The Iberian Peninsula /aɪˈbɪəriən pəˈnɪnsjᵿlə/, known as Iberia /aɪˈbɪəriə/, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is divided between Portugal and Spain, comprising most of their territory. With an area of approximately 582,000 km2, it is the second largest European peninsula, at that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabos Iberia was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the land mass southwest of there. The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with. According to Strabo, prior historians used Iberia to mean the country side of the Ἶβηρος as far north as the river Rhône in France. Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, elsewhere he says that Saguntum is on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia.
Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people of the Iberian stock living in the Pyrenees, according to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia as synonyms. The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in political, the Latin word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia, literally translates to land of the Hiberians. This word was derived from the river Ebro, which the Romans called Hiberus, hiber was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro. The first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC. Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos in his Georgics, the Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces, Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, and Lusitania, Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces.
Whatever language may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, the Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so known it was hardly necessary to state, for example. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called the whole of Spain Hiberia because of the Hiberus River, the river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus, with reference to this border, Polybius states that the native name is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination
Hispania Ulterior was a region of Hispania during the Roman Republic, roughly located in Baetica and in the Guadalquivir valley of modern Spain and extending to all of Lusitania and Gallaecia. Hispania is the Latin term given to the Iberian peninsula, the term can be traced back to at least 200 BC by the poet Quintus Ennius. The word is derived from the Punic אי שפן I-Shaphan meaning coast of hyraxes. Ulterior is the form of ulter, which means that is beyond. According to ancient historian Cassius Dio, the people of the came from many different tribes. After losing control of Sicily and Corsica in the 1st Punic War, soon afterwards, the 2nd Punic War began. In 197 BC, the peninsula was divided into two provinces because of the presence of two military forces during its conquest and these two regions are Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. The boundary was generally along a line passing from Carthago Nova to the Cantabrian Sea, Hispania Ulterior consisted of what are now Andalusia, Extremadura, León, much of Castilla la Vieja, Asturias and the Basque Country.
There was peace in the region until 155 BC when the Lusitanians attacked Hispania Ulterior, twice defeating Roman praetors, their success soon sparked multiple other rebellions in the peninsula. The Iberian peninsula became a center of activity and an opportunity for advancement. As Appian claims, “ took the command not for the advantage of the city, in 19 BC, when Augustus completed the conquest of Hispania with the Cantabrian War, he reorganised the provinces in the peninsula. Hispania Ulterior was divided into Baetica and Lusitania, Hispania Citerior, which now included Cantabria and Basque country, was renamed to Hispania Tarraconensis. In the early fifth-century AD, the Vandals invaded and took over the south of Hispania, the Roman Emperor Honorius commissioned his brother-in-law, the Visigoth king, to defeat the Vandals. The Visigoths seized control of Hispania and made Toledo the capital of their country, each province was to be ruled by a praetor. Members of the elite of Hispania were introduced into the Roman aristocracy.
Roman emperors Trajan and Theodosius I were all born in Hispania, Roman latifundia were granted to members of the aristocracy throughout the region. Cities in Hispania Citerior such as Valencia were enhanced, and irrigation aqueducts were introduced, the economy thrived as a granary as well as by exporting gold, olive oil and wine. Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula Strabo, the Geography of Strabo, with an English translation by Horace Leonard Jones
Final War of the Roman Republic
After the Roman Senate declared war on the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, her lover and ally, betrayed the Roman government and joined the war on Cleopatra’s side. After the decisive victory for Octavian at the Battle of Actium and Antony withdrew to Alexandria, following the end of the war, Octavian brought peace to the Roman state that had been plagued by a century of civil wars. Octavian became the most powerful man in the Roman world and the Senate bestowed upon him the name of Augustus in 27 BC, now Augustus, would be the first Roman Emperor and would transform the oligarchic/democratic Republic into the autocratic Roman Empire. The last Republican Civil War would mark the beginning of the Pax Romana, the Caesarians Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus under the Second Triumvirate had stepped in to fill the power vacuum caused by Julius Caesars assassination. Octavian took control of the west, including Hispania, Italia, Antony received control of the east, including Graecia, Asia and Aegyptus.
