Lives. Vol 2 PDF õ Lives. Vol MOBI :↠


Lives. Vol 2 ❄ [EPUB] ✼ Lives. Vol 2 By Plutarch ➝ – Thomashillier.co.uk Plutarch defined for all ages the character of Greek and Roman moral identity He studied what constitutes the best in a human being, and which, in turn, determines a person s role in the world Blendin Plutarch defined for all ages the character of Greek and Roman moral identity He studied what constitutes the best in a human being, and which, in turn, determines a person s role in the world Blending history and biography, Plutarch evokes the characters of great leaders in history He systematically pairs a Greek with a Roman, Lives. Vol MOBI :↠ comparing characters and lives with similar careers so as to serve his particular goal of moral instruction In vivid prose, he describes the awesome spectacle of the actions of men of enormous desires and ambitions responding to impossible situations.


10 thoughts on “Lives. Vol 2

  1. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our daysPlutarch Vol 2., includes the following micro biographies and comparisons Sertorius v EumenesAgesilaus v PompeyAlexander C sar Phocion Cato the YoungerAgis Cleomenes v Tiberius Gracchus Caius GracchusDemosthenes v CiceroDemetrius v AntonyDion v Marcus BrutusAratus ArtaxerxesGalba OthoProbably the best summary description of this book was written by PlutaTo be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our daysPlutarch Vol 2., includes the following micro biographies and comparisons Sertorius v EumenesAgesilaus v PompeyAlexander C sar Phocion Cato the YoungerAgis Cleomenes v Tiberius Gracchus Caius GracchusDemosthenes v CiceroDemetrius v AntonyDion v Marcus BrutusAratus ArtaxerxesGalba OthoProbably the best summary description of this book was written by Plutarch himself, so why re invent the wheel It was for the sake of others that I first commenced writing biographies but I find myself proceeding and attaching myself to it for my own the virtues of these great men serving me as a sort of looking glass, in which I may see how to adjust and adorn my own life Indeed, it can be compared to nothing but daily living and associating together we receive, as it were, in our inquiry, and entertain each successive guest, view Their stature and their qualities, and select from their actions all that is noblest and worthiest to know Ah, and what greater pleasure could one have or, whateffective means to one s moral improvement Democritus tells us we ought to pray that of the phantasms appearing in the circumambient air, such may present themselves to us as are propitious, and that we may rather meet with those that are agreeable to our natures and are good, than the evil and unfortunate which is simply introducing into philosophy a doctrine untrue in itself, and leading to endless superstitions My method, on the contrary, is, by the study of history, and by the familiarity acquired in writing, to habituate my memory to receive and retain images of the best and worthiest characters I thus am enabled to free myself from any ignoble, base, or vicious impressions, contracted from the contagion of ill company that I may be unavoidably engaged in, by the remedy of turning my thoughts in a happy and calm temper to view these noble examples. Plutarch, Lives Not all the biographies in Vol 2 are comparisons or said better, some are comparedand others are simply paralleled


