The Great Rhetra was used in two senses by the classical authors. In one sense, it was the Spartan Constitution, believed to have been formulated and established by the legendary lawgiver, Lycurgus. In the legend Lycurgus forbade any written constitution, it was therefore presumed to have been oral. In a second sense, the rhetra refers to an oracle of Delphi, believed to have contained the entire constitution in verse; the credo of being unwritten fails in this case, as a written record of all oracles was maintained by the priests at Delphi. They and others consulted it frequently, it survived long after the demise of the oracle but is missing now, except for fragments handed down by classical authors. The classical authors and the literate population of Sparta knew better than to suppose that the rhetra went into effect as written by an oracle and remained unchanged. A double tradition developed: tales of the oracular rhetra and stories of the laws of Lycurgus; as there is no history of any constitutional issues dividing the Spartans, they seem to have had no problem accepting its contradictions because they knew it was legendary.
The concept of the constitution being oral and a state secret presents certain paradoxes, such as how the classical authors knew so much about it. Moreover, the workings of the government of a major Greek state over centuries cannot have been either unwritten or a secret. For example, Cyrus the Younger knew well that Lysander was forbidden by law to hold a second term as navarch, yet he requested the Spartan government to make an exception, and if the Spartans were forbidden to write anything down, the existence of inscriptions in the Eurotas valley becomes problematic. The institution of the rhetra in fact coincides with the innovation of the Greek alphabet based on the Phoenician alphabet. According to Herodotus, at some time before the reigns of Leon of Sparta and Agasicles, the Spartans "had been the worst governed people in Greece." Lycurgus, "a man of distinction among the Spartans," decided to ask advice of the Delphic oracle. On reaching the inner sanctum of the temple, he heard: Thereupon the oracle delivered the entire constitution of Sparta, which Lycurgus took back and implemented.
But, says Herodotus, the Lacedaemonians tell a different story. Lycurgus while regent for his nephew, seized the opportunity to establish a new state. Imitating customs he found in Dorian Crete he innovated the Gerousia, the Ephorate, the Enomotiae, the Triacades and the Syssitia. Herodotus does not mention the oracle in the second report; the associated kings offer a rough date for the genesis of the Great Rhetra. Herodotus says the Rhetra predated the reigns of Agasicles and Leon, who acceded to their thrones about 590 BC. Labotas on the other hand began his reign in 870. If there was an oracle, the question of what writing system, if any, was the vehicle of the oracles is moot. Linear B was gone and the alphabet had not yet arrived in Greece; the younger source, speaks less confidently of the details of Lycurgus' life, being faced by that time with multiple traditions, having no way to judge between them. He says: "There is so much uncertainty in the accounts which historians have left us of Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Sparta, that scarcely any thing is asserted by one of them, not called into question or contradicted by the rest."
After repeating some of the opinions of sources available to him he launches into his own reconstruction based, he says, on the majority opinion. Lycurgus was the younger son of Eunomus, he was thus passed over for the throne in favor of his brother, but the latter died. The inheritance changed by law to Lycurgus. However, Polydectes's wife having been found to be pregnant, Lycurgus became regent instead for the first several months of the infant Charilaus' life. There is no mention of the Agiad Labotas in this version. Plutarch. "Lycurgus". In Clough, Arthur Hugh. Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men. Translated by Dryden, John. Boston: Little, Brown. Pp. 28–43
Delphi also called Pytho, is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle, consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos, it occupies an impressive site on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, overlooking the coastal plain to the south and the valley of Phocis. It is now an extensive archaeological site with a small modern town of the same name nearby, it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a phenomenal influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the rich monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity. Delphi is located in upper central Greece, on multiple plateaux along the slope of Mount Parnassus, includes the Sanctuary of Apollo, the site of the ancient Oracle; this semicircular spur is known as Phaedriades, overlooks the Pleistos Valley.
In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece, Zeus determined the site of Delphi when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth". He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found. Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle was the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world and, rededicated from about 800 BC, when it served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo. Apollo was said to have slain Python, a "drako" a serpent or a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. "Python" is claimed by some to be the original name of the site in recognition of Python which Apollo defeated. The Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo recalled. Others relate that it was named Pytho and that Pythia, the priestess serving as the oracle, was chosen from their ranks by a group of priestesses who officiated at the temple.