For a time, Rome saw peace, Octavian put down revolts in the west while Antony reorganized the east, the peace was short lived. Antony had been having an affair with the queen of Egypt, especially Octavian, took note of Antony’s actions. Since 40 BC, Antony had been married to Octavia Minor, Octavian seized the opportunity and had his minister Gaius Maecenas produce a propaganda campaign against Antony. All of Rome felt astonished when they heard word of Antony’s Donations of Alexandria, in these donations, Antony ceded much of Rome’s territory in the east to Cleopatra. Cleopatra took the title of Queen of Kings and Caesarion took the title of King of Kings, in response, Octavian increased the personal attacks against Antony, but the Senate and people of Rome were not convinced. Octavian’s chance came when Antony married Cleopatra in 32 BC before he divorced Octavia and that action combined with information that Antony was planning to establish a second Senate in Alexandria created the perfect environment for Octavian to strip Antony of his power.
Octavian summoned the Senate and accused Antony of anti-Roman sentiments, Octavian had illegally seized Antony’s will from the Temple of Vesta. The Senators were not moved by Caesarion or Antony’s children but Antony’s desire to be buried outside of Rome invoked the Senate’s rage, the natural politician he was, blamed Cleopatra and not Antony. The Senate declared war on Cleopatra, and Octavian knew that Antony would come to her aid, when Cleopatra received word that Rome had declared war, Antony threw his support to Egypt. Immediately, the Senate stripped Antony of all his power and labeled him as an outlaw. Octavian summoned all of his legions, numbered at almost 200,000 Roman legionaries and Antony did the same, assembling roughly the same number in mixed heavy Roman and light Egyptian infantry. By mid-summer of 31 BC, Antony maneuvered his army into Greece, Octavian brought with him his chief military advisor and closest friend Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa to command his naval forces. Although the ground forces were comparable, Octavians fleet was superior, Antonys fleet was made up of large vessels, but with inexperienced crews and commanders
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, Sulla was a skillful general, achieving numerous successes in wars against different opponents, both foreign and Roman. He was awarded a crown, the most prestigious Roman military honor. Sullas dictatorship came during a point in the struggle between optimates and populares, the former seeking to maintain the Senates oligarchy, and the latter espousing populism. In a dispute over the army command Sulla unconstitutionally marched his armies into Rome. Sullas ascension was marked by purges in proscriptions. After seeking election to and holding a second consulship, he retired to private life, leaders like Julius Caesar would follow his precedent in attaining political power through force. In Plutarchs Parallel Lives Sulla is paired with the Spartan general, in older sources, his name may be found as Sylla. This is a Hellenism, like sylva for classical Latin silva, lacking ready money, Sulla spent his youth amongst Rome’s comics, lute-players, and dancers.
It seems certain that Sulla received a good education, sallust declares him well-read and intelligent, and he was fluent in Greek, which was a sign of education in Rome. Rome declared war on Jugurtha in 111 BC, but for five years Roman legions under Quintus Caecilius Metellus were unsuccessful, Gaius Marius, a lieutenant of Metellus, saw an opportunity to usurp his commander and fed rumors of incompetence and delay to the publicani in the region. These machinations caused calls for Metelluss removal, despite delaying tactics by Metellus, Marius was elected consul and took over the campaign while Sulla was nominated quaestor to him. He had persuaded Jugurthas father-in-law, King Bocchus I of Mauretania and it was a dangerous operation from the first, with King Bocchus weighing up the advantages of handing Jugurtha over to Sulla or Sulla over to Jugurtha. The publicity attracted by this feat boosted Sullas political career, a gilded equestrian statue of Sulla donated by King Bocchus was erected in the Forum to commemorate his accomplishment.
Although Sulla had engineered this move, as Sulla was serving under Marius at the time, in 104 BC, the migrating Germanic-Celtic alliance headed by the Cimbri and the Teutones seemed to be heading for Italy. As Marius was the best general Rome had, the Senate allowed him to lead the campaign against them, Sulla served on Marius staff as tribunus militum during the first half of this campaign. Finally, with those of his colleague, proconsul Quintus Lutatius Catulus, Marius forces faced the enemy tribes at the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC. Sulla had by this time transferred to the army of Catulus to serve as his legatus, victorious at Vercellae and Catulus were both granted triumphs as the co-commanding generals
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War, referred to as The Hannibalic War and the War Against Hannibal, lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved combatants in the western and eastern Mediterranean. This was the major war between Carthage and the Roman Republic and its allied Italic socii, with the crucial participation of Numidian-Berber armies and tribes on both sides. The two states three major wars with each other over the course of their existence. They are called the Punic Wars because Romes name for Carthaginians was Poeni, derived from Poenici, in the following year, Hannibals army defeated the Romans again, this time in southern Italy at Cannae. In consequence of these defeats, many Roman allies went over to Carthage, against Hannibals skill on the battlefield, the Romans deployed the Fabian strategy. A sideshow of this war was the indecisive First Macedonian War in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Second Punic War was fought between Carthage and Rome and 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, the city called for Roman aid, but the pleas fell on deaf ears. Following a prolonged siege and a struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded and the army practically destroyed. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians, 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, Hannibal departed with this army from New Carthage northwards along the coast in late spring of 218 BC. At the Ebro, he split the army into three columns and subdued the tribes there to the Pyrenees within weeks, but with severe losses. At the Pyrenees, he left a detachment of 11,000 Iberian troops, Hannibal reportedly entered Gaul with 50,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry. He took his army by a route, avoiding the Roman allies along the coast.
