A Summary Of Plutarch’s Book, The Fall Of The Roman Republic

Plutarch’s book The Fall of the Roman Republic describes the lives of six Roman figures, including Marius, Sulla and Crassus. Caesar, Cicero, Pompey and Crassus are also mentioned. Rex Warner translated this book in 1958. Robin Seager revised it in 1972, and in 2005 Robin Seager & Christopher Pelling revised & expanded this book. The Fall of the Roman Republic consists of Plutarch’s original writings. However, they have been edited to provide a better understanding for the reader. Each section begins with a preface by Robin Seager or Christopher Pelling. These prefaces provided a lot of information about different interpretations on the subject matter. But they also tended to bring up negative aspects that Plutarch may have written. Although it was necessary to point out the mistakes or errors made by Plutarch, I thought they did so in an inappropriate way. Plutarch was criticized for not highlighting the consequences that Marius’ enrollment in the capite censei had. Plutarch’s detailed descriptions of characters and lives allowed me to imagine my own mental images. In the back section of the Book, you will find a section named “Abbreviations”. This section will explain what each abbreviation means. This helped me when I was unsure of the meanings of certain abbreviations. Also, there is a section titled “Glossary Of Roman Technical Terminology”. The glossary was very useful because the meaning of many words has changed since the Roman Revolution. The abbreviations, words and phrases are needed to convey the correct message.

Plutarch, a Greek philosopher and author of the early Middle Ages, was regarded as one of the best. He was a central Greek native who died in AD120. He was born in central Greece around AD 46 and died around AD 120. Plutarch, who was born to a wealthy family, studied philosophy at the Athens platonic Academy. He visited Egypt, Rome and other places many times in his lifetime. This helped him make friends and learn about many different interpretations of Roman Empire. Plutarch’s most notable works are Moralia (a collection of stories) and Parallel Lives. The Fall of the Roman Republic is a collection of biographies of Greek and Roman historical figures. Robin Seager is a historian from England who has devoted most of her study to the history, literature, and culture of the Roman later republic. She has contributed, translated, and edited over 14 works related to the Roman state during her lifetime. Christopher Pelling, on the other hand, studies Greek, Latin, and Greek historiography as well biography. Besides editing other Plutarch works, he has written and edited his own books about Greek History. Both editors possess a great deal of knowledge about the history of the Roman Republic. They also have extensive backgrounds in Greek and Roman life. This book, written by Plutarch who lived through the period, is regarded as a source of primary information because he was there and saw all of those events that led to Roman Republic’s fall. His knowledge of these figures’ lives and how they contributed to the Roman Republic’s fall allows him to draw moral lessons from them. The book Fall of the Roman Republic is divided into six biographies. They are Marius, Sulla Crassus Pompey Caesar Cicero. All six of these figures played an important role in the fall the Roman Republic. Plutarch chronicled the lives of these six people, including their marriages and careers. He was not interested in writing about what led to revolutions or why a powerful nation fell, he focused more on the character and personality of people. He was a more moralist than an historian. He used his observations of their lives as a way to explain the reasons for the Roman Republic’s fall. Plutarch became interested in the period because there were many dramatic events which led to moral reflections on the part of those involved. Plutarch’s Greek background meant that he did not have strong feelings about Roman History. It allowed him to write more realistically and interpret people’s characters. Sulla, despite sharing similar traits, was even more hated than Marius, he said. Plutarch wrote, “It is in line with the rough character that was supposed to be Marius’s,” (4) speaking about Marius. “He had a natural virile nature.” He explained Sulla’s character as being “naturally prone towards buffoonery,” which meant that people laughed at his ridiculous actions. Sulla was disliked by Romans because he killed 20,000 people despite jealousy. Plutarch described Crassus (111) as “temperate and modest in his way” and Pompey as someone who was easily liked by Romans. Caesar was often overlooked, and he was left alone the majority of the time. Plutarch was a fan of Cicero. “In fact, Cicero made the Romans realize how eloquence can make something good more appealing, and that justice is invincible if expressed with words. And how a good statesman will always do what’s right, rather than what will be popular, and express public interests in a way which will please, not offend” (335). Plutarch did not hesitate to give his opinion about all the people mentioned in this book.

Plutarch received harsh criticism for using sources to write his works. He used a variety of sources in his writings including letters, poetry and plays. He had Latin-written sources translated by someone else, because he was aware of the bias. The book can contain some inaccurate statements about the characters. Robin Seager & Christopher Pelling mention this in their prefaces. Plutarch made many errors in his dates and left out some important events, details and experiences that the characters had undergone or created. These errors can lead someone to believe a completely different story than what actually occurred.

These biographies have all been written at various times, and it is still difficult to establish a chronological order. It is possible to guess, but it’s not certain. There are many events that repeat or overlap in biographies. It is to be expected that biographies of six people from the same period will overlap. Plutarch seems to have compared and paired many of the figures. These comparisons added additional sections in the book. This caused me some confusion because I didn’t know enough about these new characters. I believe the book could have done without these additional comparison sections. This book’s contents were relevant to what the author wanted to achieve, which was to write a biography on a famous person. Plutarch had originally written these biographies so that they could be read alone, or in combination with another bio, and not six of them combined to make a new book. This collection of biographies gives a clear picture as to why Rome fell, and it also provides a solid background for what makes an empire work and what does not.

The Fall Of The Roman Republic would be a great book to recommend for anyone interested in the ancient Rome period and learning about different people who lived during that time. This book will appeal to those new to the subject, as well experts and people looking for entertainment. This book is a great place to start if you are new to Roman history. This book is a great source of information on what really happened during Roman Republic’s fall. It gives the reader a better understanding of this period. This book would be recommended by me to historians who have a focus on Romans and Greeks. It is a great book for those who are experts. This is not a boring, dry primary source. This book is a journey through six lives, and can be a very entertaining read. This is the book I recommend to people who just want a book for fun. This book has some good moral lessons and is an interesting read. Fall of the Roman Republic provided me with a deeper understanding of the Romans of the Roman Republic. Plutarch has done a good job of conveying details and information about these significant figures, although some details have been missed. Robin Seager’s and Christopher Pelling’s editing of Plutarch’s texts is excellent. It helps to get a better understanding of the story and gives other interpretations.


  • nicholashopkins

    Nicholas Hopkins is a social media teacher, writer and educator. He has been blogging since 2009, and has since published over 20 articles and taught social media in high school and college. He is currently a social media teacher and blogger at Nicholas Hopkins Academy.