This comprehensive anthology of Roman biographer Plutarch boasts an excellent and highly readable translation.
In this volume, we hear Plutarch's accounts of some of the most famous figures from Greek and Roman antiquity. Nominally arranged according to the perceived moral successes and failings of the individuals concerned, the Lives are a stunning insight into how the figures of antiquity were perceived relatively soon after passing into history themselves.
Written in the 2nd century A.D., the Lives have been in print for more than a thousand years, and would become distributed en masse following the invention of the printing press during the Renaissance. As well as being compelling biography, certain accounts of rulers such as Perikles are themselves quite well regarded as secondary sources by contemporary historians.
Plutarch would, in several cases, compare and contrast several of his biographical subjects. For instance early in the book we are treated to a comparison between Theseus and Romulus, which examines both their characteristics and actions. In the latter chapters we are given ample account of the Roman General Coriolanus, who would receive great recognition in the play by Shakespeare which bears his name.