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Volume Four is now available!

The latest volume in the Plutarch Project, with study notes and text for Demosthenes, Cicero, and Demosthenes, is now available on Amazon. There is also a Kindle version, which is free with the purchase of a print copy. And don’t forget that the notes are also free to use on the AmblesideOnline website, along with a text-only version to print out for student use.

I hope you enjoy this one!

Volume Three is now available


I am really excited about the newest volume in the Plutarch Project series, and not just because it’s been almost a year since the last one.  I’ve been “living” with these studies for so long now that almost everything coming up in world news seems to relate back to the Gracchi brothers, or Agis and Cleomenes, or Julius Caesar.  Charlotte Mason’s view of Plutarch’s Lives as good Citizenship teaching for students seems particularly apt with this set of subjects. We are not just teaching the events of history, but looking at how change happens, and the ways that people react to it.

Poem for today: “in high company”

Besides, you need not be alone; the soul
Shall have society of its own rank.
Be great, be true, and all the Scipios,
The Catos, the wise patriots of Rome,
Shall flock to you and tarry by your side,
And comfort you with their high company.
Virtue alone is sweet society,
It keeps the key to all heroic hearts
And opens you a welcome in them all.

from “Written at Rome,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plutarch on narration, or “let’s give them something to talk about”

(The last of this series of Plutarch quotes.)

“If any one ask what the next thing is wherein I would have children instructed, and to what further good qualities I would have them insured, I answer, that I think it advisable that they neither speak nor do anything rashly; for, according to the proverb, the best things are the most difficult. But extemporary discourses are full of much ordinary and loose stuff, nor do such speakers well know where to begin or where to make an end. And besides other faults which those who speak suddenly are commonly guilty of, they are commonly liable to this great one, that they multiply words without measure; whereas, premeditation will not suffer a man to enlarge his discourse beyond a due proportion…

“For as they who have been a long time in chains, when they are at last set at liberty, are unable to walk, on account of their former continual restraint, and are very apt to trip, so they who have been used to a fettered way of speaking a great while, if upon any occasion they be enforced to speak on a sudden, will hardly be able to express themselves without some tokens of their former confinement. But to permit those that are yet children to speak extemporally is to give them occasion for extremely idle talk.”

Plutarch, “The Training of Chldren,” from The Ancient History Sourcebook at Fordham University  © Paul Halsall, June 1998 halsall@murray.fordham.edu