Coverart for item
The Resource Cleopatra and Antony : power, love, and politics in the ancient world, Diana Preston

Cleopatra and Antony : power, love, and politics in the ancient world, Diana Preston

Label
Cleopatra and Antony : power, love, and politics in the ancient world
Title
Cleopatra and Antony
Title remainder
power, love, and politics in the ancient world
Statement of responsibility
Diana Preston
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The story of the world's best-remembered celebrity couple, set against the political backdrop of their time. In 30 BCE, the 39-year-old queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, took her own life rather than be paraded in chains through Rome by her conqueror, the future first emperor Augustus. A few days earlier, her lover of eleven years, Mark Antony, had himself committed suicide. Historian Diana Preston explores the lives and times of a couple whose names--two millennia later--still invoke passion and intrigue. Preston views this drama as an integral part of the military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the rise of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra ruled Egypt with political shrewdness. Her affair with Julius Caesar linked Egypt with Rome; in the aftermath of the civil war following Caesar's murder, her alliance with Antony, and his split with Octavian, set the stage for the end of the Roman Republic.--From publisher description
Writing style
Review
  • Going beyond the charisma and romance of two of history's greatest lovers, L.A. Times Book Prize–winner Preston (Before the Fallow ) vividly puts their lives in the larger political context of their times. Preston explodes the legends, saying Cleopatra was less a seductress than a politically shrewd ruler, and Antony was not a hotheaded megalomaniac. Preston chronicles Cleopatra's life from her royal upbringing to her marriage to the new Roman emperor Julius Caesar, motivated, says Preston, by political ambition. After Caesar's murder, according to Preston, Cleopatra was wise to join political and sexual forces with Antony, who won favor in her eyes for rebelling against Octavian. For his part, Antony remained loyal to Cleopatra, viewing her as a partner with whom he could rule the Roman Empire. Although the tales Preston rehearses are familiar ones, she provides a rich context and speculates that if Antony and Cleopatra had defeated Octavian, then Cleopatra might have ruled in Judea more benignly than Herod. Her reception of Jesus of Nazareth might have been very different than Herod's, and history itself might have been altered. 30 b&w illus., one map. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed February 9, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 6, p42)
  • Touting Cleopatra and Anthony as the original celebrity couple, Preston (Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima ) weaves their romance into an explanation of the political environment of one of the most important eras of Western history. Indeed, in her extensive research, Preston seeks to unravel the centuries of myth that shroud the infamous couple to reveal who they were in their own time and society. In what became a game of propaganda and politics against Octavian, Cleopatra was painted as a villainous seductress who led Antony astray rather than a cultured queen who spoke more than seven languages. Preston's convincing narrative claims that had Cleopatra and Antony won the battle of Actium, not only would their personal love story have unfolded less tragically, but the region would have developed with more tolerance—and perhaps a difference outcome for later historical figures, including Jesus—thus rewriting Western history entirely. This very readable work is highly recommended to all history collections, as well as those in gender or women's studies and biography.—Crystal Goldman, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City --Crystal Goldman (Reviewed February 1, 2009) (Library Journal, vol 134, issue 2, p80)
  • Historian Preston (Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima, 2005, etc.) casts Cleopatra as the fulcrum of power in the one of the world's first power couples.Before discussing the pivotal first encounter between young Cleopatra and the newly victorious Julius Caesar in Alexandria in 48 BCE, the author wades through a dense bloody history involving the Ptolemy dynasty of Egypt and the civil wars in Rome. Once the highly educated, politically astute, alluring Egyptian queen takes center stage, she commands complete attention. Preston describes her at length, even enlisting a specialist in "archaeosteology" to reconstruct her face. The author notes that Cleopatra was "probably not conventionally beautiful"; her appeal lay in her artfulness, charm, daring and shrewdness, qualities that warlike Caesar and later Antony greatly admired, and rarely saw in women. While Caesar served as her early protector, giving her a "divine heir" in the son Caesarion, Antony helped consolidate the power she needed to stabilize her reign. The two played at being godlike—Cleopatra was Isis incarnate, Antony the "new Dionysus"—and both were sensualists and fond of pomp and spectacle. Their passion for each other was driven by their shared "hunger for life," Preston asserts. Cleopatra skillfully coaxed from Antony territory concessions that nearly restored the empire of the early Ptolemies, and she proved a valuable political ally in the face of threats by Parthia and Octavian. Although Antony was criticized for losing his self-control and dignity by remaining with Cleopatra, Preston emphasizes how each fulfilled the other's "wider strategy." Had they prevailed, they might have co-ruled a vast empire. Preston closes with an analysis of how later mythmaking was particularly unkind to Cleopatra.Preston ably conveys her admiration for the Egyptian queen. (Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2009)
Biography type
collective biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
305047
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1952-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Preston, Diana
Dewey number
  • 932/.0210922
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
DT92.7
LC item number
.P74 2009
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Cleopatra
  • Antonius, Marcus
  • Couples
  • Power (Social sciences)
  • Love
  • Political culture
  • Egypt
  • Egypt
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
power, love, and politics in the ancient world
Label
Cleopatra and Antony : power, love, and politics in the ancient world, Diana Preston
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Originally published: London : Doubleday, 2008
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [315]-318) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
I. Dynasty of eagles. Keeping it in the family ; Siblings and Sibylline prophecies -- II. Romulus' cesspit. The race for glory ; "Odi et amo" ; Crossing the Rubicon -- III. Queen of Egypt, mistress of Rome. Like a virgin ; The Alexandrian War ; "Veni, vidi, vici" ; "Slave of the times" ; The Ides of March -- IV. Isis alone. "Flight of the queen" ; Ruler of the East -- V> Taming Heracles. Mighty Aphrodite ; "Give it to Fulvia" ; Single mother ; "The awful calamity" -- VI> Gods of the East. Sun and Moon ; "Theatrical, overdone, and anti-Roman" ; "A woman of Egypt" ; The Battle of Actium ; After Actium ; Death on the Nile ; "Too many Caesars is not a good thing" -- Postscript: "This pair so famous" -- Appendix: Putting a face to a famous name -- Who was who in the first century BC
Control code
737906
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
viii, 333 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780802717382
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2009005612
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations (chiefly color), map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802717382
  • (OCoLC)236340973
Label
Cleopatra and Antony : power, love, and politics in the ancient world, Diana Preston
Publication
Note
Originally published: London : Doubleday, 2008
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [315]-318) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
I. Dynasty of eagles. Keeping it in the family ; Siblings and Sibylline prophecies -- II. Romulus' cesspit. The race for glory ; "Odi et amo" ; Crossing the Rubicon -- III. Queen of Egypt, mistress of Rome. Like a virgin ; The Alexandrian War ; "Veni, vidi, vici" ; "Slave of the times" ; The Ides of March -- IV. Isis alone. "Flight of the queen" ; Ruler of the East -- V> Taming Heracles. Mighty Aphrodite ; "Give it to Fulvia" ; Single mother ; "The awful calamity" -- VI> Gods of the East. Sun and Moon ; "Theatrical, overdone, and anti-Roman" ; "A woman of Egypt" ; The Battle of Actium ; After Actium ; Death on the Nile ; "Too many Caesars is not a good thing" -- Postscript: "This pair so famous" -- Appendix: Putting a face to a famous name -- Who was who in the first century BC
Control code
737906
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
viii, 333 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780802717382
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2009005612
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations (chiefly color), map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802717382
  • (OCoLC)236340973

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
Processing Feedback ...