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The Life of Alexander (Plutarch's Lives)

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​Plutarch's Lives is one of the most influential books ever written, inspiring everyone from Shakespeare to the Founding Fathers of the USA. George Grant sums it up well:

​"It was the primary textbook of the Greek and Roman world for generations of students throughout Christendom. It was the historical source for many of Shakespeare's finest plays. It forever set the pattern for the biographical arts. It was the inspiration for many of the ideas of the American political pioneers--evidenced by liberal quotations in the articles, speeches, and sermons of Samuel Adams, Peyton Randolph, Patrick Henry, Samuel Davies, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Henry Lee, John Jay, George Mason, Gouverneur Morris, and Thomas Jefferson. Indeed, after the Bible it was the most frequently referenced source during the Founding era. For these and a myriad of other reasons, Plutarch's Lives is one of the most vital and consequential of all the ancient classics.

​Written sometime during the tumultuous days of the second century, it was organized as a series of parallel biographies—alternating between famous Greeks and Romans. A character from the Golden Age like Pericles, Alcibiades, Lycurgus, Alexander, and Solon is compared with one from the Splendorous Age like Cicero, Brutus, Cato, Anthony, and Caesar. Plutarch's aim was primarily didactic and so the Lives abound with lessons about honor, valor, wisdom, temperance, and duty. It was a paean to moral paganism. It was the original 'Book of Virtues.'"

​​Before meeting for this seminar, you'll read only The Life of Alexander.

​While reading, please prepare some written observations, or at the very least some questions for discussion.

​I'll begin with some remarks on what I find most interesting, but these meetings are primarily for you to develop your own ideas around the material.

​Note: Events are free for members (check your email for your discount code, or just ask me for it). If you have any questions, just reply to any Other Life email.