Plutarch portrait.

Plutarch in Perspective

Many of us have read and delighted in Plutarch, but know little about his personality, when and how he lived. Was he the ancient equivalent of the Venerable Bede? A studious 'Dr Johnson of Chaeronea'? A precursor to Lytton Strachey? A clever conversationalist, perpetuating amusing anecdotes?

Plutarch has too often been dismissed as the latter, a trifler who wrote memorable biographies, perceived as not always trustworthy. However, I intend to demonstrate that Plutarch was an industrious, perceptive, well-read and well-intentioned individual. Though he possessed Dr Johnson's conversational talent, some of Bede's learning, and Strachey's affable ability to weave an entertaining tale, he had a distinctive personality and outlook, which could only have been produced in a person in his circumstances. Plutarch cannot be removed from his times, which are crucial for understanding his writing.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea. Afternoon tea will be held in E318, Forgan Smith Building.