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Antony and Cleopatra
by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy


Overview -

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

In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, 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.  Read more...


 
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More About Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
 
 
 
Overview

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

In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, 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.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780300165340
  • ISBN-10: 030016534X
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publish Date: September 2010
  • Page Count: 470


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General
Books > History > Ancient - Rome
Books > History > Ancient - Egypt

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-08-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Readers who recognize Goldsworthy (How Rome Fell) as Britain's most prolific and perhaps finest popular historian of Roman times will find him once again at his best. Shakespeare and Hollywood portray Antony and Cleopatra as star-crossed lovers, but historians understand that Antony (83–30 B.C.E.) was Julius Caesar's right-hand man, ruthless and ambitious. Cleopatra (69–30 B.C.E.) was not Egyptian but Greek, descended from Ptolemy, whose family had ruled Egypt for three centuries. She became Caesar's mistress in 48 B.C.E. In the Roman civil war that followed Caesar's assassination four years later, Antony shared power with Caesar's adopted son, Octavian (later emperor Augustus), until they quarreled. Antony and Cleopatra first met in 41 B.C.E. and ruled Egypt together for three years until Octavian's invading armies approached, at which point they both committed suicide. Unlike many competing authors, Goldsworthy never disguises the scanty evidence for many historical events. Some of his best passages review surviving documents, discuss their biases, draw parallels from his vast knowledge of Roman history, and recount what probably happened unless, as he often admits in this thoughtful, deeply satisfying work, even speculation is impossible. Maps. (Sept.)

 
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