Plutarch: Greek Lives (abridged)

Naxos AudioBooks: NA628912

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Plutarch: Greek Lives (abridged)

Catalogue No:




Release date:

19th Sept 2003




7 hours 30 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Plutarch: Greek Lives (abridged)

Read by Nicholas Farrell and Steve Hodson

CD - 6 discs


(also available to download from $48.00)

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

Plutarch’s series of biographies was the first of its kind, as much ground breaking in conception as Herodotus was with his Histories. Plutarch looked at the great men of the Ancient World and told their stories, in many cases drawing on sources no longer available to us. They offer a unique insight into the characters as well as the achievements of men who influenced their age and the empires that their culture dominated. They are as accessible now as they were when they were first written. It is the companion volume to Roman Lives, also read with style by Nicholas Farrell on Naxos AudioBooks.

Plutarch: Introduction


Plutarch's desire to make his subject's 'habit of mind understood'

Plutarch: Lycurgus (6th or 7th Century BC)

Lycurgus (6th or 7th Century BC)

Soon after, an overture was made to him by the queen,

From Crete he sailed to Asia

Amongst the many changes and alterations which Lycurgus made

After the creation of the thirty senators

So there was now no more means of purchasing foreign goods

This last ordinance in particular exasperated the wealthier men.

Lycurgus would never reduce his laws into writing

These public processions of the maidens

Lycurgus allowed a man who was advanced in years and had a young wife

After they were twelve years old

Their lovers and favourers, too, had a share in the young boy's honour or disgrace

Nor was their instruction in music and verse

To return to the Lacedaemonians

The senate, as I said before, consisted of those who were Lycurgus's chief aiders

When he perceived that his more important institutions had taken root in the minds of his countrymen

Plutarch: Themistocles (527-460 BC)

Themistocles (527-460 BC)

It is said that Themistocles

He went beyound all men in the passion for distinction

Having taken upon himself the command of the Athenian forces

Now, though Xerxes had already passed through Doris

Eurybiades, by the reason of the greatness of Sparta

Themistocles, knowing the generosity of Aristides

After this eas-fight, Xerxes, enraged at his ill-fortune

He was, indeed, by nature, a great lover of honour

When Pausanias went about this treasonable design

Thucydides says, that, passing over land to the Aegaean Sea

When he was introduced to the king

Themistocles replied, that a man's discourse was like to a rich Persian carpet,

But when Egypt revolted, being assisted by the Athenians,

Plutarch: Pericles (495-429 BC)

Pericles (495-429 BC)

For this man, Pericles entertained an extraordinary esteem

He immediately entered

Finding himself come sort of his competitor, Cimon

Cimon, while he was admiral

Pericles on the other hand

Phidias had the oversight of all the works

At length, coming to a final contest with Thucydides

Of all his expeditions

For, in the first place, the Euboeans revolted

Pericles, however, was particularly charged with having proposed to the assembly

After this was over, the Peloponnesian war beginning

The people receiving and admitting these accusations and complaints

In the first place, the pestilential disease

Plutarch: Alcibiades (450-404 BC)

Alcibiades (450-404 BC)

Unawares to himself

Whilst he was very young

He had great advantages for entering public life

Alcibiades was not less disturbed at the distinctions

When they were met

After this battle at Mantinea

The truth is, his liberalities, his public shows

Together with Alcibiades

Alcibiades perceived the malice of this postponement

The information against him was conceived in this form

At Sparta, he was devoted to athletic exercises

Thus Alcibiades, quitting the interests of the Spartans

Alcibiades at once dispatched messengers to Samos

The people in the city were terrified into submission

But about thirty days after, Alcibiades escaped from his keeprs

Alcibiades, as soon as he saw the torch lifted upin the air

And now Alcibiades began to desire to see his native country again

But notwithstanding the affairs of Alcibiades went so prosperously

How far his own inclinations led him to usurp sovereign power

As soon as Alcibiades heard of this

Yet in this sad state of affairs

Plutarch: Lysander (439-395 BC)

Lysander (439-395 BC)

Understanding that Cyrus, the king's son

But to those who loved honest and noble behaviour

But on the fifth day

Lysander with his fleet passed to Asia

Lysander, after this, sails out to Thrace

This ambitious temper was indeed only burdensome to the highest personages

And having hardly and with difficulty obtained leave

When King Agis died

Immediately, therefore, Lysander spurred him on to make an expedition into Asia

Upon this he was sent ambassador to the Hellespont

And being now grown violent in his temper

Plutarch: Alexander (356-323 BC)

Alexander (356-323 BC)

The statues that gave the best representation of Alexander's person

The care of his education, as it might be presumed

After this, considering him to be of a temper easy to be led to his duty by reason

But the disorders of his family

When he came to Thebes

Then he went to Delphi

In the meantime Darius's captains having collected large roces

This battle presently made a great change of affairs to Alexander's advantage

Darius was by this time upon his march from Susa

There was at this time in Darius's army a Macedonian refugee

But as he was going to supper

Alexander, that he might refresh his army

This was a long and painful, and, in two respects, a dangerous journey

Darius wrote him a letter

But to return to Alexander

His sword, which was the weapon he used most in fight

From hence he marched through the province of Babylon

What she said was received with such universal liking and murmurs of applause

But when he perceived his favourites grow so luxurious

He now, as we said, set forth to seek Darius

And now with the flower of his army he marched into Hyrcania

Apprehending the Macedonians would be weary of pursuing the war

Noticing, also, that among his chief friends and favourites

But he, for what reason is uncertain

The king had a present of Grecian fruit brought him

'We are sufficiently punished already'

Upon this, at last, Alexander, snatching a spear from one of the soldiers

Alexander now intent upon his expedition into India

Nor did they judge amiss

This discourse pleased Alexander

Almost all the historians agree

Alexander was now eager to see the ocean

His voyage down the rivers took up seven months' time

At Gedrosia, his admiral, Nearchus

The thirty thousand boys whom he left behind him to be taught

As he was upon his way to Babylon

But the journals give the following record

Plutarch: Demosthenes (384-322 BC)

Demosthenes (384-322 BC)

As soon, therefore, as he was grown up to man's estate

Whence then, may some say

However, finding it a hard matter

It was evident

But there was, it should seem

Demosthenes had secret intelligence of the death of Philip

It was not long after that Harpalus fled from Alexander

Demosthenes resisted the inquisition

Yet it was no long time that he enjoyed his country after his return

Plutarch: Pyrrhus (329-272 BC)

Pyrrhus (329-272 BC)

When he was twelve years old

From this time he began to revolve many and vast projects in his thoughts

After this battle, Pyrrhus

But Lysimachus now arriving, and claiming the defeat of Demetrius

There was one Cineas, a Thessalian

And first, he sent away Cineas to the Tarentines

He now received intelligence that Laevinus

This made Pyrrhus use greater caution

Then Caius Fabricius came in embassy from the Romans

The Romans, not having those advantages of retreating

And being elevated with his good fortune

He divided his army into two parts

His affairs being yet unsettled

Pyrrhus himself, in person

Pyrrhus, upon the coming of these additional forces

In the dead of the night

Pyrrhus, seeing this storm and confusion of things

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