Plutarch's influential writings on the ancient world Plutarch's parallel biographies of the great men in Greek and Roman history are cornerstones of European literature, drawn on by countless writers since the Renaissance. This selection provides intimate glimpses into the lives of these men, revealing why the mild Artaxerxes forced the killer of his usurping brother to undergo the horrific "death of two boats"; why the noble Dion repeatedly risked his life for the ungrateful mobs of Syracuse; why Demosthenes delivered a funeral oration for the soldiers he had deserted in battle; and why Alexander self-destructed after conquering half the world. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.