The Documents

Women and Power

The Virtues of Women and Parallel Lives

The Virtues of Women and Parallel Lives

A page from the 1470 Ulrich Han printing of Plutarch's Parallel Lives.

Short Description

Plutarch’s The Virtues of Women is a series of narratives regarding noble deeds performed by the “fairer” sex in times of danger and trouble, especially from “tyrants.” His Parallel Lives publication is 23 paired biographies, with each pair featuring famous men of his day—one Greek and one Roman.

REmnant Trust Description

Plutarch (46-120), Greek biographer and miscellaneous writer, was born at Chaeronea in Boeotia. After having been trained in philosophy in Athens, he traveled and some time time in Rome, where he lectured on philosophy. The celebrity of Plutarch, or at least his popularity, is mainly founded on his forty-six parallel lives. The rather long treatise on the virtues of women contains a series of narratives of noble deeds done by the sex in times of danger and trouble, especially from “tyrants.” The second work, the “Parallels,” contains similar incidents which occurred respectively to Greeks and Romans, the Greek standing first and the Roman counterpart following.