  2. Daniel Chaikin Daniel Chaikin says:

    It s not a good thing when I m disappointed I read a book This, of course, isn t a bad book It s a special relic, full historical details that are only captured here, or at least that are captured only here in this way, from this quirky 1900 year old perspective The cumulative impact of all these lives is a multifaceted view of a few key points in classical history the rise and fall of the Greeks and their experimental governments, including the chaos that was the Athenian democracy, and th It s not a good thing when I m disappointed I read a book This, of course, isn t a bad book It s a special relic, full historical details that are only captured here, or at least that are captured only here in this way, from this quirky 1900 year old perspective The cumulative impact of all these lives is a multifaceted view of a few key points in classical history the rise and fall of the Greeks and their experimental governments, including the chaos that was the Athenian democracy, and the formation, tumultuous history and death of the Roman Republic, which faded into empire The Greeks may come across a little tired and done over, but the leading characters in the later Roman Republic are fresh and come together to create a memorable synergy from all these full distinct enlarged egos colliding, with winners, losers, violent consequences, upper class purges, some fascinating compatibilities, and ultimately the pulsing heart, the dedication to this Republic found most deeply in those who lost it It s easy to look on this, look at what Cato the Younger failed to do, and wonder at the reflection in our own times, and it s not a comforting thought Plutarch was a Greek scholar who toured Rome and the empire and most likely taught his sort of middle Platonic philosophy, who never mastered Latin, yet who took copious notes and who then retired back in Greece and began to write works in Greek that spread widely and are still around The existing lives it seems some are lost are paired prominent Romans and Greeks with similar life trajectories A lot of these characters are pretty obscure, but he captures the main names For those who like ancient Greece, the lives of the great Athenians Themistocles, Pericles, and Alcibiades are captured, and criticized, along with some lesser ones like Aristides, Cimon and Nicias And Lysander, the Spartan who eventually defeated Athens Plutarch throws in Theseus, Lycurgus, and Solon for foundations, and Pelopidas because he co led the Theban revolt against Sparta, leading the all gay army of lovers, the Theban Sacred Band The ancient Romans get covered too, from Romulus through the Punic wars Odd names like Poplicola and Coriolanus or Cato the Elder show up Publius, the name signed to the Federalist Papers, references Poplicola, as he helped found the Roman Republic But Roman history really comes alive first through the civil wars between Marius and Sulla around 80 bce , and then through the personalities involves in the death to the Republic The members of the first triumvirate, Crassus, Pompey and Julius Caesar, each get a long chapter Their counters in the Senate, the failed heroes of the Republic, Cato the Younger, Cicero and Brutus, make the best chapters in the book This Cato the younger, who committed suicide rather than surrender to Caesar, was for me the most distinctive and memorable character here Of course, there is also Plutarch s famous take on Mark Antony and his dramas with Cleopatra, which led to a Shakespeare s play Three Shakespeare plays come from Plutarch Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra Plutarch captures something of the memories of these larger than life personalities A happy Julius Caesar who liked everyone, even his enemies, and who, upon Cicero s surrender, walked with him chatting amiably, leaves an impression of the clubby Roman upper class As does the old man, Galba, another happy well liked general who might not hesitate to condemn thousands to death, and who yet managed only about week alive in Rome as emperor before he was dispatched Or Pompey the Great who was living it up so well and in such control of Rome yet found himself caught off guard, completely unprepared, when Caesar crossed the Rubicon And Plutarch captures the chaos of these eras There was never any peace in Athenian democracy or its empire, or in the Roman Republic where senators would murder political enemies, or, so things evolved, where senators were killed in the hundreds in mass political purges, called proscriptions by which Cicero fell And, new to me, was the chaos left behind by the death of Alexander the Great Asia was left with power vacuums filled inadequately by warlords at the mercy of their fickle armies And Greece was left with no dominant power, and it seems everyone fought everyone, desperately and constantly, often with both sides of a battle funded by the same nearby Mediterranean power.So, it s not a bad book, actually it s a gem, but it s a tough read It s already a massive amount of data, but Plutarch makes it thicker, leaving the reader flooded in endless detail Reading means wading through rumors and counter rumors and strange prophecies predicting everything It s tough to every gain any speed or momentum, only a slow inertia allowed me to slowly pass through It s a disappointing because it was work Whatever the enjoyment, and there was some, it was far less than the reward After four months of exhausted reading, 1481 pages at 3 to 4 minutes a page, I m putting this down thinking only, thank goodness, and good riddance Maybe I ll feel differently later on 29 Plutarch s lives, The Dryden Translation, Volume 2 by edited by Arthur Hugh Cloughwritten c 120 cetranslation 1683 and not by Dryden editing and notes 1859format 696 page paperbackacquired Decemberread May 4 Jun 27time reading 42 hr 32 min, 3.7 min pagerating 2


  3. LydiaMae LydiaMae says:

    After reading some part of the history of Alexander, Caesar sat a great while very thoughtful, and at last burst into tears His friends were surprised and asked him the reason for it Do you think, he said I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable same bro same I read certain chapters from this book designated for my school assignments I did not read the whole book sAfter reading some part of the history of Alexander, Caesar sat a great while very thoughtful, and at last burst into tears His friends were surprised and asked him the reason for it Do you think, he said I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable same bro same I read certain chapters from this book designated for my school assignments I did not read the whole book start to finish


