The doomed love affair that united Ancient Rome & Egypt. The immortal lovers of novels, plays and films, Antony and Cleopatra were reviled by contemporary Romans, but history has transformed them into tragic heroes. Somewhere between their vilification by Augustus and the judgement of a later age there were two vibrant people whose destinies were entwined after the assassination of Julius Caesar in March 44 BC. Mark Antony's reputation for recklessness, hard drinking, and womanising overshadowed his talents for leadership and astute administration. Cleopatra was determined to reconstitute the ancient empire of the Ptolemies, and Antony as legally appointed ruler of the east gave her much, but not all, of what she desired. Their association went far beyond territorial agreements. They had three children, and may have married according to Egyptian law. This blending of politics and sex led to the ultimate ruin of both, since their main rival Octavian-Augustus was able to portray Cleopatra as the arch enemy of Rome and Antony as her bewitched consort. His propaganda was effective, and in the end Antony's soldiers deserted him.
When all was lost, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide, and were buried side by side in Alexandria.
Patricia Southern is an authority of the history of ancient Rome and the author of twelve books on the subject. Her other books include: ROMAN BRITAIN: A NEW HISTORY 55 BC-450 AD, ANCIENT ROME: THE RISE & FALL OF AN EMPIRE 753BC-AD476 ('Clear and witty' OXBOW BOOK NEWS, 'A lucid book' CHOICE); CLEOPATRA ('In the absence of Cleopatra's memoirs, Southern's commendably balanced biography will do very well' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. 'Scholarly and readable... looks carefully behind the rhetoric of a hostile ancient press' DR PETER JONES); JULIUS CAESAR ('Her style is delightfully approachable: lean and lucid, witty and pacy' ANTIQUITY); DOMITIAN: TRAGIC TYRANT ('A lively and wittily written book - the story of a strange life, enjoyably told' CLASSICAL JOURNAL); THE ROMAN EMPIRE FROM SEVERUS TO CONSTANTINE ('Writing with her usual surpassing skill for a broader readership, Patricia Southern distils and immense body of scholarship in history, military archaeology and numismatics' ANTIQUITY); AUGUSTUS, POMPEY THE GREAT, EMPRESS ZENOBIA, ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, THE ROMAN ARMY: A SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL HISTORY and THE LATE ROMAN ARMY. She lives in Northumberland.
Acknowledgements Introduction: The Background 1 Caesar's Lieutenant: Mark Antony c.83-47BC 2 Caesar's Lover: Cleopatra 69-47BC 3 A Time in Rome: Antony & Cleopatra 47-44BC 4 Separate Ways: Antony & Cleopatra 44-41BC 5 Reunion: Antony & Cleopatra 41-35BC 6 Caesar's Heirs: Antony, Cleopatra & Octavian 35-30BC Notes Bibliography Abbreviations List of Illustrations Index About the Author
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