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Plutarch

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Among the most prominent philosophers in history, Plutarch , was an icon for art, science and the modern world. He was a mathematician, writer, politician and artist who made trips in search of acquiring wisdom in different regions such as Rome, Asia, among others to acquire a life of thoughts and works that he reflects in his adventures.

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  • When he was born:  AD 45
  • Where he was born:  Queronea, Greece
  • When he died:  AD 127
  • Where he died:  Delphi, Greece

Who was Plutarco?

Plutarco, was a man of wisdom who handled versatility in the knowledge of philosophical arts, he studied at the Academy of mathematics and philosophy , however, if something marked the life of this character were the different trips he made throughout his life. Career as an artist, whether of a scientific or cultural nature, developing as a great historian or with faculties and diplomatic character, as prosecutor of the province of Acaya .

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  • Biography of Plutarco
  • Thought
  • Plutarco’s contributions
  • Importance
  • Plays
  • Plutarch phrases

Biography of Plutarco

Plutarch was  born into  an aristocratic family  in the city of Queronea  in the Boeotia region , between the years 45 and 50 AD. The exact year of his birth is unknown, everything he tells about his biography  is because he himself reflects it in some of his most outstanding works, such as the name of his great-grandfather Nicarco  when he recounts the consequences left by the battle of Accio , his  grandfather, Lamprias  who makes reference in the after-dinner talks and of his own father, Autobulo  and his passion for the hunt.  

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He had two brothers, Lamprias who was a priest and Timon . In his full youth, he made trips for cultural reasons where he would visit places as old as Asia Minor and Alexandria as diplomats.

He always had a connection with philosophy and a new movement of the time called Second Sophistics , whose location was in Esmerina , a city that he may have visited.

Another of his trips that marked a great influence on Plutarch was  his arrival in Rome, the Empire surprised him and enchanted him  so much; That is how his knowledge allowed him to serve as an interlocutor between the Greeks and Rome.

Little by little he made achievements with a name and high prestige that led him to positions of great importance as Priest of the Delphic oracle. 

Thanks to one of his great life ties, his friend, Lucio Maestrio Floro ,  obtained Roman citizenship.

Despite all his travels, Plutarch always  preferred to reside in the city of his origin  in Queronea, where his entire family had lived eons ago and became the place  where he died of old age, around 120 AD.

Thought

From the 1st century AD, the intellectual currents found themselves at a concrete peak for the development of a new current of thought , based on the ideology of Plutarch. This new trend was called Middle Platonism and it served as a guide between the philosophy of the academy and Neoplatonism , we have Plutarch as a representative figure.

With average Platonism we can reach, through philosophical meditation, to converse with God, what would sooner be called ecstasy .

This philosophical current describes the why and how of things, placing God as the maximum expression of “goodness” and defining human beings themselves as “evil.”

Plutarco’s contributions

  • He brought philosophy a more political, social and cultural context.
  • In his works, he expresses the transculturation between different regions and civilizations.
  • He developed through art, a new concept on ethics and diplomacy in Rome.
  • Being a priest, he served as an interlocutor between the Greeks and the Romans.

Importance

As a philosopher, Plutarco stressed the importance of values ​​and the integrity of the human being in his actions, despite all beliefs, he had a firm ideology about God and humanity that he expressed quite clearly in one of his quotes: “Enjoy all pleasures are foolish; avoid them, insensitive ” . This reflects a personal interpretation that expresses that in moderation is virtue. In his many other works, there are sublime approaches to spirituality, divinity, energy, and intellectual development through philosophy.

Plays

Despite having multiple responsibilities as a priest and as his possible political commitments: his most fervent passion was always writing and his most relevant works were: 

Parallel lives

It is the life related of 23 pairs of characters of great importance both Roman and Greek. This story was grouped in pairs in order to make comparisons of one figure and another, all from a different culture.

Moralia: Moral and Custom Works

78 treatises where Platonic- type discussions are compiled , always using philosophy as a resource to express his rhetorical-type ethical discourses.

Moralia was not the name of the work of Plutarch, but the name that the Byzantine monk Planudes in the thirteenth century to his collection of scattered texts.

Plutarch phrases

  • “Friendship is a pet, not herd”.
  • “The patience has more power than the force”.
  • “An army of deer led by a lion is much more fearsome than an army of lions led by a deer.”
  • . “Many things are those that time heals, not those that reason agrees.”
  • “The brain is not a glass to fill, but a lamp to light.”
  • “Sometimes a joke, an anecdote, an insignificant moment, they paint us an illustrious man better than the greatest feats or the bloodiest battles.
  • “There are husbands so unjust that they demand from their wives a fidelity that they themselves violate, they resemble generals who cowardly flee from the enemy, who nevertheless want their soldiers to hold their position with courage.”
  • “Hatred is a tendency to take advantage of all occasions to harm others.”
  • “I don’t need friends who change when I change and agree when I agree. My shadow does it much better ”.
  • Enjoying all pleasures is foolish; avoid them, insensitive ”.
  • “A people that wants to be happy has no need for conquests.”
  • “The death of young people constitutes a shipwreck. The old man’s is a dock in the port ”.
  • “An authority that is based on terror, violence, oppression, is at the same time a shame and an injustice.”
  • “True friendship seeks three things: virtue, for being honest; dialogue, as a delight; and utility , as a necessity ”.
  • “We have to live, and not just exist.”

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