Plutarch's Lives: Parallelism and Purpose
edited by Noreen Humble
ISBN-13: 978-1-905125-41-8 ISBN-10: 1-905125-41-0, hardback, 300pp, 2010, GB £50
 
Plutarch's Parallel Lives were written to compare famous Greeks and Romans. This most obvious aspect of their parallelism is frequently ignored in the drive to mine Plutarch for historical fact. However, the eleven contributors to the present volume, who include most of the world's leading commentators on Plutarch, together bring out many ways in which Plutarch invoked aspects of parallelism. They show how pervasive and how central the whole notion was to his thinking. With new analysis of the synkriseis; with discussion of parallels within and across the Lives and in the Moralia; with an examination of why the basic parallel structure of the Lives lost its importance in the Renaissance, this volume presents fresh ideas on a neglected topic crucial to Plutarch's literary creation.
 

 

"The work contains very few typographical errors, and is well-produced...the editor has done a wonderful job of organizing papers for the collection, and the authors must be collectively congratulated for the diversity and success of their efforts in addressing Plutarchan parallelism. The essays are all highly relevant and provocative, while offering fresh insights into fundamental issues in Plutarchan studies. "

Michael Nerdahl. Bryn Mawr Classical Review

 

 
Contents
1. Why Parallel Lives? - W. Jeffrey Tatum
2. Parallels and contrasts: Plutarch’s Comparison of Coriolanus and Alcibiades - Simon Verdegem
3. Plutarch’s Themistocles and Camillus - Timothy E. Duff
4. Dion and Brutus: philosopher kings adrift in a hostile world - John Dillon
5. Asêmotatos or autokratôr? Obscurity and glory in Plutarch’s Sertorius - Jeffrey Beneker
6. Plutarch, ‘parallelism’ and the Persian-War Lives - John Marincola
7. A life unparalleled: Artaxerxes - Judith Mossman
8. The rhetoric and philosophy of Plutarch’s mirrors - Alexei V. Zadorojnyi
9. Parallels in three dimensions - Philip A. Stadter
10. ‘Plutarch’s tale of two cities: do the Parallel Lives combine as global histories?’ - Christopher Pelling
11. Parallelism and the Humanists - Noreen Humble