Plutarch’s Three Treatises on Animals : A Translation with Introductions and Commentary book cover
1st Edition

Plutarch’s Three Treatises on Animals
A Translation with Introductions and Commentary

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367647995
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

This volume offers a new translation of Plutarch’s three treatises on animals—On the Cleverness of Animals, Whether Beasts Are Rational, and On Eating Meat—accompanied by introductions and explanatory commentaries.

The accompanying commentaries are designed not only to elucidate the meaning of the Greek text, but to call attention to Plutarch’s striking anticipations of arguments central to current philosophical and ethological discourse in defense of the position that non-human animals have intellectual and emotional dimensions that make them worthy of inclusion in the moral universe of human beings.

Plutarch’s Three Treatises on Animals will be of interest to students of ancient philosophy and natural science, and to all readers who wish to explore the history of thought on human–non-human animal relations, in which the animal treatises of Plutarch hold a pivotal position.

Table of Contents


Whether Land or Sea Animals Have More Intelligence, or On the Cleverness of Animals: De sollertia animalium



Whether Beasts Are Rational, or Gryllus: Bruta animalia ratione uti



On Eating Meat: De esu carnium


Treatise I: Translation

Treatise II: Translation



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Stephen T. Newmyer is Professor Emeritus of Classics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, USA. He has published extensively on classical views on the intellectual and emotional dimensions of non-human animals, and is the author of Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics (Routledge, 2006), Animals in Greek and Roman Thought: A Sourcebook (Routledge, 2011) and The Animal and the Human in Ancient and Modern Thought: The ‘Man Alone of Animals’ Concept (Routledge, 2017).


"Man kann dem Verfasser nur zu dieser Ausgabe gratulieren, die neben einer flüssig lesbaren Übersetzung in wohltuender Knappheit und ansprechender Form alle wichtigen zoologischen und philosophischen Informationen aus Antike und Moderne in Bezug auf die Mensch-Tier-Beziehung präzise auf den Punkt bringt und deshalb gewiss für lange Zeit der Standardkommentar für die wissenschaftliche Beschäftigung mit diesen drei berühmten Traktaten Plutarchs unter dem Aspekt der Human-animal studies bleiben wird." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review

[One can only congratulate the author on this edition, which, in addition to a fluently readable translation in a pleasantly concise and appealing form, brings all the important zoological and philosophical information from antiquity and the present in relation to human-animal relations precisely to the point. It will certainly remain the standard commentary for the scientific study of these three famous treatises by Plutarch from the point of view of human-animal studies for a long time.]