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By Plutarch

Spesso un breve episodio, una parola, un motto di spirito mette in luce il carattere molto meglio che non battaglie con migliaia di morti, grandissimi schieramenti di eserciti, assedi di città. Di vite e non di storia s'impegna a scrivere Plutarco, autore di lingua greca tra i più importanti e fecondi del mondo classico. Nato a Cheronea intorno al 50 d.C., durante il regno dell'imperatore Claudio, egli fu cittadino dell'Impero romano e condusse una lunga vita: morì ottantenne, dopo essere stato studioso, politico, filosofo, scrittore e sacerdote del dio Apollo a Delfi. Consapevole di vivere in una fase della storia caratterizzata dalla necessità di riunire sotto un unico cielo due mondi distinti, quello greco e quello latino, Plutarco reinterpretò in modo originale l. a. tradizione romana della biografia aneddotica, modificandone l. a. forma e l. a. struttura in step with venire incontro alle nuove esigenze di un impero che aveva sempre meno frontiere tra Oriente e Occidente. Le Vite Parallele raccolgono così, a coppie, le biografie di un uomo illustre greco e di un suo corrispettivo latino, scelti secondo criteri di somiglianza nel carattere o nel destino, allo scopo, di natura morale, di mettere in luce l'uomo.

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Three] Τέλος δὲ πρὸς τὸν Θουϰυδίδην εἰς ἀγῶνα περὶ τοῦ ὀστράϰου ϰαταστὰς ϰαὶ διαϰινδυνεύσας, ἐϰεῖνον μὲν ἐξέβαλε, ϰατέλυσε δὲ τὴν ἀντιτεταγμένην ἑταιρείαν78. [ 15,1] Ὡς οὖν παντάπασι λυϑείσης τῆς διαϕορᾶς, ϰαὶ τῆς πόλεως οἷον ὁμαλῆς ϰαὶ μιᾶς γενομένης ϰομιδῇ, περιήνεγϰεν εἰς ἑαυτὸν τὰς Ἀϑήνας ϰαὶ τὰ τῶν Ἀϑηναίων ἐξηρτημἕνα πράγματα, ϕόρους ϰαὶ στρατεύματα ϰαὶ τριήρεις ϰαὶ νήσους ϰαὶ ϑάλασσαν ϰαὶ πολλὴν μὲν δι’ Ἑλλήνων, πολλὴν δὲ ϰαὶ διὰ βαρβάρων ἥϰουσαν ἰσχὺν ϰαὶ ἡγεμονίαν, ὑπηϰóοις ἔϑνεσι ϰαὶ ϕιλίαις βασιλέων ϰαὶ συμμαχίαις πεϕραγμένην δυναστῶν, οὐϰέϑ’ ὁ αὐτὸς ἦν οὐδ’ ὁμοίως χειροήϑης τῷ δήμῳ ϰαὶ ῥᾁδιος ὑπείϰειν ϰαὶ συνενδιδóναι ταῖς ἐπιϑυμίαις ὥσπερ πνοαῖς τῶν πολλών, ἀλλ’ ἐϰ τῆς ἀνειμένης ἐϰείνης ϰαὶ ὑποϑρυπτομένης ἒνια δημαγωγίας ὥσπερ ἀνϑηρᾶς ϰαὶ μαλαϰῆς ἁρμονίας ἀριστοϰρατιϰὴν ϰαὶ βασιλιϰὴν ἐντεινάμενoς πολιτείαν, ϰαὶ χρώμενoς αὐτῇ πρὸς τὸ βέλτιστον ὀρϑῇ ϰαὶ ἀνεγϰλίτῳ, τὰ μὲν πολλὰ βουλóμενον ἦγε πείϑων ϰαὶ διδάσϰων τὸν δῆμον, ἦν δ’ ὅτε ϰαὶ μάλα δυσχεραίνοντα