Thomas Ashby, was a British archaeologist. He was the only child of Thomas Ashby, his wife, Rose Emma, daughter of Apsley Smith, his father belonged to the well-known Quaker family to whom belonged Ashby's brewery at Staines – this became a private company in 1886. Stocky in figure, he had a neat beard, his English and Italian were both brusque, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography calls him "shy with strangers, blunt with acquaintances, devoted to his friends". An exhibitioner at Winchester College, Thomas there gained the lasting nickname Titus. Ashby won a scholarship at Christ Church, studying under Francis John Haverfield and John Linton Myres gained a first-class degree in classical moderations and in literae humaniores. Concentrating on Roman antiquities after 1897, he next published his first article, gained an Oxford degree of DLitt and won the Conington Prize for classical learning. Understanding of the city of Rome was being transformed by a series of excavations, including renewed work on the Roman forum, Ashby wrote a regular series of reports on these developments for the Classical Review, The Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the Antiquaries Journal.
Ashby enrolled in January 1902 as the first student of the British School at Rome, under its first director Gordon McNeil Rushforth, was the same year appointed its honorary librarian and elected as a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Rushforth and his successor Henry Stuart Jones both retired early due to ill health and Ashby became the School's third director, until 1925, his first assistant directors were Augustus Moore Daniel from 1909 Eugénie Strong – the latter appointment made Ashby's position at the school more secure and extending the School's influence in Roman society, with Eugénie in effect serving as its hostess. Trying to make the British School at Rome a focus for archaeological research in the western Mediterranean, Ashby appointed as associate student of the BSR Duncan Mackenzie, who had just worked with Arthur Evans at Knossos. Ashby and Mackenzie presented a joint paper on the ethnology of Sardinia to the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in York in summer 1906.
This research area at the BSR dried up in 1909 when Mackenzie returned to work for the Palestine Exploration Fund in the eastern Mediterranean, though Ashby did make a return trip to Sardinia in 1912. Turning his attention to the British islands of Malta and Gozo and their possibilities for research on Mediterranean prehistory, joined by T. Eric Peet for the 1905–6 session, Ashby visited Malta alone on various occasions in 1908 and 1909 and returned with Peet to excavate the sites of Hagiar-Kim and Mnaidra in 1910 and 1911. With the support of the British ambassador Sir Rennell Rodd, the BSR decided in 1912 to relocate a new, permanent building in the Valle Giulia, designed by Lutyens, to expand into not only archaeology but art and architecture; the move itself occurred in 1915 saw the actual move, Ashby's volunteering not to fight in the First World War but instead to serve as a translator in the first British Red Cross ambulance unit, based at the Villa Trento near Udine, leaving Mrs Strong to run the School.
Ashby felt this appropriate to his Quaker leanings and, though it drew criticism, he was still asked to return to Rome and the BSR, was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery in his ambulance work on the Asiago plateau. Moving to the British Red Cross headquarters in Genoa from late 1917 to spring 1918 after the Italian defeat at the battle of Caporetto, Ashby moved to Rome as an education officer, only resumed his role as director of the school in spring 1919. On his return, he and Strong had to restart the school's work on the sculpture catalogue which Stuart Jones had begun, though Ashby still managed to return to Malta in March 1921 to work with Themistocles Zammit at Hal-Tarxien (in work published in the Antiquaries Journal and to continue his interest in prehistory by collaborating with Peet and H. Thurlow Leeds on an essay on the western Mediterranean for the Cambridge Ancient History. On his return from Malta in spring 1921, Ashby met Caroline May, eldest daughter of the civil engineer Richard Price-Williams and cousin of Walter Ashburner, working in the school library.
