Talk:Plutarch's Lives (Clough)

Add topic
Active discussions
Information about this edition
Edition: 1683 translation, Arthur Hugh Clough 1859 revision.
Source: Project Gutenberg
Contributor(s): Danny,,, Aphillipsmusique
Level of progress:


There are several steps to completing this text, which I hope will be a model for all other texts.

  1. Chapter breaks must be inserted.
  2. Line numbers must be inserted.
  3. A brief introduction should be given to each Life, linking to Wikipedia.
  4. Links to relevant articles in Wikipedia should be inserted into each article. Danny 11:14, 26 October 2006 (UTC)


This page contains a rather serious error. It lists John Dryden as the translator. Based on my research so far, Dryden is not credited with any of the actual translation. The Wikipedia article on w:Plutarch says he "oversaw" the translation. Other sources I have seen describe him as lending his name as a "sponsor" of the text. His full role is probably uncertain. I have conjectured that Tonson, the publisher, may well have had more to do with the actual editting of the translation, but I am still researching. The original of the book ascribes the translation to "various hands" or "many hands" -- I cannot recall which at this time. But will look up the proper phrasing. This translation is also often referred to as "The Dryden Translation" in order to avoid the mistake of calling Dryden the translator.

I recommend that "The Dryden Translation" be used in place of John Dryden on the wikisource page. Either that or "various hands"/"many hands" depending upon the correct usage from the original. Mddietz 18:46, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

This paragraph from Bartleby [1] confirms what I have said above.

  • The present translation is that made originally by a group of scholars in the end of the seventeenth century and published with a life of Plutarch by Dryden. This, usually called the Dryden translation, was revised in 1859 by Arthur Hugh Clough, who corrected it by the standards of modern scholarship, so that it took the place which it still occupies as the best version in English for the purposes of the general reader.

I have a bibliography that provides the full language of the title page of the book which will clarify the books own phrasing--just cannot put my hands on it right this moment. Mddietz 19:09, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, jvdb. "John Dryden and eminent hands." Still not technically correct, unless Dryden actually did do some of the translation -- and everything I have seen so far indicates that he did not. I suppose, hoewever, this will have to do. Mddietz 16:17, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
We can do lots better, on two fronts.
  1. The Wikipedia article w:Parallel Lives needs a major overhaul; it looks terrible, with lots of links to external sites littered throughout the article in a way that is, in my opinion, distracting. Your research into who actually did the translation should be first documented on Wikipedia, with references, and then Wikisource can follow suit.
  2. Also, our text is just a copy and paste from some website. Ideally we want to find pagescans of the original 17th century translation among these and set up a transcription project to accurately record what was printed at the time, including forewords, etc. We can also set up transcription projects for latter editions, so readers can see all of the public domain translations made, all right here on Wikisource.
John Vandenberg (chat) 23:31, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
John, I stumbled into this question rather accidentally. My focus was on Arthur Clough, the nineteenth century English poet who edited the Dryden translation. I bought the current Modern Library edition because it uses the Dryden/Clough translation. However that edition does not include Dryden's "Life of Plutarch" (Dryden's one clear contribution to the edition), and (despite advertising them on the cover) does not inlcude Clough's notes to the text.
I have just checked the first part of the Romulus article and with the exception of a minor paragraphing error it conincides with the text in the ML edition. Our wikisource edition is, no doubt, the Clough/Dryden/many hands translation. Also, here again we do not have Clough's notes which I have only had a brief glance at in another on-line edition. I do not have a copy of the pure Dryden edition because, after Clough edited, it more or less seems to have disappeared and those older editions are quite expensive.
I would agree with you on the presentation here. Its lack of bibliographic information is a little disconcerting. (But then I would also critique the ML edition for the same. The intro provides no rationale for the use of the Clough/Dryden translation and reiterates far too much of Clough's preface.) Note: we are also missing Clough's preface which is, itself, a notable item. Mddietz 18:27, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh and we are also missign Dryden's "Life of Plutarch." Mddietz 18:29, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure we will be able to find it somewhere in this list: [2]. I'll try to help organise that list over the weekend. You can see the pages of each of those book by clicking "Flip Book" on the left. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:20, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
The Life of Plutarch is available in this document [3] but not Clough's preface. Mddietz 18:38, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Clough's Preface is in this one [4], but the Clough's timeline is all messed up and the scanning is horrible with lots of textual errors. Mddietz 18:43, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, it took about a decade but I'm finally fixing the problem. This never was 'Dryden's' version at all, and this is the Clough edition of the work his name became associated with. — LlywelynII 05:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

