Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-jr42d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-24T03:14:51.201Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 3 - Plutarch As Moral and Political Educator

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2023

Frances B. Titchener
Affiliation:
Utah State University
Alexei V. Zadorojnyi
Affiliation:
University of Liverpool
Get access

Summary

A central concern of Plutarch’s works is what constitutes a good and honorable life, and they commonly claim to “improve” the character and behaviour of their elite readers, especially in politics and leadership. This chapter assesses this educational approach across the whole corpus, paying particular attention to works of literary criticism, works of practical morality, political texts, and the Parallel Lives. It highlights, among other themes, the importance both of comparison (syncrisis) and of examples (paradeigmata) drawn from history, literature, or everyday life to stimulate reflection. Though profoundly influenced by Plato, Plutarch is particularly concerned with the practical application of philosophical principles to real-life situations, whether faced by the statesmen of the past or by his own readers. Indeed, rather than preaching simplistic lessons, many of Plutarch’s texts bring out how complex moral judgments can be in practice and invite readers to think deeply about morality, literature, and politics.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×