The synkrisis

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6 Scopus citations


All but four of Plutarch’s pairs of Parallel Lives end with a formal comparison of the two heroes in terms of their virtues and failings and this comparison is conventionally known as the synkrisis. The formal synkrisis, if generally rather uninspired in terms of literary artistry and even with regard to the standard of the arguments presented about the relative merits of the two subjects in question, is the lynchpin of the ambitious and innovative comparative project of the Parallel Lives. It sets in motion the process of moral judgment by the reader and the development of a set of tools for the construction of an ethical self and of a life as a work of art informed by an understanding of the cardinal virtues of the Greek philosophical tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Plutarch
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781118316450
ISBN (Print)9781405194310
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Parallel Lives
  • Plutarch
  • Synkrisis


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