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4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
One of the greatest essayists of the Graeco-Roman world, Plutarch (c. AD 46 -120) used an encyclopedic knowledge of the Roman Empire to produce a compelling and individual voice. In this superb selection from his writings, he offers personal insights into moral subjects that include the virtue of listening, the danger of flattery and the avoidance of anger, alongside more ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 24th 1992 by Penguin Classics
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Daniel Wright I don't think so, unless it's been renamed "On the Use of Reason by 'Irrational' Animals"

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Dec 05, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing
Plutarch reads like a loveable professor: worldly and wise, tolerant yet critical, he is an eclectic thinker who opposes the orthodoxy of every ancient philosophical school by subscribing to a few tenets of each. It is precisely this which made Plutarch so venerated in the liberal humanist tradition. At the same time, he is not rigorously logical: indeed, he is a defiantly unfocused writer, allowing his muse to take him on poetic or scientific flights of fancy inspired by his enormous reading wh ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Sally marked it as to-read
"I bought this to read “On Contentment” which is one of Plutarch’s best essays. I think we can learn a lot from his writing style, maybe as much as we can from his philosophy. Notice how it weaves anecdotes and examples and quotes seamlessly into the page without making it feel heavy or unoriginal. His translator put it best when he said that Plutarch doesn’t set out to convince through a long logical argument that some position is correct. Instead, Plutarch uses his strong sense of empathy and ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Glen rated it it was amazing
loved this
Feb 13, 2011 Brackney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Plutarch's "Lives" may be more well-known, but I think his essays are his most valuable work. Plutarch is to the ancient world as Montaigne is to the modern: a humane, catholic thinker whose realism is balanced by compassion. His essay on education is still one of the best, and his common sense stands the test of time and shows how little humans have changed through the course of history.
Jennifer dixon
Apr 09, 2008 Jennifer dixon rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of all of Plutarch's works. And this traslation really makes it accessable. His pithy insights and humorous examples make you smile, but he does impart some very basic truths. I read "On Compassion" while going thru a really rough time in my life and found it comforting and inspirational. This is a book I keep on my top shelf to pick up when I need a lift.
Daniel Wright
Dec 11, 2015 Daniel Wright marked it as read-elsewhere  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
On Listening
How to Distinguish a Flatterer from a Friend
On Being Aware of Moral Progress

Whether Military or Intellectual Exploits Have Bought Athens More Fame

On the Avoidance of Anger
On Contentment

On God's Slowness to Punish
On Socrates' Personal Deity
In Consolation to His Wife

On the Use of Reason by 'Irrational' Animals
May 14, 2007 Gardner rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Lesser known than the Lives, but no less great. I'm particularly fond of the essay on Listening, which I haven't truly made my own yet.
Jeff Wills
Jun 01, 2016 Jeff Wills rated it really liked it
A real moral education.
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  • Guide to Greece: Central Greece (Guide to Greece, #1)
  • Natural History: A Selection
  • Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches
  • On the Good Life
  • An Ethiopian Romance
  • Epigrams
  • The Thebaid: Seven Against Thebes
  • The Later Roman Empire: (a.D. 354-378)
  • The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • Idylls
  • Discourses and Selected Writings
  • The Poems
  • Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation
  • Dialogues and Essays
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol 1, Books 1-5
  • Protagoras/Meno
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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