SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE THEME
SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE THEME
SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
By Itidorfa07 (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (cropped from original)
Lion of Chaeronea Statue

Abstract Details

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5/17/2019  |   10:15 AM - 10:45 AM   |  Hampton Inn Conference Room

"Disappearing Legislation: Plutarch's Silence on Sulla's Constitutional Reforms"

Among Plutarch's Parallel Lives, the Lysander-Sulla pair is one of the most problematic. Both men, but Sulla especially, accomplished great things for their countries, but their character flaws made them poor models for imitation. Modern historians, while recognizing Sulla's vicious and tyrannical behavior, often see his constitutional legislation, introduced while he was dictator, as an attempt to return to a traditional republican model. Plutarch is almost completely silent on this legislation, noting only that there were "significant innovations and change in the city" (...??????????? ?? ????????? ??? ????????? ?? ?? ????? ???????? ..., Sull. 34.3). Although there is no certain explanation for this omission, examination of the syncrisis and of the treatment of Lycurgus' legislation in the parallel life suggest that Plutarch's focus on Sulla's violence and tyranny did not permit him to treat this more reasonable aspect of his legacy. It seems unlikely that his sources were equally silent, though they may have been critical of his reforms. Plutarch's silence seems to indicate his willingness to suppress information to develop the themes of most interest to him.

Philip Stadter (Primary Presenter), pastadte@live.unc.edu;
tba

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