List of Many HandsEdit

John, I've pulled this off of ABEBOOKS where a first edition is being offered ($4669.32!!) for sale. The bookseller has kindly provided a list of the the various "hands" who are responsible for the translation. Not sure if this list belongs here or in wikipedia. (I have removed the comments on book condition.)

Book Description: Jacob Tonson Sign of the Judges Head Chancery Lane near Fleet Street., London, 1683. Full-Leather. M Burghers (illustrator). First Edition. Leather covers. 1683-1686 19 x 11cm. Each volume has frontis plate and a dedicated engraved plate for each chapter. Engraved plates by: Touroude de Vandrebanc; M Burghers [MB; MBurg; MBurghers; M Burgher]; Collins; RW; Sturt. London Jacob Tonson 1683-1686. Sign of the Judges Head Chancery Lane near Fleet Street. First volume published independently with 4 volumes being published consequently. Number of plates: 12; 11; 11; 10; 11 = 55 [35 by M Burghers.] Volume 1: 1683 : Preface dedicated to the Duke of Ormond. Table of lives: Plutarch by Mr Dryden (page 1-128); Theseus - Mr Duke; Romulus - Mr Smallwood; Lycurgus - Mr Chetwood; Nema Pompilius - Mr Ryant; Solon - Mr Creech; Poplicoca - Mr Dodswell; Themistocles - Dr Brown; Furius Camillus - Mr Pain; Pericles - Dr Littleton; Fabius Maximus - Mr Carryl (page 1-656). Volume 2: 1684; Alcibiades Coriolanus - Dr Blomer; Paulus Emilius - Mr Arrowsmith Timoleon - Dr Blomer; Pelopidas - Mr Creech; Marcellus - Dr Chowtoft; Aristides - Mr Cooper; Marcus Catopp-Mr Lydcot; Philopoemen - Dr Short; Titusflaminius -Mr Whitaker. (Page 1-688) Note from Tonson regarding the success of volume 1 [this was, I believe, written by Dryden -- mark]. Chronological table. Volume 3: 1684: Pyrrhus - Dr Croune; Cajus Marius - Mr Stapleton; Lysander - Mr Lemon; Sylla - Mr Davis; Cimon - Mr Morgan; Lucullus - Mr Mornburgh; Nicias - Mr Rimer; Crassus - Mr Amhurst; Eumenes; Serterius - Dr Brown (page 1-684). Chronological table. Catalogue of books printed by Tonson at rear. Volume 4: 1685; Agesilaus - Dr Needham; Pompey - Dr Oldish; Alexander - Mr Evelyn; Julius Caesar -Dr Allen; Phocian - Dr Fowke; Cato; Agis - Sir Robert Thorold; Cleomenes - Mr Creech; Gracchi Tiberius and Caius - Mr Warren. (Page 1-712) Chronological table. The Comparison of Tiberius and Caius, Gracchi with Agis and Cleomenes. Volume 5: 1686; Demetrius Poliocretes - Dr Nalson; Marcus Antonius - Dr Fraser; Demosthenes; Marcus Tullius Cicero - Dr Fuller; Aratus - Dr Bateman; Artaxerxes - Mr Oakley; Dion -Dr Ovedale; Marcus Brutus -Mr Duke; Galba - Mr Taylor; Otheo - Mr Beaumont (Page 1- 764).

Mddietz 20:09, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much. — LlywelynII 05:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Need to disambiguateEdit

I would feel that this work will need to be moved to its full name and the page Lives used as a page of disambiguation. Many works are possibly going to need to be linked from there. -- billinghurst (talk) 00:56, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Another 'Lives'Edit

Lives, a work by author Walkins (no further detail known) that contains biographical information A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Sheridan, Richard Brinsley -- billinghurst (talk) 12:07, 2 February 2009 (UTC)