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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’s Alexandrias

Plutarch’s Alexandrias

(p.188) 13 Plutarch’s Alexandrias
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies Plutarch’s perception of Alexandria, first as a Greco-Macedonian foundation, then as a base for Caesar and Mark Antony, and finally as a leading city in his own day, which he visited. He wrote at length of Antony’s presence in the city and liaison with Cleopatra. He mentions various philosophers from Alexandria, in particular Arius, an adviser of Augustus who helped influence him to spare the city after its capture. Another is Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus, a member of Tiberius’ court, who is mentioned in a recently discovered fragment. A third is Plutarch’s own teacher Ammonius. He may have served on an embassy to Vespasian in Alexandria, but he says nothing of his visit or what he saw there except the bare fact of the visit itself. Recently discovered papyri of Plutarch’s works, found in Egypt demonstrate that his writings were widely read there. Two are dated to the first half of the second century, roughly contemporary with him or immediately following his death.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Alexandria, Egypt, Caesar, Mark Antony, papyri, readership, Arius, Thrasyllus, Ammonius

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