The couple married on 20 July 1921 and, though they had no children, Caroline began to take over Strong's role as hostess at the school, straining relations between them. In 1924 the BSR executive committee decided to only renew Strong's and Ashby's appointments until 1925, when Mrs Strong would reach retirement age at sixty-five. General shock greeted the decision, with Rennell Rodd writing in late November 1924: "almost everyone I meet deplores the decision … In spite of Ashby's eccentricities he had the regard of all the Italian archaeologists and they are all much upset at his going. In his own particular line he is c
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
The Orsini family is an Italian noble family, one of the most influential princely families in medieval Italy and Renaissance Rome. Members of the Orsini family include three popes: Celestine III, Nicholas III, Benedict XIII. In addition, the family membership includes 34 cardinals, numerous condottieri, other significant political and religious figures. According to their family legend, the Orsini are descended from the Julio-Claudian dynasty of ancient Rome; the Orsini carried on a political feud with the Colonna family for centuries in Rome, until it was stopped by Papal Bull in 1511. In 1571, the heads of both families married nieces of Pope Sixtus V; the Orsini were related to the Bobone family existing in Rome in the 11th century. The first members used the surname of Bobone-Orsini; the first known family member is one Bobone, in the early 11th century, father of Pietro, in turn father of Giacinto Bobone, who in 1191 became pope as Celestine III. One of the first great nepotist popes, he made two of his nephews cardinals and allowed his cousin Giovanni Gaetano to buy the fiefs of Vicovaro, Licenza and Nettuno, which formed the nucleus of the future territorial power of the family.
The Bobone surname was lost with his children. Two of them and Matteo Rosso the Great increased the prestige of the family; the former was the founder of the first southern line, which disappeared with Camillo Pardo in 1553. He obtained the city of Manoppello a countship, was gonfaloniere of the Papal States. Matteo Rosso, called the Great, was the effective lord of Rome from 1241, when he defeated the Imperial troops, to 1243, holding the title of Senator. Two of his sons, Napoleone, were Senators. Matteo ousted the traditional rivals, the Colonna family, from Rome and extended the Orsini territories southwards up to Avellino and northwards to Pitigliano. During his life, the family entered in the Guelph party, he had some ten sons, who divided the fiefs after his deaths: Gentile originated the Pitigliano line and the second southern line, Rinaldo that of Monterotondo, Napoleone that of Bracciano, another Matteo Rosso that of Montegiordano, from the name of the district in Rome housing the family's fortress.
The most distinguished of his sons was Giovanni Gaetano: elected pope as Nicholas III, he named his nephew Bertoldo as count of Romagna, had two nephews and a brother created cardinals. The rise of the Orsini did not stop after Nicholas' death. Bertoldo's son, Gentile II, was two times Senator of Rome, podestà of Viterbo and, from 1314, Gran Giustiziere of the Kingdom of Naples, he married Clarice Ruffo, daughter of the counts of Catanzaro, forming an alliance of the most powerful Calabrian dynasty. His son Romano, called Romanello, was Royal Vicar of Rome in 1326, inherited the countship of Soana through his marriage with Anastasia de Montfort, Countess of Nola. Romano's stance was markedly Guelph. After his death, his two sons divided his fiefs, forming the Pitigliano and the second southern line. Roberto, Gentile II's grandson, married Sibilla del Balzo, daughter of the Great Senechal of the Kingdom of Naples. Among his sons, Giacomo was created cardinal by Gregory XI in 1371, while Nicola obtained the counties of Ariano and Celano.
The latter was Senator of Rome and enlarged the family territories in Lazio and Tuscany. His second son, Raimondello Orsini del Balzo, supported Charles III' coup d'état in Naples against Queen Joan I. Under king Ladislaus he was among the few Neapolitan feudataries who were able to maintain their territorial power after the royal war against them. However, at his death in 1406 the southern Orsini fiefs were confiscated. Relationships with the royal family remained cold under Joan II; the links with the court increased further under Sergianni Caracciolo, Joan's lover and Great Senechal. A younger brother of Giannantonio married one of Sergianni's daughters. However, the Orsini changed side when Alfonso V of Aragon started his conquest of the Kingdom of Naples. Giannantonio was awarded with the duchy of Bari, the position of Great Connestable and an appanage of 100,000 ducati. Giannantonio remained faithful to Alfonso's heir, Ferdinand I, but was killed during a revolt of nobles. Having died without legitimate sons, much of his possessions were absorbed into the Royal Chamber.
