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 Traditional Parallel Order

[Click Here for the Lives in Alphabetical Order.]


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


Aratus fl. 245-213 B.C.
Artaxerxes the Persian 437-359 B.C.
Galba c. 3 B.C.-A.D. 69
Otho A.D. 32-69


Romulus 8th cen. B.C.
Numa Pompilius 8th cen. B.C.
Poplicola d. 503 B.C.
Camillus fl. 396-367 B.C.
Fabius 275-203 B.C.
Coriolanus fl. 493 B.C.
Æmilius Paulus c.230-160 B.C.
Marcellus d. 208 B.C.
Cato the Elder 234-149 B.C.
Flamininus d. 174 B.C.
Caius Marius 157-86 B.C.
Sylla c.138-78 B.C.
Lucullus c. 114-57 B.C.
Crassus c. 115-53 B.C.
Sertorius fl. 87-73 B.C.
Pompey 106-48 B.C.
Caesar 100-44 B.C.
Cato the Younger 95-46 B.C.
Tiberius Gracchus c. 164-133 B.C.
Caius Gracchus c. 155-121 B.C.
Cicero 106-43 B.C.
Antony 83-30 B.C.
Marcus Brutus 85-42 B.C.