Plutarch's Lives "Epaminondas"

Jul 2014
678
Messinia
#1
Epaminondas fascinates me. I really wish we would know a little more about him. His physical appearance etc.

What would have been written about him in Plutarch's Lives "Epaminondas"?

I know we have lost the work to the sands of time but I am curious as to what would have been written about him.

Thank you.
 
Oct 2015
874
Virginia
#2
Not much has survived from ancient times. There is a brief biography of Epaminondas in Cornelius Nepos "De viris illustris". He is mentioned in Plutarch's biography of Pelopidas, and in Diodorus Siculus' history book xv.
 
Jan 2015
2,950
MD, USA
#5
I'm a little baffled by the question, really! How can we know? I mean, if you're read the rest of Plutarch's Lives, plus other ancient biographies, you'd have a reasonable idea of the sorts of things that get mentioned, but I honestly haven't. Sorry!

Matthew
 
#7
Do you think Epaminondas's appearance would have been mentioned?
Maybe. Plutarch does describe Pyrrhus' appearance (3.4): 'In the aspect of his countenance Pyrrhus had more of the terror than of the majesty of kingly power. He had not many teeth, but his upper jaw was one continuous bone, on which the usual intervals between the teeth were indicated by slight depressions.'
 
Jul 2014
678
Messinia
#8
Maybe. Plutarch does describe Pyrrhus' appearance (3.4): 'In the aspect of his countenance Pyrrhus had more of the terror than of the majesty of kingly power. He had not many teeth, but his upper jaw was one continuous bone, on which the usual intervals between the teeth were indicated by slight depressions.'
Fantastic.

Thank you for sharing this information.
 
Nov 2011
1,046
The Bluff
#10
Does anyone know if there is ANY mentions of Epaminondas's physical appearance?
None that I'm aware of. Plutarch was largely uninterested in such unless it was character defining in some way or unusual (so Pyrrhos, above). No one can guess what Plutarch might or might not have written in his Life. Defenders of Xenophon (only mentions Epameinandas when there was no way he couldn't and, then, in a somewhat less than flattering manner) claim that Plutarch was biased when it came the Theban leaders. Still, anything would be pure guesswork.
 

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