Plutarch named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 kilometres east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia, his family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was Nikarchus; the name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, named Timoxena after her mother.
He hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are mentioned. Plutarch's treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere stated, his treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the latter as having been an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67. At some point, Plutarch received Roman citizenship; as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.
He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, participated in local affairs serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was a magistrate at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality only an annual one which he served more than once.
He undertook the humblest of duties. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, Plutarch did not speak Illyrian. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi, he thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse". More important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi", which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter E written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but five: Chilon, Thales and Pittakos.
However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims originated from the five real wise men; the portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a young age, his hair and beard are rendered in thin incisions. The gaze is due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils; the portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. But a fragmentary hermaic stele next to the portrait did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians along with the Chaeroneans dedicated this to Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony". Plutarc
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources and hatred, it saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides. The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217.
Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were repulsed. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209.
Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy; the final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years. Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War meant the loss of Carthaginian Sicily to Rome under the terms of the Roman-dictated 241 BC Treaty of Lutatius. Rome exploited Carthage's distraction during the Truceless War against rebellious mercenaries and Libyan subjects to break the peace treaty and annex Carthaginian Sardinia and Corsica to Rome in 238 BC.
Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca and his family, Carthage defeated the rebels and began the Barcid conquest of Hispania from 237 BC onward. Control over Spain gave Carthage the silver mines, agricultural wealth, military facilities such as shipyards and territorial depth to stand up to future Roman demands with confidence; the Second Punic War was ignited by the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome. After great tension within the city government, culminating in the assassination of the supporters of Carthage, Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum in 219 BC; the city called for Roman aid. Following a prolonged siege of eight months and a bloody struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded, the Carthaginians took control of the city. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians; the loss of Saguntum as a potential base of operations in Carthaginian Iberia was a serious setback to the main Roman strategic objective in Spain: the eviction of the Carthaginians from the peninsula.
The Roman Senate sent an embassy to the Carthaginian Senate that declared war on Carthage in early 218 BC over the attack on Rome's Saguntine ally. Before the war and Hasdrubal the Fair had made a treaty. Livy reports that it was agreed that the Iber should be the boundary between the two empires and that the liberty of the Saguntines should be preserved; the highest priority in Carthaginian strategy was to keep the war away from Carthage's agricultural heartland in Africa and protect the property of the wealthy Carthaginian landowners who controlled Carthaginian politics. Spanish mines and sources of manpower comprised the second pillar of the Carthaginian power base and their protection was essential to maintaining Carthage's status as an independent continental great power. Hannibal's invasion of Italy forced the Romans to abandon their intended invasion of Africa and de-prioritize the reinforcement of Roman armies in Spain. Most Roman troops during the war fought in Italy, which became the main theater of the war as a result of Hannibal's offensive.
Africa remained undisturbed by a Roman invasion army until 204 BC and the Roman military presence in Spain was confined to its northeastern corn
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Aulus Gellius was a Latin author and grammarian, born and brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, he is famous for his Attic Nights, a commonplace book, or compilation of notes on grammar, history and other subjects, preserving fragments of the works of many authors who might otherwise be unknown today. The only source for the life of Aulus Gellius is the details recorded in his writings. Internal evidence points to Gellius having been born between AD 125 and 128, he was of good family and connections of African origin, but he was born and brought up in Rome. He attended the Pythian Games in the year 147, resided for a considerable period in Athens. Gellius studied rhetoric under Sulpicius Apollinaris, he returned to Rome. He was appointed by the praetor to act as an umpire in civil causes, much of the time which he would gladly have devoted to literary pursuits was occupied by judicial duties, his only known work, the Attic Nights, takes its name from having been begun during the long nights of a winter which he spent in Attica.
