Best Plutarch Translation for the Uninitiated?
February 4, 2011 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Which version of Plutarch's Lives should I read?

I'm not much for great literature, but I'd like to read Plutarch's lives. Is one of the translations available on the Kindle better than the other?

Thanks for helping to make this journey a little less daunting!
posted by herrtodd to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't quite what you're looking for but you still might find it useful nonetheless: Plutarch's Lives on Project Gutenberg.
posted by meta.mark at 2:30 PM on February 4, 2011

This is the best translation that I have found. A wonderful book! Enjoy.
posted by tessalations999 at 2:52 PM on February 4, 2011

There's a good summary of the various translations into English here. The most recent translation of all the lives is in the Loebs of 1914-26, which is meant as a crib and is not easy going at all for a Greek-less reader.

The recent selections of individual lives by Penguin and Oxford World Classics are pretty good. As far as the older editions go, Clough's revision of Dryden - what tessalations999 recommended - is pretty good, though it's definitely a little stiff and showing its age.
posted by dd42 at 10:31 PM on February 4, 2011

If you really need the whole schmeggege, I find the Stewart/Long version much more readable than the Dryden/Clough version, and IIRC more accurate to the original overall, though I confess the Perrin translation (from the Loebs) is generally the one in my head.

But if you just want to read some Plutarch, I second the suggestion of getting the Oxford World's Classics Greek Lives and Roman Lives, because the Robin Waterfield translations are just great.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:51 PM on February 5, 2011

Especially if you're not used to reading 19th-century English literature, Waterfield's translations are much more likely to be enjoyable to you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:53 PM on February 5, 2011

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