Plutarch

Book Club | February 2021: Plutarch Parallel Lives

"...it appears, first of all, that Theseus, of his own choice,...of his own accord reached out after great achievements; whereas Romulus, to escape present servitude and impending punishment ... proceeded to perform great exploits under compulsion." Back in February 2019, we read Plutarch's account of practices at Delphi. Now, our next Book Club selection is from Plutarch's Parallel Lives, perhaps his most famous work. Discussion will start and continue in… Read more

Book Club | February 2019: Plutarch at Delphi

"Note also these inscriptions here, ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Avoid extremes,’ how many philosophic inquiries have they set on foot, and what a horde of discourses has sprung up from each, as from a seed ! And no less productive of discourse than any one of them, as I think, is the present subject of inquiry." This month's Book Club will comprise selections from Plutarch, who spent time as a priest… Read more

Plutarch’s “On the Malice of Herodotus”

Plutarch's essay on Herodotus has been described as "the world's earliest known book review." We all have seen examples of this type of writing: a scathing review by a reviewer whose negative comments reveal an underlying bias against the author or his work that seems to obviate any pretense of an objective appraisal. Such an approach is puzzling in this case in that it seems so out of character for… Read more

Gallery: Delphi

This gallery will take you to Delphi in Greece. Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo in Delphi for several years, wrote a book about the oracles. Here are two passages from his book. Plutarch describes "the shrine of Earth" τὸ τῆς Γῆς ἱερὸν. "Accordingly we went round and seated ourselves upon the southern steps of the temple, looking towards the shrine of Earth and the stream of water" Read more