Exile in Plutarch's Parallel Lives
Citation:Gwozdecky, Graham Scott, Exile in Plutarch's Parallel Lives, Trinity College Dublin.School of Histories & Humanities, 2021
Throughout Plutarch s Parallel Lives, many of his subjects go into exile willingly or by force. The aim of this thesis is to determine whether Plutarch found exile to be an exceptional theme, whether the work On Exile can provide insight into Plutarch s views on the matter, and what can be gleaned from the Parallel Lives about what Plutarch felt about exile and the statesmen who experience it. The treatise On Exile proves to be inadequate for determining Plutarch s views because the arguments are typical of all consolation treatises. Within the Parallel Lives I found that there are several different categories of exile: ktistic or foundational exiles, planetic or wandering exiles, and ostracised Athenians. Through analysis of the three groups of exiles we find that Plutarch has much to say on the matter. Exile is indicative of exceptional quality, exile is often caused by the short-sightedness of a demos fueled by envy, and those who choose exile as a path to knowledge and experience are often best suited to lead. With these in mind, I suggest that Plutarch may have written the Cor.-Alc. Pair as a mirrored Life to the Them.-Cam. due to the repetition of exilic themes, the circumstances of their Lives before, during, and after their exiles, and the way Plutarch portrays them using Odysseus and Achilles as mimetic archetypes. Plutarch s view appears to be that exile can be both a tool wielded by the populace to destroy and circumvent exceptional citizens, but it can also be used as a tool by the statesman to maintain internal harmony within the city by preventing factionalism and strife.
Author: Gwozdecky, Graham Scott
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Histories & Humanities. Discipline of Classics
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available
Keywords:omonoia, demos, phthonos, Cimon, Lucullus, envy, Aristides, synkrisis, Nicias, Alcibiades, Pericles, wandering, Lycurgus, Numa, Solon, Euripides, ambition, Achilles, Publicola, Sertorius, exile, banishment, Camillus, Cicero, Coriolanus, Timoleon, Odysseus, Plutarch, De Exilio, Ovid, Seneca, patris, mimesis, Musonius, Dio Chrysostom, Teles, Favorinus, Diogenes, ktistes, founding, Marius, Romulus, conditor, Parallel Lives, revenge, Theseus, Themistocles, Demosthenes, virtue, concordia