Plutarch’s Pompey and Sulla
A comparison between Pompey and Sulla, as depicted in biographies of Plutarch.
The paper uses the biographies of Plutarch to draw a comparison between the lives of Caesar’s early ally and later enemy, Pompey, and that of the military tactician and politician, Sulla. The paper reflects on the Roman Republic: its ideology, values and its moral implications for today.
`Plutarch often called the ancient father of modern biography. Through biographies of famous individuals he was able to reveal much of the character of great men and also much about of the political values of the times during which his subjects lived. His life of Caesar’s early ally and later enemy Pompey is instructive to compare with that of the military tactician and politician Sylla (also known as Sulla). Comparisons of different lives were one of the biographical techniques Plutarch made frequent use of. He did not do so with these particular individuals. However, a comparison of the lives of these two Romans, as rendered by Plutarch, is still instructive because of the contemporary historical existences of these two very different individuals. The Roman Republic was undergoing considerable political flux during this time, but through this analysis the continuing stress upon moral values even during these times becomes evident.`
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