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

<< Back to Schedule

5/16/2019  |   2:00 PM - 2:30 PM   |  Hampton Inn Conference Room

Silence of the Lions: Exploring Plutarch's omissions on Chaironeia

As C.P. Jones rightly asserted (1971:3), “Plutarch and Chaeronea, the names are inseparably joined. That is not merely an accident of birth.” Plutarch himself demonstrates this close association, showing concern and affection for his hometown when he says that he remains, “lest it become smaller still” (Demosthenes 2.2). It is therefore puzzling that Plutarch is silent on some of the local sights of Chaironeia. For example, Plutarch does not mention a prospering local sanctuary of Egyptian gods, yet he shows curiosity in his Moralia about Egypt and its religion. Even more perplexing, Plutarch does not mention the lion of Chaironeia, a glaring omission of a large physical monument that is confidently dated to before Plutarch’s lifetime and surely played a role in the shared memory of the polis. This paper proposes to explore the unexpected silences surrounding Chaironeia in Plutarch’s oeuvre. It will seek to add new nuances to our understanding of how Plutarch presents his local world and how this relates to the constructed memory of Chaironeia. It will do this by asking two main questions: [1] why does Plutarch not mention local markers that seems to play a leading role in his hometown and its landscape, even when their themes and history peak his interest elsewhere; and [2] what do these silences reveal about his presentation of Chaironeia and what he sees as important to the shared memory of his local world. Specifically, this presentation will explore the possibility that these omissions may be part of an intentional construction of Chaironeia, an identity forged by and projected by Plutarch, in which forgetting and omissions become as important to the narrative of his hometown as his overt discussions.

Chandra Giroux (Primary Presenter), chandra.giroux@mail.mcgill.ca;
I started my doctoral program in Ancient History in 2016 under the supervision of Hans Beck. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in History and Classical Studies from the University of Ottawa (2009), a Master’s in Greek and Roman Archaeology from Newcastle University (2010), and a Master’s in Classical Studies from the University of Ottawa (2016). In my Master’s in Greek and Roman Archaeology, I investigated the identification of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis of Athens, under the guidance of Antony Spawforth. To complement this, I completed a Master’s thesis at the University of Ottawa with a literary focus, namely, Morality in Plutarch’s “Life of Cimon”. My thesis, Plutarch’s Chaironeia: the local horizon of world empire, explores Plutarch’s everyday lived experience. Specifically, it seeks to understand the local, regional, and global aspects of Plutarch’s world and how these shine through his two great writings.

Presentation:
This presentation is not available online.

Handouts:
Handout is not Available