Great Books

PLUTARCH'S LIVES


"We dunces would have been lost if this book had not raised us out of the dirt."
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Biographies of ancient Greeks and Romans run in parallel and are cross-compared in Plutarch's Lives. It includes Romulus, Hercules, Pericles, Alcibiades, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, et al. and many not-so-well known men who created history. The basis for many of Shakespeare's plays, and for Harry Truman's political career, and a transformer of many lives. Of the two main versions, the one printed in the time of King James is more difficult to read, but also somewhat racier than the 1863 version, edited by A. H. Clough, which suffers prudish expurgation.

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