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Plutarch Primer, Part II


Blackie edition, North's translation - these are most often recommended in the PNEU programmes (actual sweet size)
If you haven't read Part I, please begin there!

I will admit that Plutarch is probably our most challenging reading in our school. I  should say "my" most challenging reading - not my children.  They really do rise to the occasion, taking in what they need and then getting quite accustomed to the Elizabethan writing.

Plutarch is another case of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." It's an accumulated knowledge that only begins to show itself after quite a few lives have been read. But, and this is a very big "but", one of the most important reasons that we read Plutarch is that this reading often is where they are getting their ancient history knowledge.  While occasionally other texts are used, with Plutarch our children are learning their ancient history strand in a Mason education. Pair that with the lessons in personal conduct, magnanimity, and government that Plutarch teaches and Charlotte Mason's aims for citizenship are realized in her unique and original way.

Which life to begin with? I recommend starting with a name you recognize.  Try Julius Caesar, Alexander, or Pericles.  Remember, all lives are not created equal - some are more interesting, some are more humorous, some are more historically significant, some are more entertaining, and some are much shorter than others (Timoleon comes to mind.)

We are starting school here this week.  Part III will address editions and favorite resources.  Are you ready to take the plunge into Plutarch?  This fall, I will be teaching Plutarch to our TBG Community!  I can't wait to tell you about how that goes.

May all your goings be graces,
Nancy

Plutarch Primer, Part I
Plutarch Primer, Part III

19 comments:

  1. Happy 1st week of school, Nancy!!! :D I'm following this series with interest. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I hope your first week goes well, too!

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  2. I'm also reading this with great interest. I have a copy of North's translation that was published by Wordsworth Classics. It's only a selected lives edition, but it should get us started!

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    1. Great, Sarah! I will be talking and recommending editions soon. Let me know about your experience with Plutarch.

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    2. I like the Wordsworth book too, but it' s gone out of print the last I heard. :-(

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  3. I love this quote by Pericles : “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.”
    It is what is happening today. Will look in Plutarch for this or where Pericles said it. Still on summer break here!

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    1. Yes, not sure where that quote comes from but would like to know!

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  4. Have you done Shakespeare's Pericles and Julius Caesar? I have only done Caesar. Did CM do those plays with Plutarch at the same time>

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    1. We did Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and then did Plutarch the following term. I did see where she did both Shakespeare's and Plutarch's Julius Caesar in the same term, but would need to go back and find that. Seems unit studyish, so I was surprised! That's the only one I remember seeing where she did both in the same term.

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    2. I noticed that she did them together a few times. And then read Brutus next term.

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    3. We did Coriolanus together, Plutarch and Shakespeare--it's really instructive how Shakespeare took minor characters and gave them a lot more to do in the play.

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  5. Thank you for another post today. Amazon sells the North 2012 paperback editions. Would these be the same as your copy, without the charming cover? I would love it if you would Livefeed your TBG class. :)

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    1. I am not sure about that, Linda. I need to do a text-to-text comparison. These Blackie's editions that she used seem short, so I wonder what has been edited. I KNOW - I just love that cover.

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  6. I am also hoping to incorporate Plutarch for the first time this fall with our rising 5th grader. Have you used Anne White's study from Ambleside while studying Plutarch? I am considering starting there and would love feedback.

    Thanks for your posts,
    Melissa

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    1. I would recommend anything Anne White has put together! I make some recommendations in Part III of this series.

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  7. Hi Nancy,

    Just wanted to let you know (this is not meant to be an ad!) that we have been doing some work on the AO Plutarch page, thought you might want to have a look to see the updates.

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    1. Thanks, Anne. Yes, I will be linking to the AO page in my next post. (Nice updates!)

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  8. We started with Crassus, and we'll continue with Timoleon, and I am very glad to see it is short, great fit for our second life. My girls loved Crassus much more I could have ever predicted. Anne's notes were a delight, and made it possible and doable for us to tackle Plutarch.
    Warning. It becomes "addictive", lol.

    It is excited to have a new one every term... how will this life be?, we cannot wait to find out.

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    1. I love it, Silvia! And I agree, it is exciting to have a new one each term. Extending the life past one term tends to dull the freshness and excitement of what is to come.

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