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Although Plutarch did not intend his Lives as a historical record, they sometimes furnish the best account we have of events in classical Greece. In many instances they are the only account available to those exploring ancient history through primary sources.
In this compilation from Plutarch's Greek Lives, James Romm gathers the material of greatest historical significance from fifteen biographies, ranging from Theseus in earliest times to Phocion in the late fourth century BCE. While preserving the outlines of Plutarch's character portraits, Romm focuses on the central stories of classical Greece: the rivalry between Athens, Sparta, and Thebes, the rise of Macedon, and the conflicts between these European states and the Achaemenid Persian empire. Bridging Plutarch’s gaps with concise summaries, Romm creates a coherent narrative of the classical Greek world.
This edition features the elegant new translation of Pamela Mensch. Footnotes provide the historical context often omitted by Plutarch and plentiful and detailed cross-references. Also included are a bibliography, maps, a chronological chart, a glossary, and an index.
About the Authors:
James Romm is the James H. Ottaway, Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College. He edited the acclaimed volumes Herodotus: On the War for Greek Freedom and Alexander the Great: Selections from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius (Hackett). He is the author, most recently, of Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire (Knopf).
The translations of Pamela Mensch appear in Alexander the Great (Hackett) and The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander (Pantheon). Her translation of Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Doctrines of Eminent Philosophers is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.
Life Spans of the Subjects of Plutarch's Lives
Lives That Made Greek History
Glossary of Names, Places, Peoples, and Military Terms