Vol. 21 (2023)

Glory, wine, and dice: the emotions of a negative hero in Plutarch’s "Life of Demetrius"

Virgilio Costa
Università degli Studi Roma Tor Vergata

Published 2024-01-31


  • Demetrius Poliorcetes,
  • Plutarch,
  • Parallel Lives,
  • emotions,
  • ancient Greek historiography


This article deals with the complex portrait of Demetrius Poliorcetes in Plutarch’s homonymous Life. Demetrius is portrayed as a brave and daring hero, but emotional and unable to withstand the reverses of fortune: and yet these very characteristics, beyond the harsh words expressed in the σύγκρισις of the Lives of Demetrius and Antony, make the biography of the former one of Plutarch’s most interesting works.