Humble, N. (2010) Plutarch’s Lives: Parallelism and Purpose. Swansea.
Plutarch’s Parallel Lives were written to compare famous Greeks and Romans. This most obvious aspect of their parallelism is frequently ignored in the drive to mine Plutarch for historical fact. However, the eleven contributors to the present volume, who include most of the world’s leading commentators on Plutarch, together bring out many ways in which Plutarch invoked aspects of parallelism. They show how pervasive and how central the whole notion was to his thinking. With new analysis of the synkriseis; with discussion of parallels within and across the Lives and in the Moralia; with an examination of why the basic parallel structure of the Lives lost its importance in the Renaissance, this volume presents fresh ideas on a neglected topic crucial to Plutarch’s literary creation.