Plutarch of Chaeroneia in Boeotia is perhaps the most important author of the second sophistic period. He offers us detailed evidence of how an educated Greek aristocrat felt about Rome. Plutarch was born between 40 and 45. From his writings and from inscriptional testimony we know a good deal about his family and friends. We can see him engaged in local politics and other business, and active as a family man, a philosopher and author, and (perhaps) a farmer.1 In literature he is best known for his Parallel Lives, the twenty-two paired biographies of 'noble Grecians and Romanes' (in North's words).2 As with many, perhaps most, of Plutarch's surviving writings it seems certain that the Parallels were written after the reign of Domitian, when Plutarch, like Tacitus, again felt safe to express his opinions on the present and the past. But Plutarch was certainly active in literary creation before this period. Several single biographies including, notably, a series on the Roman emperors from Augustus to Vitellius, of which we have only the linked and rather disappointing Galba and Otho, were presumably written under the earlier Flavians.3 Plutarch's many other surviving____________________
For my translations from Plutarch Moralia, and especially for Political Advice, I have rested heavily throughout on Russell 1993.