  4. Caroline Caroline says:

    I have chosen rather to epitomize the most celebrated parts of their story, than to insist at large on every particular circumstance of it It must be borne in mind that my design is not to write histories, but lives And the most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men sometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or a jest, informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the most famous sieges, the greatest armaments, o I have chosen rather to epitomize the most celebrated parts of their story, than to insist at large on every particular circumstance of it It must be borne in mind that my design is not to write histories, but lives And the most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men sometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or a jest, informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the most famous sieges, the greatest armaments, or the bloodiest battle whatsoever Therefore as portrait painters areexact in the lines and features of the face, in which the character is seen, than in the other parts of the body, so I must be allowed to give myparticular attention to the marks and indications of the souls of men, and while I endeavor by these to portray their lives, may be free to leaveweighty matters and great battlesl to be treated of by others.This quote is from the opening of the life of Alexander, whom Plutarch compares to Caesar It is true that Plutarch leaves out much of the detail of Alexander s and Caesar s campaigns as presented by Arrian and by Caesar himself, but he s pretty exhaustive on many other individuals Read straight through, one battle can bleed into the next But the genius of Plutarch as a historian of ancient times is that he keeps treating the same events from the perspective of different participants Thus you gradually build up an understanding of the events through repetition in the same way that you get a 360 view of yourself in a three way mirror Chief among the topics that he treats from these differing viewpoints are the Roman Civil Wars and the disputes among the various Greek states.I quickly began to consider Plutarch mainly as the instructor of generations of English schoolboys on the subjects of honor, courage, strategy, perfidy, forms of government, statesmanship, negotiation, leadership, civilization , political economy, oratory, women, a stiff upper lip, and dozens of other topics As these Greeks and Romans criss crossed the known world, I imagined later Englishmen remembering these lessons as they traveled, traded, negotiated, and fought in Gaul , north Africa, Afghanistan, Persia, and so on They would have remembered hundreds of examples of generals who didn t think that the enemy would undertake a certain course of action, and were caught off guard They would have remembered others who trusted where they shouldn t They would have remembered those who won glory that lasted to their own day by marching to certain death.But, those schoolboys also learned that glory sometimes required ruthless decisions and that these Greek and Roman civilized men slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes with compunction but with little regret if the enemy were barbarians All to conquer territory, only sometimes to defend their own land This book is surely at least part of the source of the thirst for empire In the same side of the balance belongs Plutarch s almost exclusive portrayal of the people as fickle, irresponsible, and susceptible to the persuasion of every demagogue.Some segments are case studies in the wages of sin or folly, such as Anthony s infatuation with Cleopatra or the incestuous and nepotistic goings on in Artaxerxes court Yet other segments give you the perfect arcane name to apply to an acquaintance or celebrity who is the epitome of, say, righteous and rigid morality Cato is the man Of course one has heard of Cato, but this will communicate what a pain in the rear he must have been to be around The two aspects of the book, the various perspectives on the same events and the wide variety of types of events characters, are what make such a long work, work Also interesting throughout is Plutarch s attitude toward divination and the Gods Sometimes he seems to castigate those who believe in reading the innards of a sacrifice victim at other times he seems quite serious in drawing the reader s attention to portents and the Gods directing the outcome of events.This was a multi month listening project I definitely drifted off occasionally during battle passages the Demetrius segment seemed endless , but the anecdotes make up much of the book and always pull you back into the work In each portrait Plutarch has a section where he gathers a number of short exchanges or quotes, often quite funny, that give you the essence of the character of the man Again and again you will say to yourself, Oh, that s where that saying or story comes from And Dryden s skill shows in the little poetic snippets of ancient plays and poems sprinkled throughout For example, in discussing how Crassus, Pompey and Caesar could not be content with simply governing their shares of the gigantic Roman Empire, Plutarch cites some poetry they knew and had read which Dryden renders The gods, when they divided out twixt three,This massive universe, heaven, hell, and sea,Each one sat down contented on his throne,And undisturbed each god enjoys his own,


