Plutarch was born in Macedonia in about AD 50. He came from a rich and powerful family and this enabled him to travel throughout the Roman Empire. He settled for a while in Rome where he taught Greek and was later granted Roman citizenship.

While in Rome he made friends with several senior politicians which allowed him to gain access to important information about Roman history. Plutarch eventually returned to his home in Macedonia where he began to write biographies of famous people from the ancient world. Plutarch mainly relied on secondary sources (in his work he quotes from 250 different writers) and is often guilty of making serious factual errors. One of the main themes in his work was that Greeks should co-operate with their Roman rulers.

Plutarch died in about AD 127.

Primary Sources

(1) Plutarch, Mark Antony (c. AD 110)

For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself remarkable... but the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation... was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another, so that there were few of the nations that she needed an interpreter... which was all the more surprising because most of her predecessors, scarcely gave themselves the trouble to acquire the Egyptian tongue.