He afterwards continued it in Rome. It is compiled out of an Adversaria, or commonplace book, in which he had jotted down everything of unusual interest that he heard in conversation or read in books, it comprises notes on grammar, philosophy and many other subjects. One story is the fable of Androcles, included in compilations of Aesop's fables, but was not from that source. Internal evidence led Leofranc Holford-Strevens to date its publication in or after AD 177; the work, deliberately devoid of sequence or arrangement, is divided into twenty books. All these have come down to us except the eighth; the Attic Nights are valuable for the insight they afford into the nature of the society and pursuits of those times, for its many excerpts from works of lost ancient authors. The Attic Nights found many readers in Antiquity. Writers who used this compilation include Apuleius, Nonius Marcellus, Ammianus Marcellinus, the anonymous author of the Historia Augusta and Augustine; the editio princeps was published at Rome in 1469 by Giovanni Andrea Bussi, bishop-designate of Aleria.
The earliest critical edition was by Ludovicus Carrio in 1585, published by Henricus Stephanus. Better known is the critical edition of Johann Friedrich Gronovius, his son Jakob published most of his comments on Gellius in 1687, brought out a revised text with all of his father's comments and other materials at Leyden in 1706. According to Leofranc Holford-Strevens, the "Gronoviana" remained the standard text of Gellius for over a hundred years, until the edition of Martin Hertz, revised by C. Hosius, 1903, with bibliography. A volume of selections, with notes and vocabulary, was published by Nall. There is an English translation by W. Beloe, a French translation. A more recent English translation is by John Carew Rolfe for the Loeb Classical Library. Gellia This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wm Ramsay. "A. Gellius". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. P. 235. George Herbert Nall, ed.. Stories from Aulus Gellius. Elementary classics.
London: Macmillan. John Carew Rolfe, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius. Loeb Classical Library. 3 Volumes. ISBN 0674992156, ISBN 0674992202, ISBN 0674992342 Anderson, Graham.. "Aulus Gellius: a Miscellanist and His World," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, vol. II.34.2. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. Beall, S.. "Translation in Aulus Gellius." The Classical Quarterly, 47, 215-226. Ceaicovschi, K.. "Cato the Elder in Aulus Gellius." Illinois Classical Studies, 25-39. Lakmann, Marie-Luise.. Der Platoniker Tauros in der Darstellung des Aulus Gellius. Leiden, The Netherlands, New York: Brill. Garcea, Alessandro.. "Paradoxes in Aulus Gellius." Argumentation 17:87–98. Gunderson, Eric.. Nox Philologiae: Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Roman Library. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press. Holford-Strevens, Leofranc.. Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Holford-Strevens, Leofranc.. "Fact and fiction in Aulus Gellius." Liverpool Classical Monthly 7:65–68.
Holford-Strevens and Amiel Vardi, eds.. The Worlds of Aulus Gellius. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Howley, Joseph A.. "Why Read the Jurists?: Aulus Gellius on Reading Across Disciplines." In New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World. Edited by Paul J. du Plessis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Howley, Joseph A.. Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture. Text and Imperial Knowledge in the Noctes Atticae. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnson, William A.. "Aulus Gellius: The Life of the Litteratus" In Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire
The gens Fabia was one of the most ancient patrician families at Rome. The gens played a prominent part in history soon after the establishment of the Republic, three brothers were invested with seven successive consulships, from 485 to 479 BC, thereby cementing the high repute of the family. Overall, the Fabii received 45 consulships during the Republic; the house derived its greatest lustre from the patriotic courage and tragic fate of the 306 Fabii in the Battle of the Cremera, 477 BC. But the Fabii were not distinguished as warriors alone; the family is thought to have been counted amongst the gentes maiores, the most prominent of the patrician houses at Rome, together with the Aemilii, Cornelii and Valerii. Until 480 BC, the Fabii were staunch supporters of the aristocratic policies favoring the patricians and the senate against the plebs. However, following a great battle that year against the Veientes, in which victory was achieved only by cooperation between the generals and their soldiers, the Fabii aligned themselves with the plebs.