  5. Robert Sheppard Robert Sheppard says:

    WHAT EVERY EDUCATED CITIZEN OF THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW IN THE 21ST CENTURY THE GREAT HISTORIANS OF WORLD HISTORY HERODTODUS, THUCYDIDES, SIMA QIAN, IBN KHALDUN, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE MONGOLS, JULIUS CAESAR, PLUTARCH, LIVY, POLYBIUS, TACITUS, GIBBON, MARX, SPENGLER TOYNBEE FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR IN CHIEF Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it is an apt admonition to us WHAT EVERY EDUCATED CITIZEN OF THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW IN THE 21ST CENTURY THE GREAT HISTORIANS OF WORLD HISTORY HERODTODUS, THUCYDIDES, SIMA QIAN, IBN KHALDUN, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE MONGOLS, JULIUS CAESAR, PLUTARCH, LIVY, POLYBIUS, TACITUS, GIBBON, MARX, SPENGLER TOYNBEE FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR IN CHIEF Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it is an apt admonition to us all from George Santayana, who, in his The Life of Reason, echoed the similar earlier words of the conservative philosopher Edmund Burke But the great histories and historians of World History bring us farthan events of nations, chronicles of the Rise and Fall of Civilizations, or lessons and precedents from the past they also constitute a fundamental part of World Literature, bringing us great reading experiences and exciting sagas as in Thucydides History of the Peloponesian War, in depth portraits and readings of the character of great men and shapers of the world as in Plutarch s Parallel Lives and China s Records of the Grand Historian by Si Ma Chen, and deep philosophical and scientific insights into the workings of human society its environment as revealed in the panoramic visions of great Islamic historian Ibn Khaldun, Karl Marx, Oswald Spengler and Sir Arnold Toynbee As such, in our modern globalized world of the 21st century, where not only our own history, but also the interrelated histories of all of nations show so clearly that the past is always present, and therefore every educated citizen of the modern world has an obligation to read the great works of history from all major civilizations to even begin comprehending the living world about us and the ultimate meaning of our own lives.WHAT WAS THE FIRST WORK OF HISTORY IN THE WORLD If to begin our survey we put the daunting threshold question of what was the firs work of history in human experience, like most radical questions we will find that the answer all depends on how we put the question and define its terms History undoubtedly began with the campfire stories of Neolithic man about families, tribes and conflicts far before the invention of writing Histories were passed down in oral sagas memorized by poets such as Homer s Iliad and Odyssey, and only centuries later recorded in script But true history begins with works of systematic analysis and interpretation of human events, and in that light the general consensus is that the first great work of World History was that of the Greek historian Herodtodus in the 5th Century BC, The Histories HERODTODUS, AUTHOR OF THE HISTORIES Herodtodus 5th Century BC is thus often referred to as The Father of History, a title conferred upon him by Cicero amoung others, but also disparagingly as The Father of Lies by some of his critics He was born in Halicarnassus, a Greek city which had become part of the Persian Empire that enjoyed strong trade relations with Egypt He travelled widely, spending time in Periclian Athens, Egypt, Persia and Italy and collected histories, tales and historical lore wherever he traveled, noting the customs of the people, the major wars and state events and the religions and lore of the people He wrote in a folksy style and purported to record whatever was told to him, which led to critics deploring some of the tall tales or mythical accounts in his work, but which Herodtodus himself said he included without judgment to their ultimate truth to illustrate the historical beliefs of the peoples he encountered His primary focus was to explain the history and background of the Persian War between the Greeks and the Persian Empire, though he also included cultural observations of other peoples such as the Egyptians His Histories is entertaining and interesting, though somewhat voluminous and scattered for the modern reader unfamiliar with the context THUCYDIDES, MASTER OF REPORTORIAL AND EYEWITNESS HISTORYThucydides 460 395 BC is most remembered for his epic History of the Peloponnesian War of Greece which recounts the struggle for supremacy and survival between the enlightened commercial empire of Athens and its reactionary opponent Sparta, which ended in the defeat of the Athenians His approach and goal in writing was completely different from Herodtodus, as he was himself a General in the wars he wrote about and set out to provide the inside story of eyewitnesses and personal accounts of the major participants in the great events of their history so that their characters, understanding, strategies and actions could be closely judged, especially for the purpose of educating future statesmen and leaders This approach was later shared by Polybius in his The Rise of the Roman Empire As acontemporary history it is oftenexciting to read, and establishes the tradition followed by Livy and others of including the key speeches of the leaders in war council, the inside story of their schemes and motivations, and rousing tales of the ups and downs of fast moving battles It contains such classics such as Pericles Funeral Speech for the ballen war heroes reminiscent of Lincoln s Gettysburg address It is a must for those seeking to understand Classical Greece and a rich and exciting read SIMA QIAN, AND THE RECORDS OF THE GRAND HISTORIAN OF HAN DYNASTY CHINASima Qian Szu Ma Chien 145 86 BC is regarded as the greatest historian of China s long and florid history and his personal tragedy is also held up as an example of intellectual martyrdom and integrity in the face of power He like his father was the chief astrologer astronomer and historian of the Han Imperial Court under Emperor Wu His epic history Records of the Grand Historian sought to summarize all of Chinese history up to his time when the Han Dynasty Empire was a rival in size and power to that of Imperial Rome He lived and wrote about the same time as Polybius, author of The Rise of the Roman Empire, and like him he wrote from the vantage point of a newly united