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  |   5:00 PM - 5:30 PM   |  Hampton Inn Conference Room

Plutarch's Avoidance of Philip V

Philip V came to the throne of Macedon when he was eighteen and reigned for over forty years (221–179 BC). He was incessantly active, marching armies all over the whole of the Greek peninsula as well as sailing throughout the Aegean. The highest hopes were had of him, as even Plutarch reports (Aem. 8.4). Why, then, does such a Macedonian monarch, who ruled three times as long as Alexander, who marched cumulatively perhaps as many miles, who interacted with an array of famed Greek and Roman figures over his long career, rarely appear in Plutarch’s immense oeuvre? If, as Duff notes (1999, 59), Plutarch avoided the likes of Philip V, as well as Philip II, as people not to imitate, why is it that Plutarch uses Philip II quite frequently in a variety of passages and anecdotes, while Philip V is hard to find and almost grudgingly named in those few passages. This paper identifies how and explains why Plutarch turns his back on Philip V as much as he can in his Lives and excludes him almost completely from the Moralia. In the Lives Philip V’s appearances are rare; Plutarch allows him into the narrative only when his historical involvement cannot be avoided or is remarkably despicable, as in Flamininus, Philopoemen, in the non-parallel Aratus, and in an interesting epitome in Aemilius Paulus. Especially rare, though, are his appearances in the Moralia, in which Plutarch’s disdain for Philip and his turpitudinous character is made clear by the context. Plutarch did not wholly exclude Philip V from all his works, but his general avoidance of this long-reigning, very active Macedonian king makes those appearances all the more noteworthy, both for their rarity and for the unmistakable explanation for their rarity, Plutarch’s moral outrage at this unavoidable, notorious autocrat.

Brad Cook (Primary Presenter), blcook@olemiss.edu;
Brad L. Cook, Associate Professor of Classics, works on the historical careers and subsequent traditions about the fourth-century BC figures, Philip II, Demosthenes, and Alexander, as well as about the first-century BC Roman Cicero, addressing questions about their lives and writings in their original context and down through the Byzantine/Medieval eras, into the Renaissance, and our own day.

Presentation:
This presentation is not available online.

Handouts:
Handout is not Available