This line was initiated by Guido Orsini, second son of Romano, who inherited the county of Soana, on the western side of Lake Bolsena in southern Tuscany. He and his descendants ruled over the fiefs of Soana and Nola, but in the early 15th century wars against the Republic of Siena and the Colonnas caused the loss of several territories. Bertoldo managed to keep only Pitigliano, while his grandson Orso was count of Nola and fought as condottiere under the Duke of Milan and the Republic of Venice, he entered the service of Ferdinand I of Naples, not having taken part in the Barons' conspiracy, he was rewarded with the fiefs of Ascoli and Atripalda. He was killed at the siege of Viterbo; the most outstanding member of the Pitigliano line was Niccolò, one of the major condottiere of the time. His son Ludovico and his nephew Enrico (died 1528
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter; the first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The hero Aeneas was known to Greco-Roman legend and myth, having been a character in the Iliad. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas's wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and his description as a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous pietas, fashioned the Aeneid into a compelling founding myth or national epic that tied Rome to the legends of Troy, explained the Punic Wars, glorified traditional Roman virtues, legitimized the Julio-Claudian dynasty as descendants of the founders and gods of Rome and Troy.
The Aeneid is regarded as Virgil's masterpiece and one of the greatest works of Latin literature. The Aeneid can be divided into two halves based on the disparate subject matter of Books 1–6 and Books 7–12; these two halves are regarded as reflecting Virgil's ambition to rival Homer by treating both the Odyssey's wandering theme and the Iliad's warfare themes. This is, however, a rough correspondence, the limitations of which should be borne in mind. Virgil begins his poem with a statement of his theme and an invocation to the Muse, falling some seven lines after the poem's inception, he explains the reason for the principal conflict in the story: the resentment held by the goddess Juno against the Trojan people. This is consistent with her role throughout the Homeric epics. In the manner of Homer, the story proper begins in medias res, with the Trojan fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, heading in the direction of Italy; the fleet, led by Aeneas, is on a voyage to find a second home. It has been foretold that in Italy he will give rise to a race both noble and courageous, a race which will become known to all nations.
Juno is wrathful, because she had not been chosen in the judgment of Paris, because her favorite city, will be destroyed by Aeneas's descendants. Ganymede, a Trojan prince, was chosen to be the cupbearer to her husband, Jupiter—replacing Juno's daughter, Hebe. Juno proceeds to Aeolus, King of the Winds, asks that he release the winds to stir up a storm in exchange for a bribe. Aeolus agrees to carry out Juno's orders. Neptune takes notice: although he himself is no friend of the Trojans, he is infuriated by Juno's intrusion into his domain, stills the winds and calms the waters, after making sure that the winds would not bother the Trojans again, lest they be punished more harshly than they were this time; the fleet takes shelter on the coast of Africa, where Aeneas rouses the spirits of his men, reassuring them that they have been through worse situations before. There, Aeneas's mother, Venus, in the form of a huntress similar to the goddess Diana, encourages him and recounts to him the history of Carthage.
Aeneas ventures into the city, in the temple of Juno he seeks and gains the favor of Dido, queen of the city. The city has only been founded by refugees from Tyre and will become a great imperial rival and enemy to Rome. Meanwhile, Venus has her own plans, she goes to her son, Aeneas's half-brother Cupid, tells him to imitate Ascanius. Disguised as such, Cupid offers the gifts expected from a guest. With Dido's motherly love revived as she cradles the boy during a banquet given in honour of the Trojans, Cupid secretly weakens her sworn fidelity to the soul of her late husband, murdered by her brother, Pygmalion. In books 2 and 3, Aeneas recounts the events, he begins the tale shortly after the war described in the Iliad. Cunning Ulysses devised a way for Greek warriors to gain entry into the walled city of Troy by hiding in a large wooden horse; the Greeks pretended to sail away, leaving a warrior, Sinon, to mislead the Trojans into believing that the horse was an offering and that if it were taken into the city, the Trojans would be able to conquer Greece.
