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    By: Plutarch

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    For this volume Ian Scott-Kilvert has selected nine of Plutarch's Roman Lives: figures, whose careers range from the earliest years of the Republic to the establishment of the Empire under Octavius Caesar. The Shakespearean heroes Coriolanus, Brutus and Mark Antony have been included to illustrate Plutarch's fondness for semi-fictional rather than a factual treatment of history.

    Two themes dominate the cycle of Plutarch's Roman Lives - the valour and tenacity of the Roman people in war and their genius for political compromise. Plutarch also explores the problems of statecraft and the struggle for power between patrician and plebeian, the Senate and political instinct which eventually raised this tribal confederation of Italian farmers to the mastery of the ancient world.

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