Date: Friday, March 23, 2018 | 7 p.m. Location: University of Dallas, SB Hall, Multifunction Room Admission: By donation; Underwriting opportunities are also available » Reception: Reception will be from 7-8 p.m. Lecture will begin at 8 p.m.
Come discuss the nature of philosophy, its relationship to politics, the character
of tyranny and how one ought to respond to it, and much more—all of which are topics
dealt with by Plutarch 2000 years ago in his Parallel Lives.
About Plutarch & "Parallel Lives"
Plutarch was one of the most influential writers of the ancient world. With Thucydides
and Cicero, among others, his work was a formative part of education through the nineteenth
century and hence important for the forming of our own political, civic and social
milieux. Shakespeare saw in Plutarch such depth of analysis that he used many of his Lives as sources for his own plays, including his Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra.
In his Parallel Lives, Plutarch compares the lives of significant and some not-so-significant Greeks and
Romans. Though he did write histories, he did not consider the Parallel Lives to be histories. His interest is in character, in virtue and vice, and so he notes
in his “Alexander” that he follows the path of the portrait-painter who is more exact
in the lines and features of the face than of the rest of the body, for there character
is revealed. As portraits of various virtues and vices, his Parallel Lives illustrate how people with such virtues and vices would or could act in various political
and civic situations. One might say his lives breathe life into the account of virtue
and vice one finds in Aristotle’s Ethics (though, to be sure, Plutarch is normally classified as a Platonist).
In a curious decision, Plutarch chooses to compare the life of Dion with that of Brutus.
The immediate parallels, he suggests, are to be found in the fact that they were both
philosophers and that they each had premonitions of their own demise. But the parallel
also allows him to investigate issues such as the nature of philosophy, the relationship
between philosophy and politics, the character of tyranny and how one ought to respond
to it, and the lessons of historical circumstance. All of which, if one reflects upon
it, are important for our own day, and, indeed, for every age.
John Alvis, Ph.D., English
Richard Dougherty, Ph.D., Politics
David Sweet, Ph.D., Classics
Matthew Walz, Ph.D., Philosophy
Moderator: David Davies, Ph.D., English & Classics
About the Braniff Salon
The Braniff Salons have become popular events, bringing alumni, faculty, students
and visitors together, usually on a Friday afternoon or evening. Members of our faculty
are invited to make remarks and lead a panel discussion on a pre-arranged topic. The
occasion is leavened by wine and food, with discussion lasting as long as wine and
social energy avail.
Galbraith Lecture featuring Anthony Esolen to Precede Braniff Salon:
Prior to this year's Braniff Salon will be the Annual Galbraith Lecture, featuring
Anthony Esolen on "Dante & Liturgical Time," at 6 pm in SB Hall, Multifunction Room.
There will be a joint reception for the two events, at 7 p.m. (following the Galbraith
Lecture and prior to the Braniff Salon). Come for one event, or for both! It will
be a charged evening of intellectual candor.
6 p.m. | Galbraith Lecture 7 p.m. | Open Reception 8 p.m. | Braniff Salon
The University of Dallas Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Executive Vice President John G. Plotts, Ed.D., as interim president of the university. Plotts joined the university in December of 2008, initially serving in the roles of associate provost and dean of undergraduate admissions.
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