This sort of over-reading comes up repeatedly in the book.I may not always quote the passages from Plutarch (this post will be long enough), but to show how baffling it is that someone would attribute any fictionalizing compositional devices to the narrative in 1 As for Clodius, after driving Cicero away he burned down his villas, and burned down his house, and erected on its site a temple to Liberty; the rest of his property he offered for sale and had it proclaimed daily, but nobody would buy anything.The section of Plutarch in question here, discussed by Licona on pp.

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The most that can be said is that the narrative in is shorter and less detailed concerning these events, but they appear to be entirely compatible.

It is an example of Licona's odd woodenness and over-reading that he takes the relative brevity of the narrative in to mean that Plutarch is writing of different events as if they are one event and writing of a series of events deliberately as if they take place over different periods of time.

Licona repeatedly writes of highly specific dates in Plutarch as though they occur in the text, but they don't.

It may well be that the inference that those dates were intended or implied by Plutarch is extremely secure, historically, based on independent information.

4 And when Cicero returned to the city by virtue of the law then passed, he immediately reconciled Pompey to the senate,....

expands upon Clodius's insults to Pompey (I didn't even include all of the discussion of how Clodius disses Pompey), which contributed to Pompey's dissatisfaction with his ally, and that the passage in also does not happen to state at what point in all of this Clodius's term in office expired.

This argument has many different levels to it, including the inference that the gospel authors would have been as inclined as Plutarch might have been to alter the truth, which is questionable in itself.

But I question the inference at every point, and in this post I want to show how dubious the complex hypothesis about socially accepted fictionalizing literary devices is even in Plutarch.

In case one had any doubt as to whether "conflation" means "getting confused and narrating the two events as one in good faith," Licona expressly says that there is always some degree of "displacement" and/or "transferal" when "conflation" is taking place, and these are defined in explicitly terms.

So "conflation" as Licona defines it is deliberately making it sound like what you know or believe to be different events were just one event.

With these, Pompey drove Clodius from the Forum and summoned the people for a vote, which occurred on 4 August 57.