Man has often had an inclination to promote his way of living to his fellow man. Believing that his way of approaching life is superior to all others, he has defended and enforced his views against and upon others. He has done this by way of reasoning and by way of violence. Although most instances of this natural desire are recognized in the form of wars and acts of violence, there have also been many other prominent instances involving peaceful reasoning, such as the revolutionary movements of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Plutarch, a Greco-Roman historian and writer, is one noteworthy figure who also sought to persuade others through peaceful methods, specifically through his writing. What has enabled his name to be remembered through the centuries has undoubtedly been his greatest work, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, a work more commonly referred to as Parallel Lives. By examining this book, and the account on Alexander the Great in particular, readers can discover a peaceful and effective means of spreading their beliefs to others. Through witty rhetoric and other persuasive writing techniques, readers will learn how Plutarch uses Alexander’s celebrity status of the time to promote Platonism, a popular school of thought following the teachings of Plato, and living the life of a philosopher. Why Plutarch wants to promote Platonism, the life of a philosopher is also explored in this analysis, and corroborated through several Classical period historians. Finally, Plutarch’s attempt to paint Alexander as a Platonist and a worthy idol representing all philosophers will open the reader to a few new fundamental beliefs from a distant era of the past regarding living an ethical, self-governed, and virtuous life.
Gonzalez, Sergio E.
"Plutarch’s Alexander: an Endorsement of Platonism and Living as a Philosopher,"
Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research: Vol. 1
, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/aljsr/vol1/iss1/2