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Fabius vs Marcellus A Look into Roman Culture Plutarch included many great Romans in his collection of biographies While it seems that many of these men embodied similar sometimes even identical virtues there are also many differences among the Lives and what Plutarch intended for us to learn from these profiles I have chosen to compare and contrast the lives of Fabius and Marcellus as told by Plutarch These two men although they lived at the same time and were often in the same positions of power reflected very different qualities and can tell us much about the attitudes and doctrines of the Romans at that time The picture Plutarch paints of Fabius childhood is that of a ridiculed withdrawn boy Known for his long labor and pains in speaking and easy submission to others he became known to many as insensible and stupid 235 This is not exactly the auspicious beginning one would expect of a future five-time consul However Plutarch is also sure to make it known that he was a descendant of a long line of distinguished men This fact is undoubtedly of very great importance to the people of Rome as it is often dwelled upon and reiterated not only throughout the story of Fabius life but the lives of all the Romans Marcellus biography begins in much the same way We are not told as many specifics about his childhood as with Fabius but we are made well aware of his ancestry In fact in the very first line of his story we are told who his father is 408 Marcellus is then described as skilled in war and with a natural tendency for battle 408 He was also quite learned in Greek studies but Plutarch especially emphasizes his warrior-like traits With such significance placed on Marcellus skill in fighting in youth and Fabius shortcomings in youth it is easy to see that these two men came from quite
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