Plutarch, Consolation to his Wife

Plutarch, bust from the museum of Delphi.

A list of ancient Greek texts that have been read throughout the ages will probably include Homer’s Iliad, the New Testament, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, Euclid’s Elements, the classic Athenian tragedians, HerodotusHistories, and Plutarch‘s Consolation to his Wife (Consolatio ad uxorem). It was written after a daughter of two years old had died – a shocking event in any age.

This famous text is now online at LacusCurtius, with an excellent introduction that shows that the text contains all traditional motifs that were supposed to be in a text of this kind, and that Plutarch was able to treat these ideas with great freedom. It is this mastery that makes the text a classic.

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