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.
Rome in Crisis joins Penguin Classics' complete revised Plutarch in six volumes. Other titles include On Sparta, Fall of the Roman Republic, The Rise of Rome, and The Rise and Fall of Athens.
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.
Plutarch (c.50-c.120 AD) was a writer and thinker born into a wealthy, established family of Chaeronea in central Greece. He received the best possible education in rhetoric and philosophy, and traveled to Asia Minor and Egypt. Later, a series of visits to Rome and Italy contributed to his fame, which was given official recognition by the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Plutarch rendered conscientious service to his province and city (where he continued to live), as well as holding a priesthood at nearby Delphi. His voluminous surviving writings are broadly divided into the "moral"works and the Parallel Lives of outstanding Greek and Roman leaders. The former (Moralia) are a mixture of rhetorical and antiquarian pieces, together with technical and moral philosophy (sometimes in dialogue form). The Lives have been influential from the Renaissance onwards.
Ian Scott-Kilvert was the director of English Literature at the British Council and the editor of Writers and Their Works. For the Penguin Classics, he translated Plutarch's Makers of Rome, The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives and The Age of Alexander, and Cassius Dio's The Roman History. He died in 1989.
Christopher Pelling is Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University. He published a commentary on Plutarch's Life of Antony in 1988 (Cambridge University Press) and most of his articles on Plutarch are collected in his Plutarch and History (Classical Press of Wales and Duckworth, 2002).