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Plutarch and the Persica

Eran Almagor

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Bridges the gap between Plutarch Studies and Achaemenid Studies through analysis of key texts

This book addresses two historical mysteries. The first is the content and character of the fourth century BCE Greek works on the Persian Achaemenid Empire treatises called the Persica. The second is the method of work of the second century CE biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea (CE 45-120) who used these works to compose his biographies, in particular the Life of the Persian king Artaxerxes.

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Contents

1. Introduction

2. Ctesias (a)

3. Ctesias (b)

4. Deinon (a)

5. Deinon (b)

6. Heracleides, Excursus: Charon of Lampsacus

7. Conclusions

Appendix I: Two Notes on the Cypriot War

Appendix II: Plutarch, the Persica and the Regum et Imperatorum Apophthegmata

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Eran Almagor is the author of papers and chapters on the history of the Achaemenid Empire, its image in Greek literature (Ctesias in particular), and on Greek Imperial writers, particularly Strabo and Josephus. Among his major interests are the writings of Plutarch, especially the Lives and the reception of antiquity in modern popular culture.

Reviews

Almagor provides a sophisticated examination of Plutarch’s Artaxerxes and the biographer’s adaption of earlier writers of Persica, like Ctesias and Deinon, for his own literary and biographical ends, thereby enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the character and historical value of these lost works and Plutarch’s own compositional method.

- Craig Cooper, University of Lethbridge

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