- Title Pages
- 1 Friends or Patrons?
- 2 Plutarch’s <i>Lives</i> and Their Roman Readers
- 3 Revisiting Plutarch’s Lives of the Caesars
- 4 Plutarch
- 5 Plutarch and Apollo of Delphi
- 6 Drinking, <i>Table Talk</i>, and Plutarch’s Contemporaries
- 7 Leading the Party, Leading the City
- 8 Before Pen Touched Paper
- 9 Plutarch’s Latin Reading
- 10 Plutarchan Prosopography
- 11 Plutarch and Trajanic Ideology
- 12 The Justice of Trajan in Pliny <i>Epistles</i> 10 and Plutarch
- 13 Plutarch’s Alexandrias
- 14 The Philosopher’s Ambition
- 15 Plutarch’s Lives
- 16 The Rhetoric of Virtue in Plutarch’s <i>Lives</i>
- 17 Paidagôgia pros to theion
- 18 Paradoxical Paradigms
- 19 Competition and its Costs
- 20 Parallels in Three Dimensions
- 21 Cato the Younger in the English Enlightenment
- 22 Alexander Hamilton’s Notes on Plutarch in His Paybook
- 23 Should we Imitate Plutarch’s Heroes?
- Index of Plutarchan Passages
- Index of non-Plutarchan Passages
- Index of Names
- Index of Topics
Plutarch’s Lysander and Sulla
- (p.258) 18 Paradoxical Paradigms
- Plutarch and his Roman Readers
Philip A. Stadter
- Oxford University Press
In this chapter we see how in the pair Lysander and Sulla, Plutarch portrays two military leaders both of whom subdued Athens, but whose victories brought danger to their own cities. The treatment of the statues and physical appearance of Lysander and Sulla prepare the reader for the anomalies and inconsistencies of the lives. Lysander shows the ambition, the military ability, and the vices which become more pronounced in the parallel life. Sulla especially presents the paradox of a leader whose victories abroad preserve the empire, but one who in the process of regaining power in Rome turns into a bloodthirsty tyrant. Is it possible to separate the brilliant general from the ruthless partisan fighter and dictator? Plutarch recognizes the paradox, but hopes that his readers will see the dangers of a relentless, even ruthless, ambition.
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