The Rise and Fall of Athens

Nine Greek Lives

Recommended by Jeffrey Beneker, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #22 in Athens, Ranked #73 in Ancient Greecesee more rankings.

Plutarch's Greek Lives can be seen as a summing up of the classical Greek age and its great writers.

The nine Lives translated here and arranged in chronological order follow the history of Athens from the legendary times of Theseus, the city's founder, to its defeat at the hands of Lysander, its Spartan conqueror. Included in this selection are the biographies of Themistocles, a brilliant but heavy-handed naval commander, Aristides 'the Just' and Pericles, who was responsible for the buildings on the Acropolis. Plutarch's real interest in these men is not in the...


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Jeffrey Beneker Plutarch would argue that what you’re doing in your private life will predict what’s going to happen if we put you in charge of public life. If you can’t run the small economy of your household in a competent way, why would we put you in charge of the city’s economy? It’s that way of thinking. (Source)

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