This paper analyses the fundamental elements of Plutarch’s major accounts of duels (monomachies) fought by Greek and Roman characters. It shows how Homeric epic represents the main model for these episodes: the verbal and visual confrontation, the physical size and prowess, the adorned weapons, and the frightening appearance of the combatants, are the most frequently recurring elements, which regularly take precedence over historical plausibility or consistency within Plutarch’s corpus. Through a refined reworking, Plutarch imbues the duels with a heroic, dramatic tone which echoes a distant past and meets the literary culture of learned readers.
|Translated title of the contribution||"The greatest and fairest deed". Plutarch and the monomachy|
|Specialist publication||Revue internationale d'Histoire Militaire Ancienne|
|Publisher||Presses Universitaires de France|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- heroic tradition