Plutarch 45 - 120 (75)

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.



Parallel lives

Plutarch (45-120) was a Greek historian, biographer, philosopher and ethicist of antiquity. He was born in the city of Chaeronia, in Boeotia, during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius and he was taught philosophy and rhetoric in Athens. He traveled extensively in the Mediterranean world and twice in Rome, where he had influential Roman friends; from a very young age he was introduced to the mysteries of Apollo and he became an elder of the priests of Apollo in the Oracle of Delphi, responsible for the interpretation of the oracles of Pythia, a position he held for 29 years until his death. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was an archon (a position similar to that of the current mayor), in Chaeronia and represented his homeland in various missions to foreign countries.

He lived a very active social and political life, during which he produced a great work which survived to our time and influenced many poets and writers, mainly of the 18th and 19th centuries.

His most famous work is Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs, so as to emphasize their common moral values ​​or failures. He wrote 83 pairs of biographies, 23 were saved, as well as four individual biographies. The rest of the surviving work was consolidated into a collection entitled Moralia. It consists of 183 treatises and 76 speeches.

His friend Lucius Mestrius Florus granted Plutarch Roman citizenship. Later, at an advanced age, Emperor Trajan appointed him commissioner of Achaia, a position that allowed him to wear the emblems and robes of the Roman emperor. The Athenians also honored him by declaring him an Athenian citizen.