Plutarch, a Greek biographer, born in Chaeeronea in Bceotia. The little that is known of his life has been collected chiefly from his own works. He was studying philosophy under Ammonius at Delphi when Nero went to Greece in A. D. 66. He visited several parts of Italy, and resided for some time at Rome, where he lectured during the reign of Domi-tian. He lived to an advanced age, and it is probable that he spent the later years of his life at Chaeronea, where he was a magistrate and also a priest of Apollo. He married Timox-ena, a lady of his native city, and had five children, to one of whom, Lamprias, is attributed the catalogue of his productions. Fabricius conjectured that he died when 70 years old, in the reign of Hadrian. The great work of Plutarch is his "Parallel Lives." In this he writes a biography of a Greek and of a Roman, and then makes a comparison between the two, although in some cases the comparisons are now lost. There are 46 of these lives extarft. The other works ascribed to him, numbering about 60, are ranged together under the general title of Moralia, but 11 of them are on historical subjects.
The first edition of the "Lives" in the Greek text appeared at Florence in 1517. One of the best editions is that of Sintenis (5 vols. 8vo, Leipsic, 1839-'53). Of the numerous translations, the French one of Amyot was rendered into English by Sir Thomas North in 1612. Dryden's translation is really the work of other hands. There is another English translation by John and William Langhorne. A revision of Dryden's was edited by Arthur Hugh Clough (5 vols. 8vo, Boston, 1859). The first edition of the Moralia, very incorrect, was that of the elder Aldus (fol., Venice, 1509); the best is that of Wyttenbach, (8 vols. 4to, Oxford, 1795-1821). It has been translated into French by Amyot, into German by Kaltwasser, and into English by Howard and others (London, 1603; new ed., corrected and revised by W. W. Goodwin, 5 vols., Boston, 1870). The first edition of the complete works is that of H. Stephens (13 vols. 8vo, Geneva, 1572).