One of the thirty-five voting tribes into which the Roman people were divided was named after the Fabii. Several of the others appear to have been named after lesser families; the most famous legend of the Fabii asserts that, following the last of the seven consecutive consulships in 479 BC, the gens undertook the war with Veii as a private obligation. A militia consisting of over three hundred men of the gens, together with their friends and clients, amounting to a total of some four thousand men, took up arms and stationed itself on a hill overlooking the Cremera, a little river between Rome and Veii; the cause of this secession is said to have been the enmity between the Fabii and the patricians, who regarded them as traitors for advocating the causes of the plebeians. The Fabian militia remained in their camp on the Cremera for two years opposing the Veientes, until at last they were lured into an ambush, destroyed. Three hundred and six Fabii of fighting age were said to have perished in the disaster, leaving only a single survivor to return home.
By some accounts he was the only survivor of the entire gens. They and the elders of the gens remained at Rome; the day on which the Fabii perished was forever remembered, as it was the same day that the Gauls defeated the Roman army at the Battle of the Allia in 390 BC. This was the fifteenth day before the kalends of Sextilis, or July 18, according to the modern calendar; the story was embellished at a date in order to present it as a counterpart of the Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 479 BC. However, Tim Cornell states that there is no reason to doubt the historicity of the battle, because the tribus Fabia—presumably where the Fabii had their country estates—was located near the Cremera, on the border with Veii. Throughout the history of the Republic, the Fabii made several alliances with other prominent families plebeian and Italian ones, which explains their long prominence; the first of such alliances that can be traced dates from the middle of the fifth century and was with the Poetelii.
In the fourth century, the Fabii were allied to the patrician Manlii and the plebeian Genucii and Licinii, whom they supported during the Conflict of the Orders. They occupied an unprecedented leading position in the third century, as three generations of Fabii were princeps senatus—a unique occurrence during the Republic. During this period, they allied with the plebeian Atilii from Campania, where the Fabii had significant estates, the Fulvii and Mamilii from Tusculum, the Otacili from Beneventum, the Ogulnii from Etruria, the Marcii, they sponsored the emergence of the Caecilii Metelii and Porcii, who owed their first consulate to the Fabii, as well as the re-emergence of the patrician Quinctii. The main direction of the second war against Carthage was disputed between the Fabii and the Cornelii Scipii; the death of Fabius Verrucosus in 203 marks the end of the Fabian leadership on Roman politics, by now assumed by their rivals: Scipio Africanus and his family. After the consulship of Fabius Maximus Eburnus in 116, the Fabii entered a century-long eclipse, until their temporary revival under Augustus.
The name of the Fabii was associated with one of the two colleges of the Luperci, the priests who carried on the sacred rites of the ancient religious festival of the Lupercalia. The other college bore the name of the Quinctilii, suggesting that in the earliest times these two gentes superintended these rites as a sacrum gentilicum, much as the Pinarii and Potitii maintained the worship of Hercules; such sacred rites were transferred to the state, or opened to the Roman populus. In times the privilege of the Lupercalia had ceased to be confined to the Fabii and the Quinctilii. According to legend, the Fabii claimed descent from Hercules, who visited Italy a generation before the Trojan War, from Evander, his host; this brought the Fabii into the same tradition as the Pinarii and Potitii, who were said to have welcomed Hercules and learned from him the sac
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
Battle of Cannae
The Battle of Cannae was a major battle of the Second Punic War that took place on 2 August 216 BC in Apulia, in southeast Italy. The army of Carthage, under Hannibal and decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic under the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro, it is regarded both as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history and as one of the worst defeats in Roman history. Having recovered from their losses at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, the Romans decided to engage Hannibal at Cannae, with 86,000 Roman and allied troops, they massed their heavy infantry in a deeper formation than usual, while Hannibal used the double-envelopment tactic and surrounded his enemy, trapping the majority of the Roman army, who were slaughtered. The loss of life on the Roman side was one of the most lethal single day. Only about 15,000 Romans, most of whom were from the garrisons of the camps and had not taken part in the battle, escaped death. Following the defeat and several other Italian city-states defected from the Roman Republic to Carthage.
