Dec 05, 10
Read from November 20 to December 05, 2010
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 which may or may not have anything to do with his subject. As a result, he's very visual (like any religious writer who writes about eschatalogical myths!) and this is the reason why Plutarch became the hero of so many romantics. Plutarch is, then, a lot of things to a lot of people, but this should not dissuade you from finding out what he is to you. My favorite essay: On Contentment.