The Age of Alexander (Penguin Classics)
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Plutarch's influential writings on the ancient world
Plutarch's parallel biographies of the great men in Greek and Roman history are cornerstones of European literature, drawn on by countless writers since the Renaissance. This selection provides intimate glimpses into the lives of these men, revealing why the mild Artaxerxes forced the killer of his usurping brother to undergo the horrific "death of two boats"; why the noble Dion repeatedly risked his life for the ungrateful mobs of Syracuse; why Demosthenes delivered a funeral oration for the soldiers he had deserted in battle; and why Alexander self-destructed after conquering half the world.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
courtesy to address him in Greek with the words ‘O, paidion’ [‘My son’], because of his foreign accent pronounced the last letter as a sigma instead of a nu and said it as ‘O, pai Dios’ [‘son of Zeus’], and that Alexander was delighted at this slip of pronunciation, and hence the legend grew up that the god had addressed him as ‘son of Zeus’. It is also said that while he was in Egypt he listened to the lectures of Psammon the philosopher, and especially approved his saying to the effect that all
Alexander first distributed money to the women: in this he was following the custom of the Persian kings,155 who, whenever they arrived there, presented each woman with a gold coin. For this reason, it is said, some of the kings seldom visited, and Ochus never set foot there at all:156 he was mean enough to exile himself from his native land. Secondly, Alexander discovered that the tomb of Cyrus had been plundered and he had the offender put to death, even though he was a prominent Macedonian
date ‘Megara was almost captured’. Cf. also Demosthenes 19.87 and 295. 33. two long walls … from the city: Like the Long Walls at Athens. Megara had had such walls in the fifth century, but they were destroyed in 424 in the Peloponnesian War. 34. as far away from Athens as possible: That is, in Boeotia rather than in Attica. Demosthenes himself took pride in this (see his speech On the crown, 195 and 230). 35. when Athens was defeated: At Chaeronea in Boeotia in 338, when Philip crushed
When the messenger arrived and reported that they were on their way, Charon, although the hour of danger was now at hand, in no way faltered in his determination, but acted as a man of his word and made his house ready to receive them. But there was another conspirator, Hipposthenidas, by no means an unprincipled man, indeed a patriot and a sympathizer with the exiles, but one who did not possess the intrepid spirit which the urgency of the moment and the nature of the attempt demanded. The
had the courage to help him. After a long delay, Lycon the Syracusan handed a dagger through the window and with this they cut his throat, like a victim at a sacrifice: he had for a long while been overpowered and was trembling as he waited for the blow. The conspirators at once took away his wife, who was pregnant, and threw her into prison. She endured a most wretched confinement and gave birth to a boy in the jail: the women ventured to rear the child and found it easy to obtain the permission