As news of this defeat reached Rome, the city was gripped in panic. Authorities resorted to extraordinary measures, which included consulting the Sibylline Oracles, dispatching a delegation led by Quintus Fabius Pictor to consult the Delphic oracle in Greece, burying four people alive as a sacrifice to their Gods. To raise two new legions, the authorities lowered the draft age and enlisted criminals and slaves. Despite the extreme loss of men and equipment, a second massive defeat that same year at Silva Litana, the Romans refused to surrender to Hannibal, his offer to ransom survivors was brusquely refused. With grim determination the Romans fought for 14 more years until they achieved victory at the Battle of Zama. Although for most of the following decades the battle was seen as a major Roman disaster, by modern times Cannae acquired a mythic quality, is used as an example of the perfect defeat of an enemy army, it was studied by German strategists prior to World War II, General Norman Schwartzkopf claimed to have drawn inspiration from Hannibal's success for his devastatingly effective land offensive in the First Gulf War.
Shortly after the start of the Second Punic War, Hannibal crossed into Italy by traversing the Pyrenees and the Alps during the summer and early autumn of 218 BC. He won major victories over the Romans at Trebia and at Lake Trasimene. After these losses, the Romans appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus as dictator to deal with the threat. Fabius used attrition warfare against Hannibal, cutting off his supply lines and avoiding pitched battles; these tactics proved unpopular with the Romans who, as they recovered from the shock of Hannibal's victories, began to question the wisdom of the Fabian strategy, which had given the Carthaginian army a chance to regroup. The majority of Romans were eager to see a quick conclusion to the war, it was feared that, if Hannibal continued plundering Italy unopposed, Rome's allies might defect to the Carthaginian side for self-preservation. Therefore, when Fabius came to the end of his term, the Senate did not renew his dictatorial powers and command was given to consuls Gnaeus Servilius Geminus and Marcus Atilius Regulus.
In 216 BC, when elections resumed, Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus were elected as consuls, placed in command of a newly raised army of unprecedented size and directed to engage Hannibal. Polybius wrote: The Senate determined to bring eight legions into the field, which had never been done at Rome before, each legion consisting of five thousand men besides allies.... Most of their wars are decided with their quota of allies, but on this occasion, so great was the alarm and terror of what would happen, they resolved to bring not only four but eight legions into the field. Rome employed four legions each year, each consisting of 4,000 foot soldiers and 200 cavalry. Perceiving the Carthaginian army as a real threat, for the first time the Senate introduced eight legions, each consisting of 5,000 foot soldiers and 300 cavalry, with allied troops numbering the same amount of foot soldiers but 900 cavalry per legion—more than triple the legion numbers. Eight legions—some 40,000 Roman soldiers and an estimated 2,400 cavalry—formed the core of this massive new army.
Livy quotes one source stating the Romans added only 10,000 men to their usual army. While no definitive number of Roman troops exists, all sources agree that the Carthaginians faced a larger foe. Consuls were each assigned two of the four legions to command employing all four legions at once to the same assignment. However, the Senate feared a real threat and not only deployed all four legions to the field but all eight, including allies. Ordinarily, each of the two consuls would command his own portion of the army, but since the two armies were combined into one, Roman law required them to alternate their command on a daily basis; the traditional account puts Varro in command on the day of the battle, much of the blame for the defeat has been laid on his shoulders. However, his low origins seem to be exaggerated in the sources, Varro may have been made a scapegoat by the aristocratic establishment, he lacked the powerful descendants that Paullus had, descendants who were willing and able to protect his reputation—most notably, Paullus was the grandfather of Scipio Aemilianus, the patron of Polybius.
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