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The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch being parts of the "Lives" of Plutarch, edited for boys and girls   By: (46-120?)

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By Plutarch

Edited for Boys and Girls With Introductions By John S. White

Head Master Berkeley School

Table of Contents

Life of Theseus Life of Romulus Comparison of Theseus and Romulus Life of Lycurgus Life of Solon Life of Themistocles Life of Camillus Life of Pericles Life of Demosthenes Life of Cicero Comparison of Demosthenes and Cicero Life of Alcibiades Life of Coriolanus Comparison of Alcibiades and Coriolanus Life of Aristides Life of Cimon Life of Pompey The Engines of Archimedes; from the Life of Marcellus Description of Cleopatra; from the Life of Antony Anecdotes from the Life of Agesilaus The Brothers; from the Life of Timoleon The Wound of Philopoemen A Roman Triumph; from the Life of Paulus Aemilius The Noble Character of Caius Fabricius; from the Life of Pyrrhus From the Life of Quintus Fabius Maximus The Cruelty of Lucius Cornelius Sylla The Luxury of Lucullus From the Life of Sertorius the Roman, who endeavored to establish a separate Government for himself in Spain The Scroll; from the Life of Lysander The Character of Marcus Cato The Sacred Theban Band; from the Life of Pelopidas From the Life of Titus Flamininus, Conqueror of Philip Life of Alexander the Great The Death of Caesar


As geographers crowd into the edges of their maps parts of the world which they do not know about, adding notes in the margin to the effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy deserts full of wild beasts, unapproachable bogs, Seythian ice, or frozen sea, so, in this great work of mine, in which I have compared the lives of the greatest men with one another, after passing through those periods which probable reasoning can reach to and real history find a footing in, I might very well say of those that are farther off, Beyond this there is nothing but prodigies and fictions; the only inhabitants are the poets and inventors of fables; there is no credit, or certainty any farther. Yet, after publishing an account of Lycurgus the lawgiver and Numa the king, I thought I might, not without reason, ascend as high as to Romulus, being brought by my history so near to his time. Considering therefore with myself

Whom shall I set so great a man face to face? Or whom oppose? Who's equal to the place?

(as Aeschylus expresses it), I found none so fit as he who peopled the beautiful and far famed city of Athens, to be set in opposition with the father of the invincible and renowned city of Rome. Let us hope that Fable may, in what shall follow, so submit to the purifying processes of Reason as to take the character of exact history. We shall beg that we may meet with candid readers, and such as will receive with indulgence the stories of antiquity.

Theseus seemed to me to resemble Romulus in many particulars. Both of them had the repute of being sprung from the gods.

Both warriors; that by all the world's allowed.

Both of them united with strength of body an equal vigor of mind; and of the two most famous cities of the world, the one built in Rome, and the other made Athens be inhabited. Neither of them could avoid domestic misfortunes nor jealousy at home; but toward the close of their lives are both of them said to have incurred great odium with their countrymen, if, that is, we may take the stories least like poetry as our guide to truth.

Theseus was the son of Aegeus and Aethra. His lineage, by his father's side, ascends as high as to Erechtheus and the first inhabitants of Attica. By his mother's side, he was descended of Pelops, who was the most powerful of all the kings of Peloponnesus.

When Aegeus went from the home of Aethra in Troezen to Athens, he left a sword and a pair of shoes, hiding them under a great stone that had a hollow in it exactly fitting them; and went away making her only privy to it, and commanding her that, if, when their son came to man's estate, he should be able to lift up the stone and take away what he had left there, she should send him away to him with those things with all secrecy, and with injunctions to him as much as possible to conceal his journey from everyone; for he greatly feared the Pallantidae, who were continually mutinying against him, and despised him for his want of children, they themselves being fifty brothers, all sons of Pallas, the brother of Aegeus... Continue reading book >>

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