A Commentary on Plutarch's 'De latenter vivendo'

A Commentary on Plutarch's "De latenter vivendo"

Plutarch's De latenter vivendo is the only extant work from antiquity in which Epicurus' famous ideal of an "unnoticed life" (lathe biosas) is characterized. Moreover, the short rhetorical work provides much interesting information about Plutarch's polemical strategies and about his own philosophical convictions in the domains of ethics, politics, metaphysics, and eschatology.

In this book, Plutarch's anti-Epicurean polemic is understood against the background of the previous philosophical tradition. An examination of Epicurus' own position is followed by a discussion of Plutarch's polemical predecessors (Timocrates, Cicero, the early Stoics, and Seneca) and contemporaries (Epictetus), and by a systematical and detailed analysis of Plutarch's own arguments. The commentary offers additional information and parallel passages (both from Plutarch's own works and from other authors) that illuminate the text.