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Plutarch Translations

Plutarch (c. AD 46 – AD 120) was a Greek biographer and essayist who lived under the Roman Empire. His Lives, in which he provides parallel biographies of famous individuals from Greek and Roman history and philosophy, is an important historical source. His Moralia is a series of moralizing essays displaying Platonic philosophical tendencies.

Special Collections has a number of important early translations of Plutarch into a variety of languages. These include the humanist translation of the Lives into Latin used by the early printer Nicolas Jenson; the translation of the Moralia into Latin by the famous French humanist Guillaume Budé; various editions of the influential first translation of Plutarch into French by Jacques Amyot; and two editions of Sir Thomas North's translation into English of Amyot's French version (an important source for William Shakespeare's Roman plays).

Latin translations:

  • 1478 edition of the Lives, translated by various Italian humanists and printed by Nicolas Jenson, Venice
  • 1478 edition of the Lives, translated by various Italian humanists and printed by Nicolas Jenson, Venice (single leaf only)
  • 1521 edition of the Moralia, translated by Guillaume Budé (and various other humanists) and printed by Iehan Petit, Paris
  • 1600 edition of the Lives, translated by Wilhelm Xylander and printed by Ioannes Saurius, Frankfurt
  • 1774-1782 edition of Plutarch's complete works (with original Greek text), translated by Johann Jacob Reiske and published by the Libraria Weidmannia, Leipzig

Italian translations:

  • 1549 edition of selections from the  Moralia, translated by Antonio Massa and Giovanni Tarcagnota and printed by Michele Tramezino, Venice
  • 1570 edition of the Lives, translated by Lodovicho Domenichi and printed by Jacopo Sansovino, Venice

French translations:

  • 1565 edition of the Lives, translated by Jacques Amyot and printed by Michel de Vascosan, Paris
  • 1575 edition of the Moralia and other works by Plutarch, translated by Jacques Amyot and printed by Michel de Vascosan, Paris
  • 1584 edition of various works by Plutarch, translated by Jacques Amyot and printed by Gabriel Buon, Paris
  • 1587 edition of the Lives, translated by Jacques Amyot and printed by Gabriel Buon, Paris
  • 1795 edition of the Lives (Phocion only), translated by Jacques Amyot and printed by Didot, Paris

English translations:

  • 1631 edition of the Lives, translated by Thomas North and printed by G. Miller, London
  • 1924 edition of the Lives, translated by Thomas North and printed at the Nonesuch Press, London (volumes 1, 2, and 4 only)

German translations:

  • 1796 edition of the Lives, translated by Gottlob Benedict von Schirach (?) and printed by Franz Haas, Vienna