Plutarch [Greek: Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhoswas] was born in Chaeronea, sometime in the fifth decade of the Common Era. He is most famously known for the Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives. The work comprises of 23 pairs of one Roman and one Greek noteworthy figure as well as four unpaired ones. In 1559 Jacques Amyot translated Plutarch’s Lives into French  and twenty years later in 1579 Thomas North translated the work further from the French into English. The North translation supplemented Shakespeare’s plays Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, and Pericles.

In Parallel Lives, Plutarch reveals many clues about his own life by means of inserting himself in the biographies through opinions as well as his work Moralia. According to Robert Lamberton—Plutarch’s biographer—Plutarch defined himself primarily as a philosopher and teacher of philosophy. For more information on Plutarch one can consult Robert Lamberton’s 2001 publication of Plutarch’s biography Plutarch published by Yale University Press.


This exhibit contains the following works:

  • Homeri Vita (1537) published by Per Balthasarem Lasium [et] Thomam Platterum from Basileae [Basel, Switzerland] in Latin
  • Opuscoli Morali (1598) published by Appresso Fiorauante Prati, from Venice. Contributor: Marco Antonio Gandini in Italian
  • Les Oeuures Morales & Meslees (1575) translated by Jacques Amyot, published by Par Michel de Vascosan imprimeur du Roy, from Paris, in French.
  • Les Vies des Hommes Illustres Grecs et Romains (1619) translated by Jacques Amyot, Simon Goulart, and Cornelius Nepos. Published by Chez Claude Morel in Paris, in French.
  • Vite di Plutarco Cheroneo de gli huomini illustri greci et romani (1568) translated by Lodovico Domenichi, published by Appresso Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, in Vinegia (Venice), in Italian.


Digitization and curation of this exhibit was arranged by Andreea Marin. Andreea is a Master of Information Candidate here at the University of Toronto where she studies Library and Information Science collaboratively with Book History and Print Culture (BHPC). Andreea holds a B.A. Honours from the University of Toronto in English and Book and Media Studies, and is a Victoria University alumna. Andreea curated two exhibits in the year 2016 one at the E.J. Pratt Library on Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Children’s Literature and one at Massey College on Nineteenth-Century Colour Printing of Flora and Fauna. This is Andreea’s first online exhibit.