Thomas North's Plutarch

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Last week I finished Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s The Lives of the Noble Grecian’s and Romans.

Plutarch is mentioned far more often in Renaissance writings that Plato and Aristotle. I think that he along with Cicero and Augustine constitute the real main classical influence of the time.

North’s Plutarch was famously read by Shakespeare and shaped his story of Anthony and Cleopatra (and eventually Cecil B. DeMill).

And I like English Renaissance prose. I’d rather read that than a more faithful translation.

It was lots of fun. You can see how it gratified the desires of those who wished to be pious heroes.

Easy to read, it makes better starting point for someone wanting to become familiar with the prose of the time than, say, the more amiable Thomas Nash.

I was thinking this might be the longest work that I’d read to the beginning. But the unabridged G.B. Hill Life of Johnson may be longer. The the print and margins are smaller.

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Comments

I’ve read a little Plutarch but I don’t know who did the translation. The North sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing about it!

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Thomas North's Plutarch.
Thanks,
Richard

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