In the meantime, a Roman fleet with a force was underway to northern Iberia. A scouting party of 300 cavalry was sent to discover the whereabouts of the enemy and these eventually defeated a Carthaginian scouting troop of 500 mounted Numidians and chased them back to their main camp. Thus, with knowledge of the location of the enemy, the Romans marched upstream, Hannibal evaded this force and by an unknown route reached the Isère or the Durance at the foot of the Alps in autumn. He received messengers from his Gallic allies in Italy that urged him to come to their aid, before setting out to cross the Alps, he was re-supplied by a native tribe, some of whose hereditary disputes he had helped solve. Their other commander, Publius Cornelius Scipio, returned to Rome, realizing the danger of an invasion of Italy where the tribes of the Boii, after 217 BC, he moved to Iberia
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius was a pro-Sullan politician and general who was Roman consul in 80 BC. He was the principal Senatorial commander during the Sertorian War, fighting alongside Pompeius Magnus and he was given the agnomen “Pius” because of his constant and unbending attempts to have his father officially recalled from exile. Metellus Pius, a member of the plebeian gens Caecilia was the son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus. He produced a petition in 99 BC to this effect, and his constant pleading on the subject resulted in Quintus Calidius, the Plebeian Tribune of 98 BC passing a law which allowed his father to return. As a result of his fidelity, he was given the agnomen “Pius” for the constancy and inflexibility with which he fought for his fathers political rehabilitation, sometime during 90s BC, Metellus Pius was elected to the College of Pontiffs as a result of his familys eminence and influence. The outbreak of the Social War saw him employed as a legate in late 89 BC, probably of the consul Pompeius Strabo, as a result of these victories, he was elected Praetor in the following year.
During his praetorship, he was tasked with enrolling the Italian allies as new Roman citizens within sixty days, once this was completed, Metellus Pius was again posted to the Social War, replacing Gaius Cosconius on the southern front. He harassed the territory around Apulia, captured the town of Venusia, and defeated the leading Italian leader, Quintus Poppaedius Silo, in 87 BC, Metellus Pius’ command was extended, with his appointment as Propraetor, responsible for continuing the war against Samnium. Later that year, saw a dispute between the two consuls Lucius Cornelius Cinna and Gnaeus Octavius flare up into war, expelled from Rome, met up with the exiled Gaius Marius, and both laid siege to Rome. During the early phase of conflict, the Senate, fearing that they may need additional troops and commanders. Marching to Rome, he made camp at the Alban Hills, the Senate asked him to negotiate with Cinna on their behalf, during which time he recognized Cinna as the legitimate consul. However, with Cinna’s occupation of Rome and the executions initiated by Gaius Marius, Metellus Pius decided to abandon Rome and he was joined by Marcus Licinius Crassus, but both men fell out, and Crassus was forced to leave and eventually join up with Sulla in Greece.