Excavation at Delphi, a post-Mycenaean settlement of the late 9th century, has uncovered artifacts increasing in volume beginning with the last quarter of the 8th century BC. Pottery and bronze as well as tripod dedications continue in a steady stream, in contrast to Olympia. Neither the range of objects nor the presence of prestigious dedications proves that Delphi was a focus of attention for a wide range of worshippers, but the large quantity of valuable goods, found in no other mainland sanctuary, encourages that view. Apollo's sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BC athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four Panhellenic Games, precursors of the Modern Olympics; the victors at Delphi were presented with a laurel crown, ceremonially cut from a tree by a boy who re-enacted the slaying of the Python. Delphi was set apart from the other games sites because it hosted the mousikos agon, musical competitions.
These Pythian Games rank second among the four stephanitic games chronologically and in importance. These games, were different from the games at Olympia in that they were not of such vast importance to the city of Delphi as the games at Olympia were to the area surrounding Olympia. Delphi would have been a renowned city. In the inner hestia of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned. After the battle of Plataea, the Greek cities extinguished their fires and brought new fire from the hearth of Greece, at Delphi; the name Delphi comes from the same root as δελφύς delphys, "womb" and may indicate archaic veneration of Gaia at the site. Apollo is connected with the site by his epithet Δελφίνιος Delphinios, "the Delphinian"; the epithet is connected with dolphins in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, recounting the legend of how Apollo first came to Delphi in the shape of a dolphin, carrying Cretan priests on his back. The Homeric name of the oracle is Pytho. Another legend held that Apollo walked to Delphi from the north and stopped at Tempe, a city in Thessaly, to pick laurel which he considered to be a sacred plant.
In commemoration of this legend, the winners at the Pythian Games received a wreath of laurel picked in the temple. Delphi became the site of a major temple to Phoebus Apollo, as well as the Pythian Games and the prehistoric oracle. In Roman times, hundreds of votive statues remained, described by Pliny the Younger and seen by Pausanias. Carved into the temple were three phrases: γνῶθι σεαυτόν and μηδὲν ἄγαν, Ἑγγύα πάρα δ'ἄτη, In antiquity, the origin of these phrases was attributed to one or more of the Seven Sages of Greece by authors such as Plato and Pausanias. Additionally, according to Plutarch's essay on the meaning of the "E at Delphi"—the only literary source for the inscription—there was inscribed at the temple a large letter E. Among other things epsilon signifies the number 5. However, ancient as well as modern scholars have doubted the legitimacy of such i
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
Xenophon of Athens was an ancient Greek philosopher, soldier and student of Socrates. As a soldier, Xenophon became commander of the Ten Thousand at about 30, with noted military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge saying of him, “the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior.” He established the precedent for many logistical operations and was among the first to use flanking maneuvers and attacks in depth. He was among the greatest commanders of antiquity; as a historian, Xenophon is known for recording the history of his time, the late-5th and early-4th centuries BC, in such works as the Hellenica, which covered the final seven years and the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, thus representing a thematic continuation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. As one of the Ten Thousand, Xenophon participated in Cyrus the Younger's failed campaign to claim the Persian throne from his brother Artaxerxes II of Persia and recounted the events in Anabasis, his most notable history.
Like Plato, Xenophon is an authority on Socrates, about whom he wrote several books of dialogues and an Apology of Socrates to the Jury, which recounts the philosopher's trial in 399 BC. Despite being born an Athenian citizen, Xenophon was associated with Sparta, the traditional enemy of Athens, his pro-oligarchic politics, military service under Spartan generals, in the Persian campaign and elsewhere, his friendship with King Agesilaus II endeared Xenophon to the Spartans. Some of his works have a pro–Spartan bias the royal biography Agesilaus and the Constitution of the Spartans. Xenophon's works span several genres and are written in plain-language Attic Greek, for which reason they serve as translation exercises for contemporary students of the Ancient Greek language. In the Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Diogenes Laërtius observed that, as a writer, Xenophon of Athens was known as the “Attic Muse”, for the sweetness of his diction. Xenophon was born around 431 BC, near the city of Athens, of the deme Erchia of Athens.