ϰατατείνων ϰαὶ προσβιβάζων ἐχειροῦτο τῷ συμϕέροντα, μιμούμενoς ἀτεχνῶς ἰατρòν ποιϰίλῳ νοσήματι ϰαὶ μαϰρῷ ϰατὰ ϰαιρòν μὲν ἡδονὰς ἀβλαβεῖς, ϰατὰ ϰαιρòν δὲ δηγμοὺς ϰαὶ ϕάρμαϰα προσϕέροντα σωτήρια. [2] Παντοδαπῶν γὰρ ὡς εἰϰòς παϑῶν ἐν ὄχλῳ τοσαύτην τὸ μέγεϑος ἀρχὴν ἔχοντι ϕυομένων, μόνoς ἐμμελῶς ἕϰαστα διαχειρίσασϑαι πεϕυϰώς, μάλιστα δ’ ἐλπίσι ϰαὶ ϕóβοις ὥσπερ οἴαξι συστέλλων τὸ ϑρασυνομενον αὐτῶν ϰαὶ τὸ δύσϑυμον ἀνιεὶς ϰαὶ παραμυϑούμενος, ἔδειξε τὴν ῥητοριϰήν ϰατὰ Πλάτωνα ψυχαγωγίαν οὖσαν79 ϰαὶ μέγιστον ἔργον αὐτῆς τὴν περὶ τὰ ἤϑη ϰαὶ πάϑη μέϑοδον, ὥσπερ τινάς τόνους ϰαὶ ϕϑόγγους ψυχῆς μάλ’ ἐμμελοῦς ἁϕῆς ϰαὶ ϰρούσεως δεομένους. [3] Αἰτία δ’ οὐχ ἡ τοῦ λόγου ψιλῶς δύναμις, ἀλλ’, ὡς Θουϰυδίδης ϕησίν80, ἡ περὶ τὸν βίον δόξα ϰαὶ πίστις τοῦ ἀνδρóς, ἀδωροτάτου περιϕανῶς γενομένου ϰαὶ χρημάτων ϰρείττονος· ὅς τὴν πόλιν ἐϰ μεγάλης μεγίστην ϰαὶ πλουσιωτάτην ποιήσας ϰαὶ γενόμενoς δυνάμει πολλῶν βασιλέων ϰαὶ τυράννων ὑπέρτερος, ὧν ἔνιοι ϰαὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς υἱέσι διέϑεντο ἐϰείνου, μιᾷ δραχμῇ μείζονα τὴν οὐσίαν οὐϰ ἐποίησεν ης ὁ πατὴρ αὐτῷ ϰατέλιπε. [ 16,1] Καίτοι τὴν δύναμιν αὐτοῦ σαϕῶς μὲν ὁ Θουϰυδίδης διηγεῖται, ϰαϰοήϑως δὲ παρεμϕαίνουσιν οἱ ϰωμιϰοί, Πεισιστρατίδας μὲν νέους τοὺς περὶ αὐτòν ἑταίρους ϰαλοῦντες, αὐτὸν δ’ ἀπομόσαι μὴ τυραννήσειν ϰελεύοντες, ὡς ἀσυμμέτρου πρὸς δημοϰρατίαν ϰαὶ βαρυτέρας περὶ αὐτòν οὔσης ὑπεροχῆς. [2] Ὁ δὲ Τηλεϰλείδης παραδεδωϰέναι ϕησὶν αὐτῷ τοὺς Ἀϑηναίους πόλεών τε ϕόρους αὐτάς τε πόλεις, τὰς μὲν δεῖν, τὰς δ’ ἀναλύειν, λάινα τείχη, τὰ μὲν οἰϰοδομεῖν τὰ δὲ τἄμπαλιν αὖ ϰαταβάλλειν, σπονδάς, δύναμιν, ϰράτος, εἰρήνην, πλοῦτον τ’ εὐδαιμονίαν τε81. [3] Καὶ ταῦτα ϰαιρòς οὐϰ ἦν οὐδ’ ἀϰμή ϰαὶ χάρις ἀνϑούσης ἐϕ’ ὥρᾳ πολιτείας, ἀλλὰ τεσσαράϰοντα μὲν ἔτη πρωτεύων ἐν Ἐϕιάλταις ϰαὶ Λεωϰράταις ϰαὶ Μυρωνίδαις ϰαὶ Κίμωσι ϰαὶ Τολμίδαις ϰαὶ Θουϰυδίδαις82, μετὰ δὲ τὴν Θουϰυδίδου ϰατὰλυσιν ϰαὶ τὸν ὀστραϰισμòν οὐϰ ἐλάττω τῶν πεντεϰαίδεϰα ἐτῶν διηνεϰῆ ϰαὶ μίαν οὖσαν ἐν ταῖς ἐνιαυσίοις στρατηγίαις ἀρχὴν ϰαὶ δυναστείαν ϰτησάμενος, ἐϕύλαξεν ἑαυτòν ἀνάλωτον ὑπò χρημάτων, ϰαίπερ οὐ παντάπασιν ἀργῶς ἔχων πρὸς χρηματισμός, ἀλλὰ τὸν πατρῷον ϰαὶ δίϰαιον πλοῦτον, ὡς μήτ’ ἀμελούμένoς ἐϰϕύγοἱ μήτε πολλὰ πράγματα ϰαὶ διατριβàς ασχολούμενῳ παρέχοι, συνέταξεν εἰς οἰϰονομίαν ἣν ϕετο ῥᾴστην ϰαὶ ἀϰριβεστάτην εἶναι.

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