Commentary on Plutarch's
De latenter vivendo

By Geert Roskam
December 2007
Leuven University Press                                                        
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9789058676030                                   
276 pages, 6 3/8 x 9 1/2"
$87.50 Paper Original


Plutarch’s De latenter vivendo is the only extant work from Antiquity in which Epicurus’ famous ideal of an ‘unnoticed life’ (lathe biosas) is thematised as such. Moreover, the short rhetorical work provides a lot of interesting information about Plutarch’s polemical strategies and about his own philosophical convictions in the domains of ethics, politics, metaphysics, and eschatology.

In this book, Plutarch’s anti-Epicurean polemic is understood against the background of the previous philosophical tradition. An examination of Epicurus’ own position is followed by a discussion of Plutarch’s polemical predecessors (Timocrates, Cicero, the early Stoics, and Seneca) and contemporaries (Epictetus), and by a systematical and detailed analysis of Plutarch’s own arguments. The lemmatic commentary offers additional information and parallel passages (both from Plutarch’s own works and from others authors) that cast a new light on the text.

Geert Roskam obtained in 2001 a PhD in Classics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He is Postdoctoral Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders. He has published extensively on Hellenistic and Middle-Platonist philosophy.


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