Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy

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Synopsis

In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of antiquity, preeminent historian Adrian Goldsworthy goes beyond myth and romance to create a nuanced and historically acute portrayal of his subjects, set against the political backdrop of their time. A history of lives lived intensely at a time when the world was changing profoundly, the book takes readers on a journey that crosses cultures and boundaries from ancient Greece and ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire.

Drawing on his prodigious knowledge of the ancient world and his keen sense of the period’s military and political history, Goldsworthy creates a singular portrait of the iconic lovers. “Antony and Cleopatra were first and foremost political animals,” explains Goldsworthy, who places politics and ideology at the heart of their storied romance. Undertaking a close analysis of ancient sources and archaeological evidence, Goldsworthy bridges the gaps of current scholarship and dispels misconceptions that have entered the popular consciousness. He explains why Cleopatra was consistently portrayed by Hollywood as an Egyptian, even though she was really Greek, and argues that Antony had far less military experience than anyone would suspect from reading Shakespeare and other literature. Goldsworthy makes an important case for understanding Antony as a powerful Roman senator and political force in his own right.

A masterfully told—and deeply human—story of love, politics, and ambition, Goldsworthy’s Antony and Cleopatra delivers a compelling reassessment of a major episode in ancient history.
 

About Adrian Goldsworthy

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\Adrian Goldsworthy is a leading historian of the ancient world. The author of many books, including How Rome Fell, Caesar, The Roman Army at War, and In the Name of Rome, he lectures widely and consults on historical documentaries produced by the History Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC. Goldsworthy is also the recipient of numerous prizes. He lives in Wales.
 
Published September 3, 2010 by Yale University Press. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Antony and Cleopatra

The Washington Times

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Antony and Cleopatra, the names conjure up a variety of images that include Roman military might, eastern decadence and a pair of tragic star-crossed lovers. Some of that is actually accurate, but much of it is romanticized fiction. In his latest study of the Roman world, Adrian Goldsworthy takes...

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Antony and Cleopatra

M/C Anderson

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Mar 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Antony and Cleopatra

BBC History Magazine

Hence most of the readers of Adrian Goldsworthy’s Antony and Cleopatra will be coming to the book with intellectual baggage, even if they don’t know any Roman history.

Sep 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Antony and Cleopatra

Spectator Book Club

We hear much about the earlier Ptolemies and Cleopatras (their habitual incest, their propensity for fratricide) and — on the Roman side — an account of the Punic Wars, which is a bit like devoting the first chapters of a modern politician’s biography to the first world war.

Aug 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Antony and Cleopatra

Spectator Book Club

The ancient sources abundantly demonstrate that Antony was a popular commander and an adroit politician, but to Goldsworthy he was a ‘clumsy’ man who owed his successes to happy accident, and whose defeat and death, far from being tragic, form the fitting end to the career of a ‘vulgar’ drunkard ...

Aug 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Antony and Cleopatra

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