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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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Friends or Patrons?

Friends or Patrons?

(p.20) (p.21) 1 Friends or Patrons?
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers his most important friends, including Sosius Senecio and Mestrius Florus, who would also have been patrons. Under the influence of recent books on patronage in Flavian Rome, it considers how their patronage might have been exercised and its effect on Plutarch’s works. Beginning with an analysis of Rom. 13 on the ideal of Roman patronage, it reviews evidence of patronage for the Greek historians of Rome Polybius, Posidonius, Diodorus, Theophanes, Strabo, and Dionysius. Under the principate, Josephus, Dio Chrysostom, and Pliny speak as recipients or granters of patronage. These furnish background for Plutarch, who often speaks of his Roman friends in Table Talk, but never as patrons. Three conclusions emerge: first, that Plutarch accepted Rome’s hegemony as natural, second, that he was willing to accept the patronage of powerful friends, and third, he responded by educating his readers through his writing, including his parallel biographies, dedicated to Senecio, and, if genuine, his Apophthegmata regum dedicated to Trajan.

Keywords:   Plutarch, biography, Parallel Lives, Roman empire, politics, morals, Sosius Senecio, Trajan, leadership, readers, audience

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