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A philological and historical commentary on the "Life of Pelopidas" by Plutarch

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Title: A philological and historical commentary on the "Life of Pelopidas" by Plutarch
Author(s): Georgiadou, Aristoula
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Sansone, David
Department / Program: Classics
Discipline: Classics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Literature, Classical Biography History, Ancient
Abstract: The Life of Pelopidas by Plutarch, parallel to the Life of Marcellus, is Plutarch's only extant Theban Life after the loss of the Life of Epaminondas. The only other Life of Pelopidas is given by Nepos, but it appears rather as a brief supplement to his Life of Epaminondas than as a Life standing on its own merti. Similarities between the accounts of Nepos and Plutarch do not, however, suggest that Plutarch used Nepos for the story of Pelopidas, but rather that they are both dependent on the same tradition, but not necessarily on the same authority. As for the similarities and discrepancies that exist between Plutarch's and Diodorus' accounts of the Theban history during Pelopidas' lifetime, these are generally attributed to the two writers' influence in some degree by the same tradition. With regard to Diodorus' treatment of the Greed mainland, it has been agreed that he founded his account on Ephorus, who was accused of copying heavily from Callisthenes among others. As for Plutarch, it has been suggested and widely accepted that he must have followed the historian Callisthenes.Much emphasis has been laid on Plutarch's anti-Spartan bias in his Life of Pelopidas. It is true that he betrays a trace of anti-Spartan feeling, but more so in the Agesilaos than in the Pelopidas. Another striking tendency discerned by various scholars in the Pelopidas is the panhellenic spirit reflected especially in Epaminondas' and Pelopidas' role of guarantors of peace and justice of the minor $\acute\varepsilon\theta\nu\eta$ in Greece, in Pelopidas' expeditions to Thessaly, and his mission to Sousa.It is evident that Plutarch drew on various sources in writing Pleopidas, especially on Callisthenes for military matters. To attribute, however, to his sources everything that may betray this or that favorable or unfavorable bias indicates a misunderstanding of Plutarch's biographical methods and purposes. It is hard to believe that he reproduced slavishly the points of view of the writers he used as his sources in the Pelopidas. The omission of some incidents, the brevity in others, his praise or blame for the actions of men and nations, his admiration for Epaminondas and Pelopidas are probably to be explained by his aims in writing his Lives (Alex. 1. 2). He selects, omits, abbreviates or expands and occasionally manipulates his material according to the themes he wants to emphasize in his Lives.The purpose of this Commentary is to present a philological and historical analysis of the Life of Pelopidas, often in conjunction with its pair, Marcellus, since both Lives were conceived as forming a pair by the writer himself and they were designed to be read together.
Issue Date: 1990
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19802
Rights Information: Copyright 1990 Georgiadou, Aristoula
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9026187
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9026187
 

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