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Vidas paralelas

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  860 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Plutarch's Parallel Lives is a series of biographies, arranged in pairs illuminating virtues & vices. Surviving Lives contain 23 pairs, each with a Greek & a Roman Life, & 4 unpaired Lives. As explained in the opening of his Life of Alexander, he wasn't concerned with history so much as the influence of character on life & destiny. Whereas sometimes he bare ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Alianza (first published 110)
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There's something really comforting about watching someone else's Republic fall apart, especially when so much of it has a familiar ring. If you want to be transported to an alternate universe where noble (and not-so-noble)characters vie with tragic mix of ignorance and evil and then settle it all with big battles, you don't have to pick up the latest fantasy trilogy. Plutarch did it all long ago.

Writing in the early years of the Roman Empire (first century AD) Plutarch is a source for much of w
Aaron Wolfson
A monumental achievement, covering the lives of 50 of the most influential ancient Greeks and Romans. Plutarch's aim was to write biography, not history, so the focus is on the characters and decisions of these men. Plutarch is notoriously poor at describing battles, but he scoured the available sources for illuminating anecdotes. Since many of those sources are no longer extant, Plutarch has performed an invaluable service to posterity.

Reading this is an undertaking, and it took me time to sett
Erik Graff
Sep 28, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Louise Fischer
Shelves: biography
Having had a very spotty education in foreign languages owing to several moves from one to another school district (German in 2nd grade, Spanish in 3rd-5th, French in 6th-8th), I went for something new in high school, viz. Latin.

It was in high school Latin that I discovered that my difficulties with learning a foreign language weren't entirely due to the misfortune of entering into the middle of language programs and never catching up owing to a lack of accomodation for tranfer students. No, I w
Rob Roy
When we read Greek and Roman history, we get brief summaries of the key personalities, but Plutarch gives us far more. These historic names become flesh and blood. They are much like the people of today, yet quite different culturally. One has to wade through the folksy tales, but while not pure history, the people to come to life. If you enjoy ancient history, this is a must read.
Onyango Makagutu
what a great journey through ancient Greece and Rome.
These were the days of Phocion, Cato, Brutus, Cicero and others who were steadfast in their desire for public good and the likes of Caeser, Pompey, Otho and others whose only drive was power for its own sake.
We truly miss the Catos, the law givers such as Solon and Lycurgus and other noble men.
Plutarch tells his history very well
11/2. Anthony

No wonder every generation can reach into Plutarch and grab something dramatic. Anthony was a strong mixture of the most human excesses: his prowess at battle, his generosity and extravagance, his intelligence and his lack of wisdom, and his final undoing through Cleopatra. If Octavian and Octavia could not control him in that last chapter, then there was nothing humanly could have. Heroes and villains, like the wise had said, may be made of different stuff than us. Granting that fa
This book is an amazing experience. Plutarch meant to write these histories so we could learn good moral behaviour from them .
He succeeded - painting a clear picture of their image and character.

It was a journy in which I learned about historie's favorite characters.
Recommended for everybody in every age.
Casi como una novela histórica... un excelente libro.

This book will make you feel like a loser.
Tommy V
Plutarch was a Greek scholar who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Not much is known about his life other than he taught, made several trips to Rome, and possibly held a small public office within the Roman Empire. So it is somewhat ironic that his most famous writing is the series of parallel lives of famous Greek and Roman statesmen collected and translated into English in the late 1500s by John Dryden as The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (hereafter Lives).

Plutarch makes it clea
Keith Kendall
I pulled it out to start reading it, although I am apprehensive about starting such a dense book set millenia ago in with unfamiliar people and places. This could easily be a semester of study, or longer. As I read, I am reminded of the importance of knowing history. We get so caught up in our modern accessories that we forget the fundamental human nature of all that we do.

I started this book, and then it sat without being read for six months. When I picked it up again, I started the chapter
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 19, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading: 100 Significant Books
This is often known as the "Parallel Lives" because these biographical sketches come in pairs, one Greek, one Roman, followed by a comparison. This is a thick tome. My edition of Plutarch's Lives as translated by Dryden is nearly 800 pages. And yes, I read the whole thing and was never bored. Maybe this makes me perverse, given the number of reviewers I've heard describe them as dry. I thought it a wonderful and engaging introduction to the most illustrious personalities of Greco-Roman antiquity ...more
Darran Mclaughlin
A fascinating book. The gulf between these famous Greeks and Romans and we today is huge. It is interesting to see the similarities and differences between their day and ours. Their attitude towards death is certainly hugely different to ours, as they seemed to be ready to risk their lives far more willingly then we are. Another major difference involves what was expected of a man. Today people are often more specialized and tend to conform to some subculture or other, but with the ancients a ma ...more
Jorge Andrade
n esta obra el intelectual romano describe la vida y obra de algunos de los personajes más importantes de la antigüedad en forma de pares (Alejandro y Julio Cesar, etc). Al final realiza un ejercicio de comparación entre ambos personajes biografiados.
La cantidad de biografías escritas por Plutarco es desconocida, sin embargo y de acuerdo a lo planteado en la introducción de la edición leída, llegaron hasta nuestros días 50 biografías de entre las que se destacan: Rómulo, Pericles, el gran Ciceró
Sands Hetherington
This is one of the iconic ancient sources, compiled around 100 CE, and not at all difficult to read in the Dryden translation. I dug into it for background on Rome's wars with Mithradates (see "The Poison King). Mithradates doesn't have his own chapter, but one can get at him through those who do, e.g., Marius, Sulla, Cicero, and Pompey. After these worthies, I kept going with Caesar, Brutus, and Antony, and I'm still at it.

