The Life of Marius, written by Plutarch, is a fascinating ancient source detailing the career of the Roman Gaius Marius, 127-86BC. While there are interpretive and reliability issues, the Life of Marius is a particularly useful and significant source. It is our only extensive primary source on Marius, who was a key political figure of late Republican Rome. Additionally, Plutarch’s work indicates not only many crucial military and political development in Rome in the time period, but also gives a reflection of Plutarch’s own Rome and its values and political climate.
In order to complete any analysis of the Life of Marius, it is necessary to understand the author and context of the work. Plutarch himself was a Greek who lived from 46-127AD, …show more content…
Firstly, the issue noted above that we do not know the order of the Parallel Lives, makes interpretation difficult because we therefore can’t understand how Plutarch’s themes developed and interacted with each other throughout the entire series. This is an issue in Life of Marius because of how singularly negative Plutarch is about Marius, to the point where it has been noted as his most critical work on any character. Secondly, the genre of biography itself and its focus on character rather than fact, inherently suggests that Plutarch may exaggerate some events and omit others, in order to communicate his lessons on morality. For example, Plutarch is far more descriptive of political events in which Marius can be portrayed as immoral and ambitious. However, he says little on the political platform on which Marius ran for consulship, and downplays the political acumen Marius, as a novus homo, or even if he had been nobilis, must have had to gain consulship for 6 straight years. This feat had never been accomplished in the surrounding 300 years of the Roman Republic. Plutarch makes it seem as if this was mostly luck due to the necessity of a military leader, when the unprecedented nature of the deed makes it obviously more difficult than Plutarch is willing to
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Of all the rulers in Plutarch’s Lives, Numa Pompilus was the one king who expressed characteristics of a true ruler. Numa displayed morality known by all the people in Rome. He was a peacemaker, which brought about a prosperous and joyful kingdom. Numa not only built on top of Romulus’s work to start a strong and powerful kingdom. Above all the rulers in Plutarch’s Lives, Numa Pompilus showed morality, good judgment, and self-sacrifice.
Why Americans Would Benefit from Reading Plutarch’s Roman Lives. A recent article by Rebecca Burgess and Hugh Liebert from the Wall Street Journal argues that Americans would benefit from reading Plutarch. The authors give very little evidence to support their case. Plutarch’s Roman Lives could be beneficial for not only Americans, but most of the population to read.
Pompey was a popular general who had a devoted private army, and Caesar was a gem in the public’s eye. Pompey and Caesar's greed can be illustrated by Pompey joining “the senate in opposing Caesar” (179). Pompey joined the senate in making the decision to get rid of Caesar so that he could take total rule. When Pompey was asked to exile or execute him, Caesar ordered his armies to advance across a river that “marked the first act of the a civil war” (179) that at the end of which, was when “the republic received its final burial.” (179).
The alliance combined Caesar’s enormous popularity and legal reputation with Crassus’s fantastic wealth and influence and Pompey’s equally spectacular wealth and military reputation. The formation of the first triumvirate was critical due to the fact “ it’s formation was the turning point in the history of the free state” (Scullard), which determined the fate of the republic declining. The effect of Scullard sources is resource efficient and reliable as he heightens our understanding about the military and political happenings of the time. When Crassus died after the battle of Carrhae, Pompey gradually drifted with his alliance with Caesar. Caesar’s popularity with the people soared, presenting a threat to the power of the senate and to Pompey.
Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were two highly important men in the history of the world. In Greek and Roman Lives, the historian Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, better known as just Plutarch, wrote about the lives of these two great men. He wrote of how their surroundings and the people around them influenced them, and how that affected their success in their plans to reach some form of eternal glory in their desire to become greater than those who came before them. They were both extremely ambitious, quick to fight, and careless of danger on the path to glory.
Suetonius wrote about the life of Cesar Augustus, the emperor of Rome. Suetonius tried to justify his dictatorship to the people of Rome, so that future generations would have no contradictory ideas towards the government. In this way, Rome would maintain peace, and people would follow and take as an example the government of Cesar Augustus as the best of all. The solution of Suetonius was to give a good image to the readers with the actions and facts that the emperor did at that time, “Found it on brick, but left it on marble” (Suetonius,115). Suetonius made the emperor look like a perfect person, who governed rigidly but obtained an efficient and honest administration.
Plutarch’s opportune depiction of the statue of Julius Caesar’s enemy presiding over his death in a picture of fitting retribution is a bit too conveniently symbolic to fully believe the accuracy of his biography. Pompey and Caesar were bound to be rivals eventually due to their positions in the political schema of the time, and this was delayed only by their coalition with Crassus to form the First Triumvirate as well as Pompey’s marriage to Caesar’s daughter, Julia. However, after the deaths of both Julia and Crassus, nothing was left to veil the inevitable friction between the two men.
Plutarch has a lot of different recommendation for parents to follow so that they can live virtuous lives. The importance of training children that Plutarch is trying to get across is that parents are suppose to be the role models for children. As parents it is very important that they follow the rules because if they do not then how can they expect their children to.
It seems that the fall of the Roman Republic was not a singular event that occurred instantaneously, but rather a long process that saw the increasing use of methods outside of Republican institutions to settle conflicts between members of the aristocracy over political power. Even as the Roman government transitioned form Kingdom to Republic and then to Empire, the competition between aristocratic families remained a relative constant in across the centuries. So too has the desire to mythologize the past. The romans attributed both the fall of the Kingdom of Rome and the fall of the Roman Republic to moral rot, while a more reasonable assessment might place the blame on a dissatisfied and competitive elite class and an inefficient and unresponsive governmental system that was unwilling or unable to address their concerns. In much the same way, modern observers of the Roman Republic have tended to mythologize the fall of the Republic in the service of creating a moral narrative about the unconscionable tyranny of Cesar and the righteousness of the Senate, or whatever alternative narrative is befitting of the historical moment and audience.
From Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, together with the Indica. (c.86-160; E. J. Chinnock, tr. (London: George Bell and Sons, 1893.) and Plutarch. Plutarch’s Lives. (c.46-120; Bernadotte Perrin.)
In this essay I will endeavor to examine Carthage and compare and contrast how its power rivaled Rome, I will look at the many similarities and differences in their way of life, and also how they came into conflict with each other. Carthage came into being in the ninth century B.C and traces its roots to the Phoenicians, who were a hardy race of sea farers based around the area of what is now known as Lebanon. They established many trading routes and partnerships throughout the Mediterranean Sea and even along the Atlantic coast. Carthage rapidly grew from a small port to a thriving trade hub and the epicenter of Phoenician commerce, this growth was accelerated by the arrival of many wealthy citizens of Tyre, the Phoenician capital, when
NAME – AKUL KHANNA PROFESSOR – KANIKA DANG ENGLISH THESIS PAPER DATE -2ND NOVEMBER 2015 MARK ANTONY’S DEVELOPMENT IN JULIUS CEASAR In the year 44 BC the powerful empire of Rome had lost its ruler due to the assassination led by the senators and Julius Caesar’s brother Brutus. Caesar’s death was a huge setback for Rome and its people and the whole empire was in utter chaos. Mark Antony a very noble, loyal and affectionate friend of Caesar.
Introduction The purpose of this essay is to investigate the women’s role in Classical Greece society and literature (5th/4th century b.C.). Therefore, I decided to discuss and analyse one of the most controversial comedies of that time, “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. This text shows how women, sick of their submissive and powerless position in the political scenario of Athens and Sparta, come on the scene and, through a smart stratagem, achieve their expected result.