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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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Parallels in Three Dimensions

Parallels in Three Dimensions

(p.286) 20 Parallels in Three Dimensions
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that a set of Lives from the Roman civil war (Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, Cato Minor, Brutus, and Antony) and their corresponding parallel Greek lives (Agesilaus, Alexander, Nicias, Phocion, Dion, and Demetrius) form an interconnected set, meant by Plutarch to be thought of together, although each pair can be read independently. The chapter demonstrates that these Lives are linked by several themes: conquest, politics, kingship, and tragedy. Thus Plutarch subjected the last generation of the republic to a multifaceted examination, with many intertextual connections. This is evidence that Plutarch while writing his Lives began to see numerous links, not only between parallel pairs, his original conception, but back and forth across many pairs, creating a more unified vision of Greco-Roman history and its lessons.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, Cato Minor, Brutus, Antony, politics, comparison, intertextuality

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