Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 34 items for

  • Author or Editor: Frederick E. Brenk x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

Abstract

An examination of the Roman Questions reveals that Plutarch usually employs Roman answers for Roman “questions,” while Greek answers are normally given as corroboration for the solution based on Roman culture. However, of the 113 Roman Questions, only 28 answers seem to be based on Greek customs or religion. A rough count, then, of the Roman Questions gives 119 answers based on Roman culture (some “questions” with more than one answer) and only 11, or around 10 %, based on Greek culture, while 102 answers are neutral. Moreover, unlike the Roman Questions, most Greek Questions allow a precise factual answer, usually from myth-history or knowledge of the local religion. On at least two occasions in the Roman Questions, Plutarch rejects solutions offered by Greek authors (e.g. at 288E–F, 290C). Some examples will illustrate these points. The confirmatory Greek answers may indicate a preference for Greek paideia, but Plutarch did not contemplate the world through uniquely Greek spectacles.

In: A Man of Many Interests: Plutarch on Religion, Myth, and Magic

Abstract

An examination of the Roman Questions reveals that Plutarch usually employs Roman answers for Roman “questions,” while Greek answers are normally given as corroboration for the solution based on Roman culture. However, of the 113 Roman Questions, only 28 answers seem to be based on Greek customs or religion. A rough count, then, of the Roman Questions gives 119 answers based on Roman culture (some “questions” with more than one answer) and only 11, or around 10 %, based on Greek culture, while 102 answers are neutral. Moreover, unlike the Roman Questions, most Greek Questions allow a precise factual answer, usually from myth-history or knowledge of the local religion. On at least two occasions in the Roman Questions, Plutarch rejects solutions offered by Greek authors (e.g. at 288E–F, 290C). Some examples will illustrate these points. The confirmatory Greek answers may indicate a preference for Greek paideia, but Plutarch did not contemplate the world through uniquely Greek spectacles.

In: A Man of Many Interests: Plutarch on Religion, Myth, and Magic
In: The Statesman in Plutarch's Works, Volume II: The Statesman in Plutarch's Greek and Roman Lives

Abstract

Christians possibly appeared on the Roman radar as early as 44 or 45, and Plutarch might have heard of them during his trip to Smyrna during the reign of Nero. In none of his extant works, however, does Plutarch mention them, although they might have appeared in his lost Claudius and Nero. With possibly three trips to Rome after the famous fire, and with many friends there, he should at least have heard about Christians in connection with the fire. A fruitful line of inquiry is Plutarch’s association with prominent Romans. The following names are suggestive: L. Mestrius Florus, proconsul of Asia under Domitian, probably 88/89; Minucius Fundanus, suffect consul in 107, born near Pliny’s birthplace, and a correspondent of that author; Arulenus Rusticus, suffect consul in 92, a friend both of Pliny and Tacitus. Some of Plutarch’s friends governed provinces where there were problems with Christians, similar to those of Pliny in Pontus. Overall, it seems impossible that Plutarch, with his interest in cults, something shared by many governors of provinces, would not have learned something about Christianity. This does not mean, however, that he would have felt compelled to write about it. Moreover, his avoidance of contemporary topics and use of old sources might have prevented him from including Christianity somewhere in his extant writings such as the Quaestionum Convivalium. Study of Plutarch’s treatment of Judaism in this work can offer important insights into why he might have been silent about the Christians.

In: Plutarch’s Unexpected Silences

Abstract

In his dialogues Plutarch allows the great authors of the past to stimulate or especially to support an argument. All the quotations in the Pythian Dialogues come from the great authors of the past, none from contemporary ones. We find 28 authors cited from 52 works, resulting in 66 quotes, along with 45 indirect quotes or references: altogether, 111 quotes, indirect quotes, or references. In The Oracles at Delphi, with the exceptions of Homer, Hesiod, Epicurus and the Stoics, virtually all the authors are from the Classical Age. In the essay 29 authors and 35 works are cited or referred to, while, amazingly, only 8 of the quotes appear elsewhere in Plutarch’s vast extant works. For direct quotes, outside of Plato, the most popular are the Delphic Oracles (5, with 1 each mentioned in Herodotus and Thucydides), Homer (4), Euripides (3), Pindar (3 sure and 1 probable), and Simonides (2). One cannot speak of ‘clusters’ of quotations, and intertextuality is mostly absent or complicated. A special case is a puzzling quotation from Euripides’ Phoenissae 958. Above all, the voices recreate the cultural and social memory of the Greek and Delphic past. Most often the voice supports the speaker’s position or emphasizes the principal theme. Yet, the principal speaker, Theon, surprisingly rejects the Delphic and Greek past—the world of the citations—for the present age. Plutarch dazzles with his erudition and wit, while using the citations to explore profound questions of society, life, and death.

In: The Dynamics of Intertextuality in Plutarch

Abstract

In his dialogues Plutarch allows the great authors of the past to stimulate or especially to support an argument. All the quotations in the Pythian Dialogues come from the great authors of the past, none from contemporary ones. We find 28 authors cited from 52 works, resulting in 66 quotes, along with 45 indirect quotes or references: altogether, 111 quotes, indirect quotes, or references. In The Oracles at Delphi, with the exceptions of Homer, Hesiod, Epicurus and the Stoics, virtually all the authors are from the Classical Age. In the essay 29 authors and 35 works are cited or referred to, while, amazingly, only 8 of the quotes appear elsewhere in Plutarch’s vast extant works. For direct quotes, outside of Plato, the most popular are the Delphic Oracles (5, with 1 each mentioned in Herodotus and Thucydides), Homer (4), Euripides (3), Pindar (3 sure and 1 probable), and Simonides (2). One cannot speak of ‘clusters’ of quotations, and intertextuality is mostly absent or complicated. A special case is a puzzling quotation from Euripides’ Phoenissae 958. Above all, the voices recreate the cultural and social memory of the Greek and Delphic past. Most often the voice supports the speaker’s position or emphasizes the principal theme. Yet, the principal speaker, Theon, surprisingly rejects the Delphic and Greek past—the world of the citations—for the present age. Plutarch dazzles with his erudition and wit, while using the citations to explore profound questions of society, life, and death.

In: The Dynamics of Intertextuality in Plutarch
In: Plutarch in the Religious and Philosophical Discourse of Late Antiquity
Religious Themes in Plutarch's Moralia and Lives
In: Greco-Roman Culture and the New Testament
In: Greco-Roman Culture and the New Testament