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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

The Reception of Plutarch’s Lives in Fifteenth-Century Italy

Plutarch’s Lives of great Greek and Roman public figures are among the central texts of European culture. Like most Greek authors Plutarch had been virtually unknown in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, but when Renaissance humanists rekindled interest in Greek language and culture, he became one of the most widely read authors of the period. Marianne Pade discusses the many Latin translations of the Lives produced during the fifteenth century, examines their diffusion in manuscripts and printed books and shows how Plutarch came to influence fifteenth-century Italian culture. The overwhelming interest in the Lives can be explained by studying the way Classical Antiquity was used for ideological purposes in Renaissance Italy. To a great extent the historical effects of the biographies reflect the ideologies of the environments in which they were translated and read. The purpose of the biographies, and often of the forewords of the translations as well, was to evoke or create a city’s national myths or to promote a patron or the city itself. The second volume contains an edition of all the letters of dedication and a catalogue of the preserved manuscripts.

754 pages | 2 volume set | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2007

Biography and Letters

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Table of Contents

Volume 1
Part I: Text
1. The reception of Plutarch in the Roman Empire and in Greek literature down to the thirteenth century
2. The revival of interest in Plutarch in the Latin West
3. Florence and Florentine humanism 1390–1414
4. Venice 1414–1440s: Venice as heir to the Greek city states and “patrician humanism”
5. Northern Italy: other translations
6. Guarino at Ferrara in the 1430s
7. Florence and the Roman Curia in the 1430s and ‘40s
8. The remaining Lives
9. Conclusion
10. Appendix I: Texts relating to Guarino
11. Appendix 2: Lapo’s prefaces to Humphrey of Gloucester and Alfonso of Aragon 1437–38
12. Printed editions
List of illustrations

Volume 2
Part II: Prefaces, List of Translations
1. Theseus and Romulus
2. Lycurgus and Numa
3. Solon and Publicola
4. Coriolanus and Alcibiades
5. Themistocles and Camillus
6. Pericles and Fabius Maximus
7. Pelopidas and Marcellus
8. Philopoemen and Flamininus
9. Aristides and Cato Major
10. Timoleon and Aemilius Paulus
11. Agis et Cleomenes and Gracchi
12. Lysander and Sulla
13. Pyrrhus and Marius
14. Sertorius and Eumenes
15. Cimon and Lucullus
16. Nicias and Crassus
17. Agesilaus and Pompeius
18. Alexander and Caesar
19. Phocion and Cato minor
20. Dion and Brutus
21. Demosthenes and Cicero
22. Demetrius and Antonius
23. Artaxerxes
24. Aratus
25. Galba and Otho
Part III: Catalogues
List of Manuscripts Containing Latin Translations of Plutarch’s Lives and related texts
List of Scribes
List of Owners
List of Dated or Datable Manuscripts
Index of Manuscripts and Incunables
Index of Names

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