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Plutarch and the Persica$
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Eran Almagor

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748645558

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748645558.001.0001

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(p.1) 1. Introduction
Plutarch and the Persica

Eran Almagor

Edinburgh University Press

In order to evaluate the historical descriptions of the political and social reality of the period in Plutarch's works, this chapter addresses two historiographic questions. (1) What do we know about Plutarch's work method? (2) What do we know of the Persica works? An attempt is proposed to allow the answers to reflect one upon the other and to show that the two great mysteries shed light on each other. The chapter introduces the subject, firstly, by pointing at the significance of treating Plutarch's oeuvre, especially the biographies, as complete artistic artefacts, works of literature and rhetoric aimed to highlight certain moral or philosophical ideas. Also addressed are the moral aspect of history found in Plutarch's works and the manner in which Plutarch the author uses the persona of a narrator to communicate the story and his ideas. Secondly, the character of the lost Persica works is portrayed. Thirdly, Plutarch's fascination with Persia and its manifestations is dealt with. Lastly, a special focus is given to the Artaxerxes.

Keywords:   Artaxerxes, Barbarians, Narrative world, Narrator, Persica, Plutarch

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