The Trojan priest Laocoön saw through the Greek plot and urged the horse's destruction, but his protests fell on deaf ears, so he hurled his spear at the horse. In what would be seen by the Trojans as punishment from the gods, two serpents emerged from the sea and devoured Laocoön, along with his two sons; the Trojans took the horse inside the fortified walls, after nightfall the armed Greeks emerged from it, opening the city's gates to allow the returned Greek army to slaughter the Trojans. In a dream, the fallen Trojan prince, advised Aeneas to flee with his family. Aeneas saw with horror what was happening to his beloved city. At first he tried to fight the enemy, but soon he lost his comrades and was left alone to fend off the Greeks, he witnessed the murder of Priam by Achilles' son Pyrrhus. His mother, appeared to him and led him back to his house. Aeneas tells of his escape with his son, his wife Creusa, his father, after the occurrence
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south. Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens and Thebes, subordinate to Achaemenid Persia. During the reign of the Argead king Philip II, Macedonia subdued mainland Greece and Thrace through conquest and diplomacy. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Philip II's son Alexander the Great, leading a federation of Greek states, accomplished his father's objective of commanding the whole of Greece when he destroyed Thebes after the city revolted.
During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, inaugurating the transition to a new period of Ancient Greek civilization. Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science spread throughout much of the ancient world. Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, tutor to Alexander, whose writings became a keystone of Western philosophy. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the ensuing wars of the Diadochi, the partitioning of Alexander's short-lived empire, Macedonia remained a Greek cultural and political center in the Mediterranean region along with Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon. Important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander.
Macedonia's decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Third Macedonian War in 168 BC, the Macedonian monarchy was abolished and replaced by Roman client states. A short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Fourth Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia; the Macedonian kings, who wielded absolute power and commanded state resources such as gold and silver, facilitated mining operations to mint currency, finance their armies and, by the reign of Philip II, a Macedonian navy. Unlike the other diadochi successor states, the imperial cult fostered by Alexander was never adopted in Macedonia, yet Macedonian rulers assumed roles as high priests of the kingdom and leading patrons of domestic and international cults of the Hellenistic religion; the authority of Macedonian kings was theoretically limited by the institution of the army, while a few municipalities within the Macedonian commonwealth enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and had democratic governments with popular assemblies.
The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning "tall" descriptive of the people. It has the same root as the adjective μακρός, meaning "long" or "tall" in Ancient Greek; the name is believed to have meant either "highlanders", "the tall ones", or "high grown men". Linguist Robert S. P. Beekes claims that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology; the Classical Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides reported the legend that the Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty were descendants of Temenus, king of Argos, could therefore claim the mythical Heracles as one of their ancestors as well as a direct lineage from Zeus, chief god of the Greek pantheon. Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, with either five or eight kings before Amyntas I; the assertion that the Argeads descended from Temenus was accepted by the Hellanodikai authorities of the Ancient Olympic Games, permitting Alexander I of Macedon to enter the competitions owing to his perceived Greek heritage.
Little is known about the kingdom before the reign of Alexander I's father Amyntas I of Macedon during the Archaic period. The kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Robert Malcolm Errington suggests that one of the earliest Argead kings established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Before the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western and central parts of the region of Macedonia in modern Greece, it expanded into the region of Upper Macedonia, inhabited by the Greek Lyncestae and Elimiotae tribes, into regions of Emathia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia and Almopia, which were inhabited by various peoples such as Thracians and Phrygians. Macedonia's non-Greek neighbors included Thracians, inhabiting territories to the northeast, Illyrians to the northwest, Paeonians to the north, while the lands of Thessaly to the south and Epirus to the west were inhabited by Greeks with similar cultures to that of the Macedonians.
A year after Darius I of
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