Plutarch was from a prominent family in Boeotia. He had many civic and a
I slowly read these biographies over a period of 7 years. My favorite is the Life of Alexander, my second favorite is the Life of Alcibiades. I tend to enjoy the Greeks more because of their pioneering statesmanship, it was they who devised the archetype for representative government.

Though my favorite life was that of a monarch, it was precisely his (Alexander’s) tendency toward relaxing his authority, to heed the needs of his people that sets him apart from power mad dictators (like Stalin an
Plutarch's work is a set of short paired biographies of Greek and Roman leaders, with essays comparing the two. If you want to know who Themistocles and Solon were, or how they were remembered, this is the key source.

Plutarch is rich with anecdotes, many of which have shaped our views of the leaders he discusses. Many of the stories are too good to be true, and Plutarch will often give three versions, and cite his sources for each, and discuss which are most plausible.

Dover here is reprinting a
Sep 16, 2012 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: budding historians; warmongers
This reading is part of the Great Works Project. I read the following sections:
- Lycurgus
- Numa Pompilius
- Lycurgus and Numa Compared
- Alexander
- Caesar

Did I "enjoy" this reading? No. Did I "appreciate" the purpose and achievement? Yes.

I will say that it's interesting to read source material for Shakespeare's Caesar. As a historian Plutarch seems slightly subjective. He seems to LOVE Lycurgus and Numa, but managed a little more objectivity with Alexander, and esp. w/ Caesar. Any praise of Caesar
Bcoghill Coghill
Jan 30, 2012 Bcoghill Coghill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those after the roots of wisdom
Recommended to Bcoghill by: Part of the Britanic Great Books collection my parents gave to m
I've been reading this Plutarch off and on since my teens. This nice affordable volume is the best carry about in your briefcase or back pack. Every story is a gem and the basis for so many of our cultural traditions.
My parents purchased the Britannica Great Books collection when I was a teen because I was always borrowing my Uncle's books from his set. It was my graduation present after college. I gave it to my son when he graduated. I am waiting for him to settle in to send it to him.
I'm still in the process of reading Parallel Lives. While I am about 900 pages in or about halfway through, I have to say the translation I am reading is degrading fast. I am undertaking the admittedly questionable task of reading this collection aloud, and seem to find myself stumbling over cloddishly put-together sentences more and more, some of which do not even appear to make any grammatical sense, but seem to rely more on some sort of intuition on the part of the reader to determine the mea ...more
Jul 20, 2007 Lindsey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The History Geek
Shelves: educational
If you like a detailed history read, this book is for you. This book is a detailed account of reinactments of prominent Roman and Greek leaders of the Ancient times as told by Ancient Philosopher Plutarch.

This book provides a great deal of history and information to readers by telling the history of Ancient Rome and Greece through the lives of ancient leaders such as Sulla.

For anyone who loves history, and Ancient Roman and Greek history at that, this book provides meaningful insight into the
This is a long arduous book to get through. Plutarch has the tone of a guy who knows a lot about a subject, telling you the story of what happened while you sit in a bar wishing someone would change the subject.

That aside, it is well worth the effort. I was rewarded constantly by small and sometimes large insights into the way people saw great men at that time in history.
A lot of the lives are kind of tedious, but certain of them are so good. I got a lot of great quotes and a better understanding of Greek and Roman history from this book. There are also a lot of tips about how to be virtuous, and Plutarch's digressions into old stories and fables are always pretty amusing, as well as the way that he'll often directly address the reader (usually to apologize for expounding too much on one topic.)
Needs other sources to really understand what is going on. Written several hundred years after the events described for a Roman audience. Something most likely lost in translation. Wouldn't read again but I would reference while studying other lives.
Marty Ross
Not nearly as compelling as Tacitus, but still a wealth of information. It was good to learn more about the lives of many of the Greeks, who I was unfamiliar with, but the Roman lives were not really in a compelling narrative form. This took a while getting through.
Want to write about Ancient Rome? Start here. Anybody you ever though of from Theseus to Otho, they're here. Lucky you, if you can read the original in Latin. Most of us can't, so there is this translation, clearly the best since 1840.
I picked this up from the library just to read the sections on Tiberius and Caius Gracchus. I may come back to it at some later date, however, to read more of it. It can also be found as a free digital version on google books.
reading this book may take forever, as I am also reading the dictionary along with it, when Plutarch uses a word I am not famillar with I write it down and look it up. So, I am learning quite a bit, but it is very slow going
This book is an exciting narrative of famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) personages from history. It is one of those factual reads that I come away from thinking, 'history is better than fiction."
David Gibson
I'm not sure this is the best compilation of Plutarch's biographies, but it does include his "greatest hits" including Themistocles who was of the most interest to me at the time of purchase.
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Plutarch (Greek: Πλούταρχος) later named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Λούκιος Μέστριος Πλούταρχος) c. AD 46 - 120, was a Greek biographer, essayist, priest, ambassador, magistrate, and Middle Platonist. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in Chaeronea, Boeotia, a town about twenty miles east of Delphi. His oeuvre consists of the Parallel Lives and the Mo ...more
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“It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration, it is a very easy matter; but to produce a better in it's place is a work extremely troublesome.” 14 likes
“For as we would wish that a painter who is to draw a beautiful face, in which there is yet some imperfection, should neither wholly leave out, nor yet too pointedly express what is defective, because this would deform it, and that spoil the resemblance; so since it is hard, or indeed perhaps impossible, to show the life of a man wholly free from blemish, in all that is excellent we must follow truth exactly, and give it fully; any lapses or faults that occur, through human passions or political necessities, we may regard rather as the shortcomings of some particular virtue, than as the natural effects of vice; and may be content without introducing them, curiously and officiously, into our narrative, if it be but out of tenderness to the weakness of nature, which has never succeeded in producing any human character so perfect in virtue as to be pure from all admixture and open to no criticism.” 3 likes
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