Plutarchs vivid and engaging portraits of the Spartans and their customs are a major source of our knowledge about the rise and fall of their remarkable Greek city-state between the sixth and third centuries BC. Through his Lives of Spartas leaders and his recording of memorable Spartan Sayings, he depicts a people who lived frugally and mastered their emotions in all aspects of life, who disposed of unhealthy babies in a deep chasm, introduced a gruelling regimen of military training for boys, and treated their serfs brutally. Rich in anecdote and detail, Plutarchs writing brings to life the personalities and achievements of Sparta with unparalleled flair and humanity.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Bringing together nine biographies from Plutarch's Parallel Lives series, this edition examines the lives of major figures in Roman history, from Lucullus (118-57 BC), an aristocratic politician and conqueror of Eastern kingdoms, to Otho (32-69 AD), a reckless young noble who consorted with the tyrannical, debauched emperor Nero before briefly becoming a dignified and gracious emperor himself.
Ian Scott-Kilvert's and Christopher Pelling's translations are accompanied by a new introduction, and also includes a separate introduction for each biography, comparative essays of the major figures, suggested further reading, notes and maps.