The Selection of Plutarch's Lives

Mar 2018
780
UK
How can they be lost?Is there any chance at all the can be found? Somewhere? Somehow?
What's surprising about 2000 year old books getting lost? At some point, someone stopped the laborious task of hand copying it and the previous copies were eventually lost to the ravages of time.
 
Mar 2013
1,029
Breakdancing on the Moon.
How can they be lost?Is there any chance at all the can be found? Somewhere? Somehow?
Prior to the printing press, books had to be copied by hand. The entire thing was also market driven, so if people weren't interested they wouldn't spend the cash to get books re-copied and things dropped out of circulation. Some very, very, important texts have only came down to us by chance - e.g Tacitus' histories.

There was a big shift from papyrus rolls to parchment codices. This serves as a watershed of survivability.
 
Jul 2014
682
Messinia
Prior to the printing press, books had to be copied by hand. The entire thing was also market driven, so if people weren't interested they wouldn't spend the cash to get books re-copied and things dropped out of circulation. Some very, very, important texts have only came down to us by chance - e.g Tacitus' histories.

There was a big shift from papyrus rolls to parchment codices. This serves as a watershed of survivability.
Thank you for explaining it with such respect and humility. What do you think was written in the lost lives?
 
Sep 2014
939
Texas
A more casual topic of discussion...

Are there any omissions or inclusions in Plutarch's Lives that you find interesting? Personally, I've alway thought it a little strange that Scipio Africanus doesn't merit a Life of his own.

Discuss. :)
I am disappointed he didn't cover Brasidas of Sparta. Thucydides was so techinical...a little of Plutarch's gossipy points would have been fun to read.