperors by praise rather than admonition, holding up a description of a good emperor to use as a mirror to check one’s success at reflecting the model. He praises especially Trajan’s humanity, ease of access to senators, fairness, respect for fellow citizens and subjects, and restraint of ambition. All these virtues may be paralleled by examples from Plutarch’s Solon–Publicola pair, and Numa, and other works. He too provides a mirror of virtue for his readers.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Parallel Lives, virtues, Trajan, Pliny the Younger, Panegyric, Solon, Publicola, Numa, humanity

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