The Children's Plutarch: Tales of the Greeks/Biographical Note

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


THE famous author, philosopher, and educator who is known to us as Plutarch—in Greek, Πλούταρχος—was born at Chæronea, in Bœotia, about A.D. 46. The wealth of his parents enabled him to enjoy a thorough education at Athens, particularly in philosophy. After making various journeys, he lived for a long time in Rome, where he lectured upon philosophy and associated with people of distinction, and took an important part in the education of the future Emperor Hadrian. The Emperor Trajan gave him consular rank, and Hadrian appointed him Procurator of Greece. It was about A.D. 120 that he died in his native town of Chæronea, where he was archon and priest of the Pythian Apollo.

In addition to his most famous work, the Parallel Lives, known familiarly as Plutarch's Lives, he was the author of some eighty-three writings of various kinds. The Lives, which were probably prepared in Rome, but finished and published late in life at Chæronea, were intended to afford studies of character, and the vividness of the mental and moral portraiture has made them continue to be a living force. Historically they have supplied many deficiencies in knowledge of the times and persons treated in his great work.