Although Plutarch did not intend his Lives as a historical record, they sometimes furnish the best account we have of events in classical Greece. In many instances they are the only account available to those exploring ancient history through primary sources. In this compilation from Plutarch's Greek Lives , James Romm gathers the material of greatest historical significance from fifteen biographies, ranging from Theseus in earliest times to Phocion in the late fourth century BCE. While preserving the outlines of Plutarch's character portraits, Romm focuses on the central stories of classical Greece: the rivalry between Athens, Sparta, and Thebes, the rise of Macedon, andthe conflicts between these European states and the Achaemenid Persian empire. Bridging Plutarch's gaps with concise summaries, Romm creates a coherent narrative of the classical Greek world. This edition features the elegant new translation of Pamela Mensch. Footnotes provide the historical context often omitted by Plutarch and plentiful and detailed cross-references. Also included are a bibliography, maps, a chronological chart, a glossary, and an index.
James Romm is Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Bard College. The translations of Pamela Mensch appear in Alexander the Great (Hackett) and The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander (Pantheon). Her translation of Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Doctrines of Eminent Philosophers is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.