Who is Mestrius Plutarchus (Plutarch)?June 26, 2021
Mestrius Plutarchus MS. Greek historian, biographer and essayist, thought to have lived between 46 and 120 BC.
Plutarch, a medieval Platonist, was born in the city of Chaeronea, about 35 km east of Delphi. This city is in the Beotia region of Greece; The birthplace of Hesiod and Pindaros and this city was the Macedonian II. It is famous as the place where Philip defeated the Greeks. His family was one of the prominent local riches of this city.
Information about Plutarch’s life was derived directly from the essays he wrote or by interpreting them. For example, an autobiographical essay (De sollertia animalium) written by Plutarch was interpreted and it was concluded that he did not have a good relationship with his father, but that he got along well with his brother (Lampria) and grandfather (Nikardo), whose names were mentioned in this essay.
It is reported that he went to Athens in AD 60 and attended the classes of “Ammonio” at the Akademia there, and that he was a very good student and disciple, and was successful in rhetoric, mathematics and Platonic philosophy courses.
Moralia (Greek “Ethikà”), which is accepted as Plutrakhos’ philosophical work, collects nearly 60 different essays. Although the essay topics are generally related to philosophy, there are essays not only on philosophy but also history, religion, literature, science and rhetoric. For example, his essay “Herodotus’s Evil” was criticized a lot because of its anti-Greek and errors. His essay “Greek and Roman historical problems (Quasestiones Graecae Romanae)” on religious history includes not only the history of ancient Greek and Roman religions, but also political advice to people to make a political contribution to public life. Alexander the Great’s essay on the life of the god of Felek (Fortune). It also examines rhetorical issues about the subject and the effects of chance on ancient Greek and Roman histories.
In terms of philosophy, he is considered the important thinker, moralist and historian of Middle Platonism. In addition to his works on history, the philosopher’s thought, who wrote commentaries or commentaries on Plato’s works, is essentially eclectic. Accordingly, Plutarch, who was influenced not only by Plato, but by Peripatetics, the Stoics, and especially the Neo-Pythagorean, took a skeptical attitude when it came to the possibility or utility of theoretical speculation, as a result of the skepticism of the Middle and New Academies, and turned to the Transcendent and intuition. By insisting on a direct contact based on
In addition to the Parallel Lives in some of Plutarch’s manuscripts that we have in our time; Sometimes, in addition to Moralia, there are life stories of Roman Emperors Galba and Otho, and in some manuscripts, there are pieces about the lives of Emperor Tiberius and Nero written by a Roman historian named Damascasius.
These are not part of Plutarch’s main work, Parallel Lives; It is accepted that it was prepared before writing this work and that it is the extant parts of the Lives of the Roman Emperors from Emperor Augustus to Emperor Vitellius. According to this, this lost work is the first historical work written and published by Plutarch either in the imperial years of Nerva or during the reign of the Flavian dynasty.
Plutarch’s most famous historical work, Parallel Lives, examines the life stories of famous ancient Greek and Roman people in pairs, in parallel with each other. Plutarch finds morality and vice relations between every ancient Greek and Roman couple he examines, and in this way, he aims to give the reader an ethics and morality lesson with his comparative life stories.
In the Parallel lives work that we have, there are 23 lives of couples and 4 lives examined as a single person without a couple: These are Solon, Themistocles, Aristides, Pericles, Alcibiades, Nicias, Demosthenes, Philopoemen, Timoleon, Dion of Syracuse, Alexander the Great, Eprisu. Pyrrhus, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Coriolanus, Aemilius Paullus, Tiberius Gracchus, Gaius Gracchus, Gaius Marius, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Mark Antony and Marcus Junius Brutus.
It is known that the life stories of some people included in this work have been lost. Among them, Heracles, Macedonian II. Philip and Scipio Africanus. It is known that most of the texts we have were shortened when they were passed from manuscripts to manuscripts. On the other hand, while most of them were passed from writing to writing, contributions and changes were made by other authors.
Plutarch tried to connect the importance he gave to history from his work only to the effects of a person’s good and bad character on the lives and destinies of other people. He was content with only touching some very important new era events, but the person whom he examined in most of his work did not know the right.