His father's family were a wealthy equestrian family. The history of his youth is little attested before 401 BC, when he was convinced by his Boeotian friend Proxenus to participate in the military expedition led by Cyrus the Younger against his elder brother, King Artaxerxes II of Persia. Written years after these events, Xenophon's book Anabasis is his record of the entire expedition of Cyrus against the Persians and the Greek mercenaries’ journey home. Xenophon writes that he had asked the veteran Socrates for advice on whether to go with Cyrus, that Socrates referred him to the divinely inspired Pythia. Xenophon's query to the oracle, was not whether or not to accept Cyrus' invitation, but "to which of the gods he must pray and do sacrifice, so that he might best accomplish his intended journey and return in safety, with good fortune"; the oracle told him to which gods to pray and sacrifice. When Xenophon returned to Athens and told Socrates of the oracle's advice, Socrates chastised him for asking so disingenuous a question.
Under the pretext of fighting Tissaphernes, the Persian satrap of Ionia, Cyrus assembled a massive army composed of native Persian soldiers, but a large number of Greeks. Prior to waging war against Artaxerxes, Cyrus proposed that the enemy was the Pisidians, so the Greeks were unaware that they were to battle against the larger army of King Artaxerxes II. At Tarsus the soldiers became aware of Cyrus's plans to depose the king, as a result, refused to continue. However, Clearchus, a Spartan general, convinced the Greeks to continue with the expedition; the army of Cyrus met the army of Artaxerxes II in the Battle of Cunaxa. Despite effective fighting by the Greeks, Cyrus was killed in the battle. Shortly thereafter, Clearchus was invited to a peace conference, alongside four other generals and many captains, he was betrayed and executed; the mercenaries, known as the Ten Thousand, found themselves without leadership far from the sea, deep in hostile territory near the heart of Mesopotamia, with a hostile population and armies to deal with.
They elected new leaders, including Xenophon himself. Dodge says of Xenophon's generalship, "Xenophon is the father of the system of retreat, the originator of all that appertains to the science of rear-guard fighting, he reduced its management to a perfect method. More originality in tactics has come from the Anabasis than from any dozen other books; every system of war looks to this as to the fountain-head when it comes to rearward movements, as it looks to Alexander for a pattern of resistless and intelligent advance. Necessity to Xenophon was the mother of invention, but the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior. No general possessed a grander moral ascendant over his men. None worked for the safety of his soldiers with greater ardor or to better effect." Xenophon and his men had to deal with volleys by a minor force of harassing Persian missile cavalry. Every day, these cavalry, finding no opposition from the Ten Thousand, moved cautiously closer and closer.
One night, Xenophon formed a body of archers and light cavalry. When the Persian cavalry arrived the next day, now firing within several yards, Xenophon unleashed his new cavalry in a shock charge, smashing into the stunned and confused enemy, killing many and routing the rest. Tissaphernes pursued Xenophon with a vast force
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most calcite or dolomite. Marble is not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is used for sculpture and as a building material; the word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον, from μάρμαρος, "crystalline rock, shining stone" from the verb μαρμαίρω, "to flash, gleam". This stem is the ancestor of the English word "marmoreal", meaning "marble-like." While the English term "marble" resembles the French marbre, most other European languages, more resemble the original Ancient Greek. Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains; the resulting marble rock is composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.
Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock have been modified or destroyed. Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a pure limestone or dolomite protolith; the characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are due to various mineral impurities such as clay, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is due to serpentine resulting from magnesium-rich limestone or dolostone with silica impurities; these various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism. Examples of notable marble varieties and locations: White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures since classical times; this preference has to do with its softness, which made it easier to carve, relative isotropy and homogeneity, a relative resistance to shattering. The low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of any kind, why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.
Construction marble is a stone, composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine, capable of taking a polish. More in construction the dimension stone trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble is a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician limestone, that geologists call the Holston Formation. Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, was recorded in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records as having the world's highest concentration of white marble buildings. According to the United States Geological Survey, U. S. domestic marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at about $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate.