He acted as governor of the province, but this was unrecognized by Cinna. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 84 BC that the Marians at Rome were able to out their own governor. Upon his arrival, he drove out Metellus Pius who fled to Numidia, pursued here, he, from here, Metellus Pius made his way to Liguria by late 84 BC or early 83 BC. By 83 BC, Sulla had returned from the east and was marching slowly to Rome for his confrontation with the Marian regime, moving quickly, Metellus Pius was the first to meet him along the Via Appia, bringing new troops with him. He, like many of the aristocracy, only joined Sulla when it was prudent to do so, recognizing Metellus as possessing proconsular imperium, Sulla made him his principal subordinate. By July 83 BC, the Senate, under the direction of the consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, declared Metellus Pius a public enemy
Quintus Sertorius was a Roman statesman and general, born in Nursia, in Sabine territory. His brilliance as a commander was shown most clearly in the civil war he waged in Hispania against the optimates of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. His family, the gens Sertoria, was probably of Sabine origin, after acquiring some reputation in Rome as a jurist and an orator, he began a military career. His first recorded campaign was under Quintus Servilius Caepio at the Battle of Arausio, serving under Gaius Marius in 102 BC, Sertorius succeeded in spying on the wandering tribes that had defeated Caepio. After this success, he fought at the great Battle of Aquae Sextiae in which the Teutones were decisively defeated, in 97 BC, he served in Hispania as a military tribune under Titus Didius, winning the Grass Crown. In 91 he was quaestor in Cisalpine Gaul, where he was in charge of recruiting and training legions for the Social War, during this time he sustained a wound that cost him the use of one of his eyes.
Upon his return to Rome he ran for tribune, but Lucius Cornelius Sulla thwarted his efforts, Sertorius now declared for Cinna and the Populares. Though he had a bad opinion of Marius, he consented to Marius return upon understanding that Marius came at Cinnas request. After Octavius surrendered Rome to the forces of Marius, Sertorius went so far as to rebuke Marius, and move Cinna to moderation, while annihilating Marius slave army that had partaken in his atrocities. On Sullas return from the East in 83, and following the subsequent collapse of the Populares power, Sertorius retreated to Hispania as proconsul, the Roman officials in Hispania did not recognize his authority, but Sertorius assumed control as he had an army. Having been obliged to withdraw to North Africa, Sertorius carried on a campaign in Mauretania, in which he defeated one of Sullas generals and captured Tingis. Brave and gifted with eloquence, Sertorius was just the man to impress them favourably, and the native warriors and his skill as a general was extraordinary, as he repeatedly defeated forces many times his own size.
Sertorius owed some of his success to his prodigious ability as a statesman and his goal was to build a stable government in Hispania with the consent and co-operation of the people, whom he wished to civilize along the lines of the Roman model. He established a senate of 300 members, drawn from Roman emigrants, for the children of the chief native families he provided a school at Osca, where they received a Roman education and even adopted the dress and education of Roman youths. Although he was strict and severe with his soldiers, he was particularly considerate to the people in general, for six years he held sway over Hispania. In 77, he was joined—at the insistence of the forces he brought with him—by Marcus Perpenna Vento from Rome, with a following of Roman nobles, that year, Pompey was sent to help Metellus conquer Hispania and finish Sertorius off. He nearly captured Pompey at the battle of Sucro, when Pompey decided to fight him without waiting for Metellus Pius, Pompey wrote to Rome for reinforcements, without which, he said, he and Metellus Pius would be driven out of Hispania.
But from 74 on, Pompey was gaining the upper hand, though he was still able to win some victories, Sertorius was losing the war, and his authority over his men had declined
Liberators' civil war
The Liberators civil war was started by the Second Triumvirate to avenge Julius Caesars murder. The war was fought by the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian against the forces of Caesars assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC. After the murder of Caesar and Cassius had left Italy and taken control of all Eastern provinces, in Rome the three main Caesarian leaders, who controlled almost all the Roman army in the west, had crushed the opposition of the senate and established the second triumvirate. One of their first tasks was to destroy the Liberators’ forces, not only to get control of the Roman world. The triumvirs decided to leave Lepidus in Italy, while the two partners of the triumvirate moved to Northern Greece with their best troops. In 42 BC Gaius Norbanus Flaccus and Decidius Saxa, were sent by the triumvirs with an eight legions strong advance guard into Macedonia against the murderers of Julius Caesar, in the neighborhood of Philippi and Saxa met the combined advancing troops of Cassius and Brutus.
As they were outnumbered and Saxa occupied a position near Philipi which prevented the republicans from advancing any further, by a ruse and Cassius managed to make Norbanus leave this position, but Norbanus discovered the ruse in time to recover the dominating position. When Brutus and Cassius managed to outflank them and Saxa retreated toward Amphipolis, when Marc Antony and the bulk of the triumvirs troops arrived, they found Amphipolis well guarded and Norbanus was left in command of the town. The triumvirs brought 19 legions to the battlefield, Appian reports that the triumvirs legions were almost at full-ranks. Furthermore, they had a large allied cavalry force, the Liberators army had seventeen legions. Only two of the legions were at full ranks, but the army was reinforced by levies from the Eastern allied kingdoms, Appian reports that the army mustered a total of about 80,000 foot-soldiers. Allied cavalry included a total of 17,000 horsemen, including 5,000 bowmen mounted in the Eastern fashion and this army included Caesars old legions present in the East, thus much of the Liberators army was made up of former Caesarean veterans.