empire having overcome centuries of waring strife to establish a unified and powerful domain In style, his history has some of the character of Plutarch in his Lives in that it often focuses on intimate character portraits of such great men as Qin Shi Huang Di, the unifier and First Emperor of China, and many others It also contains rich and varied accounts of topic areas such as music, folk arts, literature, economics, calendars, science and others He was the chief formulator of the primary Chinese theory of the rise and fall of imperial dynasties known as the Mandate of Heaven Like the theory of the Divine Right of Kings, its premise was that Emperors and their dynasties were installed on earth by the divine will of heaven and continued so long as the rulers were morally upright and uncorrupted However, over centuries most dynasties would suffer corruption and decline, finally resulting in Heaven choosing anothervirtuous dynasty to displace them when they had forfeited the Mandate of Heaven, a kind of Social Contract with the divine rather than with mankind Then, this cycle would repeat itself over the millennia His personal life was occasioned by tragedy due to his intellectual honesty in the Li Ling Affair Two Chinese generals were sent to the north to battle the fierce Xiongnu hordes against whom the Great Wall was constructed, Li Ling and the brother in law of the Emperor They met disaster and their armies were annihilated, ending in the capture of both Everyone at Court blamed the disaster on Li Ling in order to exonerate the Emperor s relative, but Sima Qian, out of respect for Li Ling s honor disagreed publicly and was predictably sentenced to death by Emperor Wu A noble like Sima Qian could have his death sentence commuted by payment of a large fine or castration but since he was a poor scholar he could not afford the fine Thus, in 96 BC, on his release from prison, Sima chose to endure castration and live on as a palace eunuch to fulfill his promise to his father to complete his histories, rather than commit suicide as was expected of a gentleman scholar As Sima Qian himself explained in his famous Letter to Ren An If even the lowest slave and scullion maid can bear to commit suicide, why should not one like myself be able to do what has to be done But the reason I have not refused to bear these ills and have continued to live, dwelling in vileness and disgrace without taking my leave, is that I grieve that I have things in my heart which I have not been able to express fully, and I am shamed to think that after I am gone my writings will not be known to posterity Too numerous to record are the men of ancient times who were rich and noble and whose names have yet vanished away It is only those who were masterful and sure, the truly extraordinary men, who are still remembered I too have ventured not to be modest but have entrusted myself to my useless writings I have gathered up and brought together the old traditions of the world which were scattered and lost I have examined the deeds and events of the past and investigated the principles behind their success and failure, their rise and decay, in one hundred and thirty chapters I wished to examine into all that concerns heaven and man, to penetrate the changes of the past and present, completing all as the work of one family But before I had finished my rough manuscript, I met with this calamity It is because I regretted that it had not been completed that I submitted to the extreme penalty without rancor When I have truly completed this work, I shall deposit it in the Famous Mountain If it may be handed down to men who will appreciate it, and penetrate to the villages and great cities, then though I should suffer a thousand mutilations, what regret should I have Sima Qian JULIUS CAESAR HISTORY AS AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND AUTOMYTHOLOGYJulius Caesar was famous for writing accounts of his own military campaigns, most notably in his History of the Gallic Wars Curiously, he writes of himself in the third person Though a personal history, his writing contains little introspection or deep analytical thought and is rather the action drama of the campaign, with special care to show his own personal courage and leadership Before the 20th century most European schoolboys would read the work as part of their efforts to learn Latin in Grammar School Later famous leaders such as Winston Churchill also followed in Caesar s tradition in writing history alonside making it, for which he received the Nobel Prize Caesar s work is worth reading and exciting in parts, though sometimes becoming repetitive in the minutiae of the endless conflicts THE GREAT ROMAN HISTORIES LIVY, POLYBIUS, TACITUS, SEUTONIUS AND AMMIANUS MARCELLINUSThe thousand year history of the Roman Republic and Empire can be gleaned from these five great historians in the order presented For the earliest history of the founding of the Roman Republic from the 6th 4th Centuries BC Livy 59BC 17 AD in his Ab Urbe Condita Libri From the Founding of the City is the best source, tracing the saga from the tale of Aeneas fleeing from fallen Troy to the Rape of the Sabine Women, Romulus Remus, the tyranical Tarquin Kings, the Founding of the Republic, the evolution of the Roman Constitution and up to the sack of the city by the Gauls in the 4th Century BC Though ancient history is presumed to be boring, I surprisingly found Livy s account surprisingly lively, almost a can t put down read Polybius 200 118 BC then picks up the story in his The Rise of the Roman Empire tracing the three Punic Wars with Carthage, Hannibal s campaign over the Alps and Rome s entanglement with the collapsing Greek Empire of Seleucis, Macedon and the Ptolmeys until attaining supremacy over the entire Mediterranean Polybius is a surprisingly modern historian who saw as his challenge to write a universal history similar to that of our age of Globalization in which previously separate national histories became united in a universal field of action with integrated causes and effects He was a Greek who was arrested and taken to Rome and then became intimate with the highest circles of the Roman Senate and a mentor to the Scipio family of generals He like Thucydides then attempts to tell the inside story of how Rome rose to universal dominance in its region, and how all the parts of his world became interconnected in their power relations Tacitus 56 117 AD continues the story after the fall of the Republic and rise of the Roman Empire