Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Plutarch and his Roman Readers$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 April 2021

Plutarch’s Lives

Plutarch’s Lives

The Statesman as Moral Actor

15 Plutarch’s Lives
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

This chapter treats Plutarch’s creation of a genre of moral biography, based on a tension between his choice of statesmen famous for their political and military accomplishments and the presentation of them as moral actors. This new genre seems to grow from the need that had been previously expressed by Cicero in his De officiis book 3 and by Seneca in Epistle 94 for practical examples of difficult moral decisions. The predominantly theoretical approach of Hellenistic philosophers was important but avoided the hard issues, such as Cicero had seen in his own lifetime and faced after the assassination of Caesar. Plutarch’s presentation of examples drawn from history in three pairs, Cimon–Lucullus, Aristides–Cato Major, and Alexander–Caesar, meets this expectation by grounding moral thinking in historical action.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Cimon, Lucullus, Aristides, Cato Censor, Alexander, Caesar, Cicero, Seneca morals, hilosophy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .