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Themes, Character, and Politics in Plutarch’s Life of Lucullus

The Construction of a Roman Aristocrat

206 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-515-11742-5


The modern image of the Roman aristocrat L. Licinius Lucullus (cos. 74 B.C.) is, to a large extent, the creation of the Greek biographer Plutarch, whose narrative is structured around a number of themes and leitmotifs: the protagonist’s association with Hellenic culture, his luxurious lifestyle, and various issues related to his rôle as a political and military leader. In all of these fields, the depiction of Lucullus is conditioned not only by Plutarch’s interests and emphases, but also by the nature of the sources at his disposal. Owing to Plutarch’s biographical technique and due to the bias of the contrasting traditions underlying his account, the protagonist’s actions are frequently decontextualised from their contemporary setting. Lucullus emerges from this e-book as an ambitious noble operating within the highly competitive system of Republican politics, and seeking to accumulate and to display power and prestige.