U. S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile. In 1998, marble production was dominated by 4 countries that accounted for half of world production of marble and decorative stone. Italy and China were the world leaders, each representing 16% of world production, while Spain and India produced 9% and 8%, respectively. Italy is the world leader in marble export, with 20% share in global marble production, followed by China with 16%, India with 10%, Spain with 6%, Portugal with 5%. Dust produced by cutting marble could cause lung disease but more research needs to be carried out on whether dust filters and other safety products reduce this risk; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the legal limit for marble exposure in the workplace as 15 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit of 10 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. Acids damage marble, because the calcium carbonate in marble reacts with them, releasing carbon dioxide: CaCO3 + 2H+ → Ca2+ + CO2 + H2O Thus, vinegar or other acidic solutions should never be used on marble. Outdoor marble statues, gravestones, or other marble structures are damaged by acid rain; the haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin. Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; as the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Its varied and colorful patterns make i
Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings written at the beginning of the second century AD. The surviving Parallel Lives comprises 23 pairs of biographies, each pair consisting of one Greek and one Roman, as well as four unpaired, single lives, it is a work of considerable importance, not only as a source of information about the individuals described, but about the times in which they lived. As he explains in the first paragraph of his Life of Alexander, Plutarch was not concerned with writing histories, but with exploring the influence of character, good or bad, on the lives and destinies of famous men, he wished to prove that the more remote past of Greece could show its men of action and achievement as well as the nearer, therefore more impressive, past of Rome. His interest was ethical, although the lives have significant historical value as well.
The Lives was published by Plutarch late in his life after his return to Chaeronea and, if one may judge from the long lists of authorities given, it must have taken many years to compile. The chief manuscripts of the Lives date from the 10th and 11th centuries, the first printed edition appeared in Rome in 1470. Thomas North's 1579 English translation was an important source-material for Shakespeare. Jacob Tonson printed several editions of the Lives in English in the late 17th century, beginning with a five-volume set printed in 1688, with subsequent editions printed in 1693, 1702, 1716, 1727; the most accepted text is that of the minor edition of Carl Sintenis in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana. There are annotated editions by I. C. Held, E. H. G. Leopold, Otto Siefert and Friedrich Blass and Carl Sintenis, all in German. Several of the lives, such as those of Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus, are lost, many of the remaining lives are truncated, contain obvious lacunae and/or have been tampered with by writers.
Plutarch's Life of Alexander is one of the few surviving secondary or tertiary sources about Alexander the Great, it includes anecdotes and descriptions of incidents that appear in no other source. His portrait of Numa Pompilius, an early Roman king, contains unique information about the early Roman calendar. Plutarch has been criticized for his lack of judicious discrimination in his use of authorities, consequent errors and inaccuracies, but he gives an abundance of citations and, incidentally, a large number of valuable pieces of information, which fill up numerous gaps in historical knowledge obtained elsewhere, he has been praised for the liveliness and warmth of his portrayals, his moral earnestness and enthusiasm, the Lives have attracted a large circle of readers throughout the ages. Plutarch structured his Lives by alternating lives of famous Greeks with those of famous Romans. After such a set of two lives he writes out a comparison of the preceding biographies; the table below links to several English translations of Plutarch's Lives available online.
The LacusCurtius site has the complete set. There are four paperbacks published by Penguin Books, two with Greek lives, two Roman, rearranged in chronological order and containing a total of 36 of the lives. D = DrydenDryden is famous for having lent his name as editor-in-chief to the first complete English translation of Plutarch's Lives; this 17th-century translation is available at The MIT Internet Classics Archive. These translations are linked with D in the table below. G = Project GutenbergProject Gutenberg contains several versions of 19th-century translations of these Lives, see: https://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=342 and https://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14114 The full text version of the English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough's revision of Dryden's translation is available at Gutenberg. These translations are linked with G in the table below. L = LacusCurtiusLacusCurtius has the Loeb translation by Bernadotte Perrin of part of the Moralia and all the Lives. LV = LibriVoxLibriVox has many free public domain audiobooks of the Parallel Lives, Volumes I, II, III.
See Parallel Lives public domain audiobook at LibriVox These translations are linked with LV in the table below. P = Perseus ProjectThe Perseus Project has several of the Lives, see: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cache/perscoll_Greco-Roman.html The Lives available on the Perseus website are in Greek and English according to the Loeb edition by Bernadotte Perrin. This last edition concentrates on those of the Lives Shakespeare based his plays upon: Thomas North's translation of most of the Lives, based on the French version of Jacques Amyot published in the 16th century, preceded Dryden's translation mentioned above; these translations are linked with P in the table below. All dates are BCE. Notes^ The last line of the table contains the four "unpaired" lives, as mentioned above. ^ The Perseus project contains a biography of Caesar Augustus appearing in the North translation, but not coming from Plutarch's Parallel Lives: P ^ Though the majority of the Parallel Lives were written with the Greek hero placed in