Plutarch’s Unexpected Silences

Suppression and Selection in the Lives and Moralia


The act of recording anything is at the same time an act of silencing. Choices are made at every step about what to keep and what to discard. Examining what Plutarch has left out enriches our understanding of what he has chosen to say, and both deepens our knowledge of the literary practices of this influential writer and opens new and fruitful lines of enquiry about Plutarch, his work, and his world.

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Jeffrey Beneker, Ph.D. (2002) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He has published on ancient biography and Byzantine literature, including The Passionate Statesman (Oxford, 2012).
Craig Cooper, Ph.D. (1992) University of British Columbia, is a Professor of Classics at the University of Lethbridge. He has published on ancient Greek biography, rhetoric, and law, including Epigraphy and the Greek Historian (University of Toronto Press, 2008).
Noreen Humble, Ph.D. (1997) McMaster University, is Professor of Classics at the University of Calgary and Associate Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities. She is the editor of Plutarch’s Lives: Parallelism and Purpose (Classical Press of Wales, 2010).
Frances B. Titchener, Ph.D. (1988) University of Texas, Austin, is Professor of Classics and History at Utah State University. She has been a visiting scholar in Leuven and Rethymno, and co-edited numerous books, including the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Plutarch.
Contributors are: Eran Almagor, Colin Bailey, Frederick E. Brenk, Bernard Boulet, James T. Chlup, Brad L. Cook, Craig Cooper, Joseph Geiger, Chandra Giroux, Noreen Humble, Susan G. Jacobs, Michael Nerdahl, Charles W. Oughton, Christopher Pelling, Thomas C. Rose, Rex Stem.
Notes on Contributors

Jeffrey Beneker, Craig Cooper, Noreen Humble and Frances B. Titchener

Part 1 Silence and the Narrator

1 When Hermes Enters: Towards a Typology of the Silences of Plutarch’s Narrator and Their Uses in Characterization
Eran Almagor

2 Plutarch’s Narratorial Silences in the Dion
Michael Nerdahl

3 The Unspoken Bridge between Philosophy and Politics: Plutarch’s De genio Socratis
Bernard Boulet

Part 2 Silence as a Literary Technique

4 The Quiet Life: Silence in Plutarch’s Demetrius
Thomas Rose

5 Fine-Tuning Portraits in the Lives: Omissions That Clarify the Lessons in Leadership
Susan G. Jacobs

6 Plutarch’s Silence about the Relationship between Military Success and Political Virtue in Sulla and Caesar
Rex Stem

7 The Repulsae of Aemilius Paulus in Plutarch’s Aemilius
Colin Bailey

8 A Life in Pieces: Plutarch, Crassus 12.1–16.8
James T. Chlup

9 What about the Gold-Digging Ants? The Silences and Irony of Plutarch’s De Herodoti malignitate
Charles W. Oughton

Part 3 Silencing the Past and Present

10 Plutarch’s Avoidance of Philip V
Brad Cook

11 Silence of the Lions: Exploring Plutarch’s Omissions on Chaeronea
Chandra Giroux

12 What Your Best Friend Won’t Tell You: Thucydidean and Plutarchan Silences on Sicily
Christopher Pelling

13 Silencing Sparta
Noreen Humble

14 The Peek-a-Boo Presence of Aeschines in Plutarch’s Demosthenes
Craig Cooper

15 Plutarch on the Christians: Why So Silent? Ignorance, Indifference, or Indignity?
Frederick E. Brenk

16 Plutarch’s (Unexpected?) Silence on Jewish Monotheism
Joseph Geiger

University libraries, classicists, ancient historians, specialists in Plutarch, specialists in life-writing, including post-graduates in all these fields.
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