Tom Cox from grammaticus.co explores Plutarch’s Parallel Lives to introduce you to antiquity, encourage you in your education, or refresh your perspective on people and politics by stepping outside the news cycle. Biography invigorates the study of history by bringing it to life. Plutarch was the first master of this form, examining in a person the relationship between fortune, virtue, and excellence. Whether you just want to study antiquity from your armchair, sit at the feet of the greatest teachers of the West, or expand your own classical education, Plutarch’s Parallel Lives and the podcast are here to serve. Plutarch wrote almost 50 lives exploring the greatest leaders of the Greek and Roman world before Christ. His lives have been foundational to education for centuries, but they are often wrapped in the obscurity of older translations or bog the reader down with specific political and social terms from Athens or Rome. Let Tom translate the jargon and enliven the journey by outlining and explaining each essay encouraging you to dive in and learn from the teacher himself, or guide your students through his essays. Whether you learn or teach in a classroom or at home, join Plutarch—and Tom—in examining what it means to live well, by considering those who have lived before us.
Valerius Publius, aka Publicola, topples the tyrant Tarquin with Brutus and founds the Republic on better justice than the Roman kings had exercised. Like his parallel Solon, his obsession with justice makes him seek the happiness of his own people all the way to his death. Remembering Solon's examples of happiness, does Publicola die a happy man?
It is the happy fate of all good and just men to be praised more after they are dead than when they livedPlutarch, Life of Numa 22Parallel - LycurgusImportant PeoplePythagoras - the Greek philosopher and mystic mathematician who lived on the southern...
Agoge - Lycurgus Part 2
The Agōgē (ἀγωγή) [16-19]Those Laconic Spartans [19-21]Military Maneuvers [22-24]Education never stops [24-25Blessing of scholēFreedom and restraintPolitical SetupHow someone elected to Gerousia Over 60Group of candidates selectedAssembly called,...
Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus up through his major legal reforms but not including the Agoge or the Gerousia
Romulus founded a city in unpromising circumstances that would later come to rule an empire on three continents unrivaled in power or prestige until the British Empire of the 19th-century. Plutarch takes us back to the beginning to understand the roots of greatness.
Although Theseus never actually existed, Plutarch, in documenting his life, wants to cull important lessons for Greeks and Romans. Just as Theseus wrestles with villains threatening civilization, Plutarch forces his readers to grapple with the role of...
Who needs Plutarch when you have Cox?
I love this podcast. I already loved Plutarch, and maybe being familiar with a lot of the characters before you read Plutarch is just the thing you need to be able to read Plutarch more enjoyably—maybe the hardest part about reading some difficult texts is all the names one doesn’t know. Cox takes that difficulty away. He helps you to know which curious details are important, and which need not burden your conscious attention for now…so that you can get on to the business of reading Plutarch. The only problem is the temptation to be satisfied with one of his podcasts, and the danger of not going on to read the texts!
This podcast has proved to be beyond helpful for my studies! I’m a history major with a Classical Europe paper to write over Plutarch, and this podcast has made his writings so much easier to grasp and appreciate for me. Thank you so much for making these episodes!!
Exactly what I’m looking for
I love learning about the ancient world and podcasts like this one are the reason why. Tom takes the complex timelines, characters, and themes present in Plutarch’s Lives and presents them in a way that is both engaging and inspiring. Ten stars. Please pick another Latin classic to do once you finish Lives.