Born: Circa 46 to 50, in Chaeronea, Boeotia, Greece
Died: Circa 120 to 125
The Greeks know him as Plutarchos and his Latin name is Plutarchus. He was a Greek biographer, historian, and philosopher who was very popular during the Renaissance. His father, Aristobus was also a biographer and philosopher. Plutarch's work was influential in shaping the form and style used by modern biographers and essayists.
In Athens, in 66 to 67, Plutarch studied mathematics with Ammonius. As a lecturer he ventured to Rome and may have been friends with the emperor Trajan. The high rank of ex-consul was bestowed on him by the emperor. In this position, he traveled throughout the empire to Alexandria, Sparta, and Corinth.
Most of Plutarch's life was spent as a teacher and magistrate in Chaeronea where he lived with his wife Timoxena. He strongly believed in the principles of Plato and became associated with the Peripatetic school.
Plutarch is best known for the work Parallel Lives which is a volume of character studies that compares twenty-three famous Greek men with twenty-three famous Roman men. As a citizen of both Greece and Rome, it was Plutarch's intent to improve relations and encourage respect between the people of the two countries. The project deals with various topics including religion, education, health, and social customs. Parallel Lives was first translated into English in 1579 by Thomas North and has been used for reference by such notables as Shakespeare, Dryden, and the Founding Fathers of America.