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What lessons are hidden in ancient biographies?

Alex Petkas is a former Classics professor who now works in the industrial coatings industry. Combining theory and practice.  Modernizing Plutarch's Parallel Lives in his Cost of Glory podcast is one of his key projects. Plutarch was an ancient biographer, his most famous work, Parallel Lives, is a set of biographies of great Roman and Greeks that we can learn a lot from today.

In this conversation Caleb Ontiveros and Alex Petkas talk about characters like Marius, Cato, Sulla, and Pyrrhus. They also discuss the importance of role models and what Plutarch can teach us today.

Learn more about Alex Petkas at his website:, follow him on Twitter: @alexpetkas, and check out The Cost of Glory

Stoa Conversations is Caleb Ontiveros and Michael Tremblay’s podcast on Stoic theory and practice.

Caleb and Michael work together on the Stoa app. Stoa is designed to help you build resilience and focus on what matters. It combines the practical philosophy of Stoicism with modern techniques and meditation.

Become more Stoic with the Stoa app.

Subscribe to The Stoa Letter for weekly meditations, actions, and links to the best Stoic resources:

Caleb Ontiveros has a background in academic philosophy (MA) and startups. His favorite Stoic is Marcus Aurelius. Follow him here:

Michael Tremblay also has a background in academic philosophy (PhD) where he focused on Epictetus. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His favorite Stoic is Epictetus. Follow him here:

Thanks to Michael Levy for graciously letting us use his music in the conversations.