under the emperors Along with his contemporary Seutonius who published his History of the Twelve Caesars in 121 AD, he tells of the founding of the Empire under Julius Caesar, the Civil Wars of Augustus involving Mark Anthony Cleopatra, the Augustan Golden Age and the descent into unbelievable corruption, degeneration, homicidal and sexual madness and excess under Caligula and Nero, followed by a return to decency under Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius The endstory of the Roman Empire is reflected in Ammianus Marcellinus 395 391 AD who wrote in the time of Julian the Apostate who unsuccessfully tried to shake off Christianity and restore the old pagan and rationalist traditions of Classical Greece and Rome PLUTARCH, THE GREAT HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHERPlutarch 46 120 AD is most famous for his historical biographies in Parallel Lives or simply Lives He was, like Polybius, a Greek scholar who wished to open understanding between the Greek and Roman intellectual communities His Parallel Lives consists of character portraits and life histories of matching pairs of great Greeks and great Romans such as Alexander and Caesar, hoping to enhance appreciation of the greatness of each Much of Shakespeare s knowledge of the classical world reflected in his plays such as Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus came from reading Plutarch in translation His character analyses are always insightful and engaging to read His biographical method was also used by the great near contemporary Sima Qian of Han Dynasty China IBN KHALDUN, ISLAMIC PIONEER OF MODERN HISTORY, SOCIOLOGY AND ECONOMICSOne of the blind spots in our appreciation of World History is the underappreciation of the contributions of Ibn Khaldun 1332 1406 and many other Islamic and non Western thinkers, including Rash d al D n Fadhl all h Hamad n 1247 1318 , a Persian physician of Jewish origin, polymathic writer and historian, who wrote an enormous Islamic history, the Jami al Tawarikh, in the Persian language, and Ala iddin Ata Malik Juvayni 1226 1283 a Persian historian who wrote an account of the Mongol Empire entitled Ta r kh i jah n gush History of the World Conqueror Of these Ibn Khaldun was the greatest and a theoretical forerunner of our modern approaches to history, far ahead of his time and little appreciated in either the Western or the Islamic world until recently His greatest work is the The Muqaddimah known as the Prolegomena in which he anticipated some of the themes of Marx in tracing the importance of the influence of economics on history, including the conflict between the economic classes of the nomadic pastoral and herding peoples, the settled agriculturalists and the rising urban commercial class Like Marx he stressed the importance of the economic surplus of the agricultural revolution and the value added of manufacture, which allowed the rise of the urban, military and administrative classes and division of labor He stressed the unity of the social system across culture, religion, economics and tradition He even anticipated some of the themes of Darwin and evolution, tracing human progress in its First Stage of Man from the world of the monkeys towards civilization Toynbee called the Muqaddimah the greatest work of genius of a single mind relative to its time and place ever produced in world history THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE MONGOL EMPIRE The Secret History of the Mongol Empire was precisely that, a private history written for the family of Ghengis Khan recording its rise and expansion from Ghengis Khan s humble personal origin to an empire stretching from China to Poland and Egypt Its author is unknown but it contains an engaging account of the Khanate, the royal family and its traditions and the incredible expansion of its domain While not a theoretical work it provides a useful missing link in our understanding of the Mongol Empire as a beginning stage of modern Globalization and a conduit for sharing between civilizations, East and West, and, unfortunatelyh for the transmission of the Black Plague across the world THE GREAT MODERNS GIBBON, MARX, SPENGLER TOYNBEEThe must read classics of modern World History include the work of Edward Gibbon The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which traces its fall to a decline in civic virtue, decayed morals and effeminacy amoung the public and the debilitating effects of Christianity vis a vis the rationalism of the Greek Roman heritage Marx, of course is central to modern history, not only formulating the laws of social development based on economics, class conflict and the transition from agricultural to capitalist economies, but also formulating the revolutionary program of Communism Oswald Spengler was a remarkable German amateur historian whose Decline of the West traced a theory of organic civilizations that have a birth, blossoming, limited lifespan and death like all living creatures He held this to be a cyclical universal historical process of civilizations now exemplified by the West entering the stage of spiritual exhaustion and collaps in warfare Arnold Toynbee charted a similar process analyzing 26 civilizaitons across all human history, but differed with Spengler in that he believed moral reform and a return to Christian ethics could revive the West and forestall its decline SPIRITUS MUNDI AND WORLD HISTORYIn my own work, the epic contemporary and futurist novel Spiritus Mundi World History plays a central role as various characters such as Professor Riviera in the Mexico City Chapter and Prof Verhoven of the Africa chapters discourse on human history, evolution, evolutionary biology and the rise of civilization, culminating with the quest of the protagonists led by Sartorius to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly for global democracy, a globalized version of the EU Parliament as a new organ of the United Nations World Literature Forum invites you to check out the great historians of World History and World Literature, and also the contemporary epic novel Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard, one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World Literature For Discussions on World Literature and n Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi SheppardEditor in ChiefWorld Literature ForumAuthor, Spiritus Mundi NovelAuthor s Blog Mundi on Goodreads Mundi on , Book I Mundi, Book II The Romance Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved


