Plutarch (Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhos, c. AD 46 – AD 120), Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Conjugal Precepts, Parallel Lives and Moralia (Matters relating to customs and mores). Some words about each of these are below. He is classified as a Middle Platonist in htat he shares much of Plato's world view. Plutarch's surviving works are in Greek, and some are incomplete.

Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. -- Plutarch

Many of his essays were on the morals, manners, and customs of the ancient world. In fact Plutarch and his morals are often compared to those of the apostles in Colossians 3:18-41, Ephesians 5:22–6:9 and 1 Peter 2:13–3:7. The Romans prided themselves on being a moral people and one of the reasons that they left the Jews alone, more or less, is because they perceived the Jews as a moral people, by Roman standards. Plutarch does not mention Christianity in his works, although he is contemporary with some of the apostles and Church Fathers. Some later Christian writers have suggested that he was an "unconscious Christian" or a "seeker after the unknown God." From what I have read it is not clear that Plutarch is looking to the spiritual for inspiration in morals, more it seems that he is holding up the traditions of the Greco-Roman world as the way that life should be lived. Plato, of course, thought that th closer society got to the good the better things would be. The Good was not a person in the same sense as the Christian God. Similarities are more what we would consider responding to general revelation than being transformed by the gospel as a Christian would say.

In addition to insights into Roman and Greek life, Plutarch's writings are often timeless observations of the human condition. Many generations of Europeans have read or imitated them, including Michel de Montaigne and the Renaissance Humanists and Enlightenment philosophers.Many of them were trying to establish a moral framework for life without God.

Below are some links to his works that are available on line.

When the candles are out, all women are fair. -- Plutarch, Conjugal Precepts

In his Conjugal Precepts (Γαμικα Παραγγελματα) much of the practical advice he gives to husbands and wives closely resembles the instructions given by Peter and Paul. (An observation will require further exploration, someday.) For those who consider Christianity a moral code such a comparison takes place in the purely human raelm. The Christian says that is is a spiritual transformation that enables us to live up to these sorts of codes.

Plutarch's Parallel Lives is a collection of short biographies of famous Greek and Roman men, most often comparing two of them. The concept of the work seems to be that the Romans and the Greeks have much in common as can be seen in the lives of these famous people. (Working on a page about Roman Emperors led me to Plutarch and looking at his Parallel Lives.)

"The soul, being eternal, after death is like a caged bird that has been released. If it has been a long time in the body, and has become tame by many affairs and long habit, the soul will immediately take another body and once again become involved in the troubles of the world. The worst thing about old age is that the soul's memory of the other world grows dim, while at the same time its attachment to things of this world becomes so strong that the soul tends to retain the form that it had in the body. But that soul which remains only a short time within a body, until liberated by the higher powers, quickly recovers its fire and goes on to higher things." -- Plutarch (The Consolation to to his Wife, Moralia)

The Moralia (Ancient Greek: Ἠθικά Ethika; loosely translated as "Morals" or "Matters relating to customs and mores") is a collection of 78 essays and transcribed speeches of Plutarch. They are traditionally arranged in 14 books and many editions contain material that is attributed to Plutarch that are not considered genuine today as noted in the following list. Looking at the list we see that Plutarch covers alot of material on many topics.

Book I.

1. On the Education of Children.
2. How the Young Man Should Study Poetry.
3. On Hearing.
4. How to Tell a Flatterer from a Friend.
5. How a Man May Become Aware of his Progress in Virtue.

Book II.

6. How to Profit by One's Enemies.
7. On Having Many Friends.
8. On Chance.
9. On Virtue and Vice.
10. Letter of Condolence to Apollonius.
11. Advice about Keeping Well.
12. Advice to Bride and Groom.
13. Dinner of the Seven Wise Men.
14. On Superstition.

Book III.

15. Sayings of Kings and Commanders.
16. Sayings of the Spartans.
17. Institutions of the Spartans.
18. Sayings of the Spartan Women.
19. Virtues of Women.

Book IV.

20. Roman Questions.
21. Greek Questions.
22. Greek and Roman Parallel Stories. (pseudo-Plutarch)
23. On the Fortune of the Romans.
24. On the Fortune or Virtue of Alexander the Great.
25. On the Glory of the Athenians.

Book V.

26. On Isis and Osiris. <[7]
27. On the EI at Delphi.
28. Oracles at Delphi no Longer Given in Verse.
29. On the Obsolescence of Oracles.

Book VI.

30. Can Virtue be Taught?
31. On Moral Virtue.
32. On the Control of Anger.
33. On Tranquility of Mind.
34. On Brotherly Love.
35. On Affection for Offspring.
36. Whether Vice is Sufficient to Cause Unhappiness.
37. Whether Affections of the Soul are Worse than Those of the Body.
38. On Talkativeness.
39. On Being a Busybody.

Book VII.

40. On Love of Wealth.
41. On Compliancy.
42. On Envy and Hate.
43. On Praising Oneself Inoffensively.
44. On the Delays of Divine Vengeance.
45. On Fate. (pseudo-Plutarch)
46. On the Sign of Socrates.
47. On Exile.
48. Consolation to his Wife.

Book VIII.

49. Table Talk.

Book IX.

50. Dialogue on Love.

Book X.

51. Love Stories.
52. A Philosopher Ought to Converse Especially with Men in Power.
53. To an Uneducated Ruler.
54. Whether an Old Man Should Engage in Public Affairs.
55. Precepts of Statecraft.
56. On Monarchy, Democracy and Oligarchy.
57. That we Ought Not to Borrow.
58. Lives of the Ten Orators. (pseudo-Plutarch)
59. Comparison between Aristophanes and Menander.

Book XI.

60. On the Malice of Herodotus.
61. On the Opinions of the Philosophers. (pseudo-Plutarch)
62. Causes of Natural Phenomena.

Book XII.

63. On the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon <[8]
64. On the Principle of Cold.
65. Whether Fire or Water is More Useful.
66. Whether Land or Sea Animals are Cleverer.
67. Beasts are Rational.
68. On the Eating of Flesh.

Book XIII.

69. Platonic Questions.
70. On the Birth of the Spirit in Timaeus.
71. Summary of the Birth of the Spirit.
72. On Stoic Self-Contradictions.
73. The Stoics Speak More Paradoxically than the Poets.
74. On Common Conceptions against the Stoics.

Book XIV.

75. It is Impossible to Live Pleasantly in the Manner of Epicurus.
76. Against Colotes.
77. Is the Saying "Live in Obscurity" Right?
78. On Music. (pseudo-Plutarch) 3/5/18 3/5/18 3/5/18 3/5/18 3/5/18