Plutarchs moralia introduction in this essay herodotus is accused not only of malice duplicity and a preference for putting the worst interpretation on other peoples acts but also of insincerity and deliberate falsification of the facts the greek word kakoetheia embraces all these offences and the translator has searched in vain for an equally comprehensive english word. Plutarchs moralia of national heroes the de malignitate is an ethical essay not an attempt at historical criticism or a political pamphlet in defence of the boeotians and plutarchs credit is better preserved if this is constantly borne in mind by his readers the text which offers many difficulties to an editor is preserved in only two manuscripts both in the bibliotheque nationale. Plutarch the malice of herodotos edited and translated by a j bowen liverpool university press aris and phillips classical texts the malice of herodotus can perhaps best be described as the worlds earliest known book review. Plutarchs essay on herodotus has been described as the worlds earliest known book review we all have seen examples of this type of writing a scathing review by a reviewer whose negative comments reveal an underlying bias against the author or his work that seems to obviate any pretense of an objective appraisal such an approach is puzzling in this case in that it seems so out of character . The malice of herodotus can perhaps best be described as the worlds earliest known book review but it is much more than that for in the course of correcting with considerable vituperation what he saw as herodotus anti greek bias plutarch tells us much about his own attitude to writing history
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