The Philosopher-King and the City in Plutarch's Life of Numa

  title={The Philosopher-King and the City in Plutarch's Life of Numa},
  author={Jonathan Colman},
  journal={Perspectives on Political Science},
  pages={1 - 9}
  • J. Colman
  • Published 2 January 2015
  • History
  • Perspectives on Political Science
Abstract Plutarch characterizes the reign of Numa Pompilius, Romulus’ successor, as a manifest illustration of Plato's philosopher-king. Numa, who reluctantly leaves his private life of quiet contemplation to assume the kingship of Rome, fits within Plutarch's general view that the philosopher has an obligation to participate in political life. Such participation, however, may not be without complication. The Rome Numa inherits is described by Plutarch, again pointing toward the Republic, as a… 
2 Citations
Plutarch's Lives in the Byzantine chronographic tradition: the chronicle of John Zonaras *
This article focuses on the presence of material from Plutarch's Lives in Byzantine chronicles, particularly that of John Zonaras, the only chronicler to draw heavily on Plutarch's biographies.
Of asses and nymphs: Machiavelli, Platonic theology and Epicureanism in Florence
  • M. Vatter
  • Philosophy
    Intellectual History Review
  • 2019
ABSTRACT Is Machiavelli an Epicurean in his political and religious thought? Recent scholarship has identified him as the foremost representative of Epicureanism in Renaissance Florence. In


Lives of eminent philosophers
This rich compendium on the lives and doctrines of philosophers ranges over three centuries, from Thales to Epicurus (to whom the whole tenth book is devoted); 45 important figures are portrayed.
Republic, 407a-c, 411a-d, 498 b-c. See Rosen, Plato's Republic, 8, and Catherine Zuckert, Plato's Philosophers
  • 2009
Republic, 407a-c, 411a-d, 498 b-c. See Rosen, Plato’s Republic, 8, and Catherine Zuckert, Plato’s Philosophers (Chicago
  • 2009
Joost-Gaugier, Measuring Heaven (Ithaca
  • See “De Genio Socratis” in Plutarch, Moralia, trans. De Lacy and Einarson (Cambridge:
  • 2006
Plutarch would seem to side with the reasoning of Numa's father rather than with Numa's perhaps false choice between the philosophic life and political life
  • XIV, 419. 28. Plutarch, Moralia, trans. Cherniss
  • 2004
Scipio in Cicero's Republic says that it is ridiculous to consider the possibility of a friendship between the men
  • See Tusculan Disputations, trans. King
  • 1983
Harvard University Press, 2001), Vol
  • XVIII, 329. Ovid in the Metamorphoses established Pythagoras as Numa’s teacher; Livy in his history denies the possibility. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. R. Humphries (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983), Book XV; Livy, History of Rome, trans. T. J. Luce (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
  • 1998
Augustine associates Numa with Pythagoras. According to Augustine, Numa possessed an "illicit curiosity
  • 1999
Memorable Doings and Sayings, trans
    The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, 116−17. 24. Ibid., 119. 25. Ibid. 26. Ibid