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'I treat the narrative of the Lives as a kind of mirror...The experience is like nothing so much as spending time in their company and living with them: I receive and welcome each of them in turn as my guest.'
In the eight lives of this collection Plutarch introduces the reader to the major figures and periods of classical Rome. He portrays virtues to be emulated and vices to be avoided, but his purpose is also implicitly to educate and warn those in his own day who wielded power. In prose that is rich, elegant and sprinkled with learned references, he explores with an extraordinary degree of insight the interplay of character and political action. While drawing chiefly on historical sources, he brings to biography a natural story-teller's ear for a good anecdote. Throughout the ages Plutarch's Lives have been valued for their historical value and their charm. This new translation will introduce new generations to his urbane erudition. The most comprehensive selection available, it is accompanied by a lucid introduction, explanatory notes, bibliographies, maps and indexes.