  6. Scott Scott says:

    This book reads like a dry data dump of biographical information, because on the surface that is precisely what it is People have compared Plutarch to Shakespeare and I cannot begin to fathom why this might be Shakespeare s intent was to entertain while Plutarch s wasto deliver moral messages Neither strictly intended to portray historical figures as accurately as possible.The stories themselves do often have humor in them, but it s mostly lost in translation Others have found this sam This book reads like a dry data dump of biographical information, because on the surface that is precisely what it is People have compared Plutarch to Shakespeare and I cannot begin to fathom why this might be Shakespeare s intent was to entertain while Plutarch s wasto deliver moral messages Neither strictly intended to portray historical figures as accurately as possible.The stories themselves do often have humor in them, but it s mostly lost in translation Others have found this same work to be extremely funny, but it just isn t my thing Each to their own


  7. Jeremy Jeremy says:

    Plutarch does for biography what Herodotus does for history He organizes it into a coherent narrative, blending specific examples of a person s known conduct with a wide variety of secondary information, some of which is obviously hearsay, all in an attempt to roughly nail down a series of individuals The mini biography format is actually pretty original and each one is easily digestable in an hour or two He s obviously still very concerned with classical virtues and ideals, which do color th Plutarch does for biography what Herodotus does for history He organizes it into a coherent narrative, blending specific examples of a person s known conduct with a wide variety of secondary information, some of which is obviously hearsay, all in an attempt to roughly nail down a series of individuals The mini biography format is actually pretty original and each one is easily digestable in an hour or two He s obviously still very concerned with classical virtues and ideals, which do color the writing in ways which can oftento verge on propoganda I think of this asof a good reference book to dip into occasionalyl as opposed to something you just read cover to cover at one time


  8. Cooper Cooper says:

    Although Plutarch may not be the most accurate historian or the most interesting one, his Lives have been the textbook for great men and women throughout history and should be required reading if only for the sake of cultural literacy.


  9. John Yelverton John Yelverton says:

    This was an absolutely amazing read as Plutarch takes a Grecian and Roman hero though he does break this pattern with Artaxerxes who lived similar lives or dealt with similar situations, presents the reader with their biography, and then compares the two subjects Like the first volume, this makes for absolutely fascinating and enriching reading.


  10. Barry Barry says:

    We owe much of our current understanding of the ancients Caesar, Alexander, Antony, Cleopatra, Cicero, etc to Plutarch, whose approach was not strict biography as we ve come to expect, but a moralistic rendering of parallel lives of the Greek and Roman titans of their time Fascinating.


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