However, at least the XXXVI legion consisted of old Pompeian veterans, the loyalty of the soldiers who were supposed to fight against Caesar’s heir was a delicate issue for the Liberators. Cassius tried in all ways to reinforce the soldiers loyalty both with strong speeches and with a gift of 1,500 denari for each legionary and 7,500 for each centurion. The Battle of Philippi consisted of two engagements in the plain to the west of the ancient city of Philippi, the first occurred in the first week of October, Brutus faced Octavian, while Antonys forces were up against those of Cassius. At first, Brutus pushed back Octavian and entered his legions camp, but to the south, Antony defeated Cassius, and Cassius, hearing a false report of Brutus failure, committed suicide. Brutus rallied Cassiuss remaining troops and both sides ordered their army to retreat to their camps with their spoils, and the battle was essentially a draw, but for Cassius suicide. On the same day of the first battle of Philippi the Republican fleet, patrolling the Ionian Sea was able to intercept, the triumvirs had to send a legion south to Achaia to collect more supplies
Under the reign of Augustus, Rome waged a bloody conflict against the last independent Celtic nations of Hispania, the Cantabri, the Astures, and the Gallaeci. The Emperor himself moved to Segisama, to supervise the campaign personally, the major fighting was completed in 19 BC, although there were minor rebellions until 16 BC and the Romans had to station two legions there for seventy more years. Sub occasu pacata erat fere omnis Hispania, nisi quam Pyrenaei desinentis scopulis inhaerentem citerior adluebat Oceanus, hic duae validissimae gentes, Cantabri et Astures, inmunes imperii agitabant. The Cantabri first appear in history in earlier wars in Iberia, in this way, in the years preceding the wars in Cantabria and Asturias, the Roman military became familiar with the warlike characteristics of the peoples of northern Hispania. There are accounts, for instance, of Cantabrians in the army of Hannibal during the Second Punic War, there is evidence that they fought alongside the Vaccaei in 151 BC, and helped break the Roman siege of Numantia.
It is believed there were Cantabrian troops present in the Sertorian Wars. According to Julius Caesars own testimony, there were Cantabrians at the battle of Ilerda in 49 BC, with all these antecedents, the Cantabrians began to be known throughout the Roman Empire. Roman troops even lost one of their standards to them, something inexplicable, finally, in 26 BC, the Emperor himself, Caesar Augustus, went to Hispania, establishing his base in Segisama. The Astures entered the record in the late 3rd century BC. After the 2nd Punic War, their history is less clear, according to the Roman historian Dio Cassius, the tactics of the Cantabri were of guerrilla warfare, avoiding direct attacks on the Roman forces because of their inferior numbers. According to what remains from representations on coins and Cantabrian stelae, lucan referred to this when he wrote, Cantaber exiguis et longis Teutonus armis. They went equipped with swords, small spears or javelins, round or oval shields of wood. They used a weapon like the Iberian falcata, and the bipennis, there is no proof of their use of archery or slings, although it is quite probable that they knew and used them.
The Cantabrian were able at the time to ride horses, as reflected in the fact some of their cavalry tactics would be adopted by the Roman army.000 soldiers. The Roman navy was sent to the Cantabrian coast from Gallia Aquitania. It was an important factor in the resolution, since it completed the encirclement of the Cantabri begun by the ground forces. It is calculated that, in total, the Roman Army deployed 70,000 men, although these vary amongst authors. In reality, the figure should surpass 80,000 men counting auxiliaries since, through the reforms of Gaius Marius, the legion had about 6,000 soldiers
Plutarch was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist, Plutarchs surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the town of Chaeronea, about 80 km east of Delphi. The name of Plutarchs father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, the name of Plutarchs 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. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarchs 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, interestingly, 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 often mentioned.
Plutarchs treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarchs son, but this is nowhere definitely stated. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67, at some point, Plutarch took Roman citizenship. He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, and 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, 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, and the 78 essays, Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality, probably only an annual one which he likely served more than once.
He busied himself with all the matters of the town. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, and Plutarch probably did not speak Illyrian. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his serving as a priest in Delphi. He thus connected part of his work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving