Internal evidence suggests that the were composed in Plutarch’s later years, but the order of composition can be only partially determined; the present order is a later rearrangement based largely on the chronology of the Greek subjects, who are placed first in each pair.In all, 22 pairs survive (one pair being a double group of “Agis and Cleomenes” and the “Gracchi”) and four single biographies, of display impressive learning and research.The first pair, “Epaminondas and Scipio,” and perhaps an introduction and formal dedication, are lost.But Plutarch’s plan was clearly to publish in successive books biographies of Greek and Roman heroes in pairs, chosen as far as possible for their similarity of character or career, and each followed by a formal comparison.
Rugged mountains and the jagged coastline break the land into many small, separate areas. Instead, it consisted of small kingdoms that after about 800 . Because travel was easier by sea than by land, the Greeks became a nation of seafarers, and they traded and established colonies all over the Mediterranean and the Near East.Greek men tend to sway from wonderful, cultured, caring beings to arrogant buffoons who believe that their word and their mother’s word is law.Ensnaring a Greek man is not a difficult task; they can usually be found lurking around coffee shops or down at the Mercedes garage.Not that we had a problem with that, but for a Greek adventure we were seeking a totally unspoilt location, something rougher and wilder, and the Mani, in the middle peninsula of the southern Peloponnese, fitted our requirements perfectly. Having watched all a fascinating account of Lawrence’s time living at the White House in Kalami Bay, when life in Corfu was grittier and more authentic, I can’t help but wonder: if the Durrells were around now, planning a Grecian odyssey, would they really have picked Corfu?Or would they also have looked for a location with more edginess.