Ancient History & Civilisation

Further Reading

Recommended reading specific to each Life is given in the endnotes.


All the Parallel Lives are now available in English translation in this and the other volumes of Penguin Classics (see the list at the end of this volume). Oxford University Press has also published two volumes of selected Lives (Greek Lives and Roman Lives), translated by R. Waterfield and with introduction and notes by P. A. Stadter. Both the Penguin and the Oxford translations dispense with the paired structure and treat Greek and Roman Lives separately, arranging individual Lives by period. To read the Lives in their original pairs one must use either the rather old translation by John Dryden, revised in the nineteenth century by Arthur Clough and still in print in numerous editions, or B. Perrin’s 11-volume edition for the Loeb Classical Library, which presents the Greek text with a facing English translation (Plutarch’s Lives, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1914–26).

The standard Greek text of the Lives is K. Ziegler’s Plutarchi Vitae Parallelae, 4 vols. (Stuttgart and Leipzig: Teubner, 1st edn 1914–39, 2nd edn 1957–71, further editions of some volumes). A Greek text with facing French translation is provided in the Budé edition (R. Flacelière et al., Plutarque Vies, 16 vols. (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957–83)). A Greek text with facing Italian translation, and very useful introduction and notes, is now available for most Lives, in a series published by the Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli (Milan, 1987–); some Lives have also been published, with longer Italian commentaries, by the Fondazione Lorenzo Valla (Milan, 1987–).

There are recent commentaries in English on Alexander (J. R. Hamilton, 1969; 2nd edn, 1999), Antony (C. B. R. Pelling, 1988), Aristides and Cato Major (D. Sansone, 1989), Pelopidas (A. Georgiadou, 1997), Cicero (J. M. Moles, 1988), Pericles (P. A. Stadter, 1989), Sertorius (C. F. Konrad, 1994) and Themistocles (J. L. Marr, 1998).

There are older commentaries by H. A. Holden on Themistocles, Pericles, Nicias, Timoleon, Demosthenes, Gracchi and Sulla (1885–94); these are out of date on historical matters but still useful on Plutarch’s language and style.

Introductions to Plutarch’s Lives

Duff, T. E., Plutarch’s Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Duff, T. E. (ed.), Oxford Readings in Ancient Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Humble, N. (ed.), Parallelism in Plutarch’s Lives: Parallelism and Purpose (London: Duckworth, and Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2010).

Lamberton, R., Plutarch (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001).

Mossman, J. M. (ed.), Plutarch and his Intellectual World: Essays on Plutarch (London: Duckworth, and Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 1997).

Pelling, C. B. R., Plutarch and History: Eighteen Studies (London: Duckworth, and Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2002).

Russell, D. A., Plutarch (London: Duckworth, 1973; 2nd edn, London: Bristol Classical Press, 2001).

Scardigli, B. (ed.), Essays on Plutarch’s Lives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

Stadter, P. A. (ed.), Plutarch and the Historical Tradition (London and New York: Routledge, 1992).

Fourth- and Third-Century BC Greek History

Ancient Texts

Translations of most important ancient texts are available in the Loeb Classical Library series. Other useful translations are:

Xenophon, Hellenica: translated as Xenophon: A History of my Times (Penguin Classics, 1966).

Xenophon, Anabasis: translated as Xenophon: The Persian Expedition (Penguin Classics, 1972) and Xenophon: The Expedition of Cyrus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

The speeches of Demosthenes and Aeschines: a selection (On the crown and On the false embassy) is translated as Demosthenes and Aeschines (Penguin Classics, 1975); all the speeches are translated in the University of Texas Press’s Oratory of Classical Greece series (Austin, Tex., 1998).

Diodorus: Books 11–14.34 are translated as Diodorus Siculus: The Persian Wars to the Fall of Athens (Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 2010). The Greek text and English translation of all surviving books are published in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1933–67).

Cornelius Nepos: Latin text and English translation published in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1984).

Arrian’s Anabasis: translated as The Campaign of Alexander (Penguin Classics, 1971).

Curtius Rufus: translated as Curtius Rufus: The History of Alexander (Penguin Classics, 1984).

Justin: translated as Justin: Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1994; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Collections of Ancient Source-Material

Austin, M. M. (ed.), The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest: A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

Crawford, M., and Whitehead, D. (eds.), Archaic and Classical Greece: A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

Dillon, M., and Garland, L. (eds.), Ancient Greece: social and historical documents from Archaic times to the death of Alexander the Great (3rd edn, London: Routledge, 2010).

Harding, P. (ed.), From the End of the Peloponnesian War to the Battle of Ipsus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Rhodes, P. J., and Osborne, R. (eds.), Greek Historical Inscriptions 404–323 BC (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Modern Introductions

Errington, R. M., A History of the Hellenistic World, 323–30 BC (Blackwell: Oxford, 2008).

Green, P., Alexander to Actium: The Hellenistic Age (Berkeley: University of California Press; corr. edn, 1993).

Habicht, C., Athens from Alexander to Antony (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).

Hammond, N. G. L., Griffith, G. T., and Walbank, F. W. (eds.), History of Macedonia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3 vols., 1972–88).

Hansen, M. H., The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes: Structure, Principles and Ideology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991; rev. edn, London: Bristol Classical Press, and Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999).

Heckel, W., The Marshals of Alexander’s Empire (London and New York: Routledge, 1992).

Heckel, W., Who’s Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander’s Empire (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).

Hornblower, S., The Greek World 479–323 BC (3rd edn, London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

Lewis, D. M., Hornblower, S., and Ostwald, M. (eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. vi, The Fourth Century BC (2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Mossé, C., Athens in Decline 404–86 BC (London: Routledge, 1973).

Osborne, R. (ed.), Classical Greece 500–323BC (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Pritchett, W. K., The Greek State at War, 5 vols. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974–91).

Rhodes, P. J., A History of the Classical Greek World 478–323 BC (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).

Roisman, J., and Worthington, I. (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Macedonia (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Shipley, G., The Greek World After Alexander, 323–30BC (London: Routledge, 2000).

Tritle, L. A. (ed.), The Greek World in the Fourth Century: From the Fall of the Athenian Empire to the Successors of Alexander (London: Routledge, 1997).

Walbank, F. W., The Hellenistic World (London: Fontana Press, 1980; corr. edn 1986).

Walbank, F. W., Astin, A. E., Frederiksen, M. W., and Ogilvie, R. M. (eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. vii, The Hellenistic World (2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2 vols., 1984–9).

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