Annotated by David Trumbull and Patrick McNamara.

¶ Plutarch wrote, in Greek, his Lives toward the end of his own long life (c. A.D. 46-c. A.D. 120).

¶ He starts his Life of Alexander, "My design is not to write histories, but lives," a fair description of the work which is less biography than study in character and its consequences.

¶ We present the entire text of each life. This English translation was published in the seventeenth century; it is commonly known as the "Dryden" Plutarch, although several hands worked on it. It was revised in the nineteenth century by the poet-scholar Arthur Hugh Clough.

¶ The running commentary in the left margin, the footnotes, and the explanatory "pop-ups" are by David Trumbull.

¶ You may wish to adjust your browser settings to ALLOW POP-UPS in order to take advantage of the pop-up explanations of person and place names throughout the text.

¶ Excellent short essays Plutarch and the Issue of Character, by Roger Kimball, appeared in the December 2000 issue of The New Criterion and Plutarch's Exemplary Lives, by Lance Morrow appeared in the July 204 issue of Smithsonian magazine.

¶ For scholarly research on Plutarch, visit the International Plutarch Society

Lives in Alphabetical Order

[Click Here for the Lives in Traditional Parallel Order.]


Agesilaus c. 444-360 B.C.
Agis fl. 245-241 B.C.
Alcibiades b. 450 B.C.
Alexander 356-323 B.C.
Aratus fl. 245-213 B.C.
Aristides d. c. 468 B.C.
Artaxerxes the Persian 437-359 B.C.
Cimon c.510-c.450 B.C.
Cleomenes fl. 235-219
Demetrius fl. 307-289 B.C.
Demosthenes 384-322 B.C.
Dion 409-354 B.C.
Eumenes c. 360-316 B.C.
Lycurgus legendary
Lysander d. 395 B.C.
Nicias c. 470-413 B.C.
Pelopidas c. 410-364 B.C.
Pericles 495-429 B.C.
Philopoemen c. 250-182 B.C.
Phocion c. 402-c. 318 B.C.
Pyrrhus 319-272 B.C.
Solon 639-559 B.C.
Themistocles c. 524-c. 459 B.C.
Theseus legendary
Timoleon fl. 365-336 B.C.


Æmilius Paulus c.230-160 B.C.
Antony 83-30 B.C.
Marcus Brutus 85-42 B.C.
Caesar 100-44 B.C.
Camillus fl. 396-367 B.C.
Cato the Elder 234-149 B.C.
Cato the Younger 95-46 B.C.
Cicero 106-43 B.C.
Coriolanus fl. 493 B.C.
Crassus c. 115-53 B.C.
Fabius 275-203 B.C.
Flamininus d. 174 B.C.
Galba c. 3 B.C.-A.D. 69
Caius Gracchus 154-121 B.C.
Tiberius Gracchus c. 164-133 B.C.
Lucullus c. 114-57 B.C.
Marcellus d. 208 B.C.
Caius Marius 157-86 B.C.
Numa Pompilius 8th cen. B.C.
Otho A.D. 32-69
Pompey 106-48 B.C.
Poplicola d. 503 B.C.
Romulus 8th cen. B.C.
Sertorius fl. 87-73 B.C.
Sylla c.138-78 B.C.