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Extra info for Plutarch's Lives (Volume 11)
Those years were employed in the study of nature, and in gaining the elements of philosophical knowledge from her original economy and laws. Hence all that Dacier has observed concerning the probability of Plutarch9s being seventeen or eighteen years of age when he studied under Ammonius, is without the least weight. The way to mathematical and philosophical knowledge was, indeed, much more easy among the ancient Greeks than it can ever be with us. Those, and every other science, are bound up in terms, which we can never understand precisely, till we become acquainted with the languages from which they are derived.
This place was remark able for nothing but the tameness and servility of its inhabitants, whom Antony9s soldiers made beasts of burden, and obliged to carry their corn upon their shoulders to the coast. As it lay between two seas, and was partly shut up by mountains, the air of course was heavy, and truly Boeotian. Vol. 舒C Z* situations as little favoured by nature as Chaeronea, have given birth to the greatest men; of which the celebrated Locke, and many others, are instances. Plutarch himself acknowledges the stupidity of the Boeotians in general; but he imputes it rather to their diet than to their air; for, in his Treatise on Animal Food, he intimates that a gross indulgence in that article, which was usual with his countrymen, contributes greatly to obscure the intellectual faculties.
His whole conduct was regulated by the precepts of philosophy; and the respect he showed to Plutarch on this occasion was a proof of his attachment to it. Such was the man who postponed the letter of a prince to the lecture of a philosopher. But Plutarch was not only treated with general marks of distinction by the superior people in Rome; he had particular and very respectable friendships. Sossius Senecio, who was four times consul, once under Nerva, and thrice under Trajan, was his most intimate friend.