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Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World download ebook

by Diana Preston

Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World download ebook
ISBN:
0802717381
ISBN13:
978-0802717382
Author:
Diana Preston
Publisher:
Walker Books; 1st. edition (March 31, 2009)
Language:
Pages:
352 pages
ePUB:
1294 kb
Fb2:
1153 kb
Other formats:
lrf mbr lit mobi
Category:
Historical
Subcategory:
Rating:
4.4

Toga drama galore in "Cleopatra and Antony" by noted Oxford educated history Diana Preston. Diana Preston is not a specialist in the ancient world but writes for the educated general reader.

Toga drama galore in "Cleopatra and Antony" by noted Oxford educated history Diana Preston. In 300 pages the author separates the two famous lovers from myth and gives us a portrait of two powerful personalities. Cleopatra was quite a dame! She was the last of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Greeks who had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great. Her book will both entertain and instruct the reader. An added bonus is the fascinating reconstruction of a bust showing what experts believed was Cleopatra's real life appearance.

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Cleopatra and Antony book.

Cleopatra and Antony book. It's nothing new, nothing revelatory, and nothing that interesting.

CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY Also by Diana Preston The Road to Culloden Moor: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the ’45 Rebellion A First Rate Tragedy . Power, Love, and Politics. in the Ancient World.

CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY Also by Diana Preston The Road to Culloden Moor: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the ’45 Rebellion A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole. For information address Walker & Company, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010.

Preston views the drama and romance of Cleopatra and Antony’s personal lives as an integral part of the great military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the full-fledged rise of the Roman Empire, joined east and west

Preston views the drama and romance of Cleopatra and Antony’s personal lives as an integral part of the great military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the full-fledged rise of the Roman Empire, joined east and west. Perhaps not until Joanna in fourteenth-century Naples or Elizabeth I of England would another woman show such political shrewdness and staying power as did Cleopatra during her years atop the throne of Egypt.

Historian Diana Preston explores the lives and times of a couple whose names two millennia later still invoke passion . Cleopatra ruled Egypt with political shrewdness

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. From publisher description.

Overall, this book does a good job of explaining the historical context and politics of the time. And Preston usually attempts to explain why Antony and Cleopatra acted in the ways they did even when in hindsight they must have known they would be alienating people that could be very important allies to them. Still, I didn’t always feel like their actions made sense, but they were human so that probably explains it. Plus, it’s been over two thousand years and unfortunately things get lost over time. Still, while it was a good general history of Rome and Egypt of that particular time period, I was a little disappointed.

Diana Preston is not a specialist in the ancient world but writes for the educated general reader. They have captured the imagainations of millions down to the present day due to the sheer drama of their situations, the tremendously high stakes that they played for with their lives, the power of their mutual passion for one another, and the exoticism of mysterious, ancient Egypt.

Author: Diana Preston.

The story of the world's best-remembered celebrity couple, set against the political backdrop of their time. On a stiflingly hot day in August 30 b.c., the thirty-nine-year-old queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, took her own life rather than be paraded in chains through Rome by her conqueror, Octavian―the future first emperor, Augustus. A few days earlier, her lover of eleven years, Mark Antony, had himself committed suicide and died in her arms. Oceans of mythology have grown up around them, all of which Diana Preston explores in her stirring history of the lives and times of a couple whose names―more than two millennia later―still invoke passion, curiosity, and intrigue.

Preston views the drama and romance of Cleopatra and Antony's personal lives as an integral part of the great military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the full-fledged rise of the Roman Empire, joined east and west. Perhaps not until Joanna in fourteenth-century Naples or Elizabeth I of England would another woman show such political shrewdness and staying power as did Cleopatra during her years atop the throne of Egypt. Her lengthy affair with Julius Caesar linked the might of Egypt with that of Rome; in the aftermath of the civil war that erupted following Caesar's murder, her alliance with Antony, and his subsequent split with Octavian, set the stage for the end of the Republic.

With the keen eye for detail, abundant insight, and storytelling skill that have won awards for her previous books, Diana Preston sheds new light on a vitally important period in Western history. Indeed, had Cleopatra and Antony managed to win the battle of Actium, the centuries that followed, which included the life of Jesus himself, could well have played out differently.

Reviews:
  • Togar
I have just recently got into ancient Rome. I can't believe that I used to think this kind of thing was boring when I was a teenager! If I only knew that the ancient Romans were sleazy, violent, promiscuous, and insane, I might have felt differently. A couple of months ago I was bored and I was looking on HBO for something to watch On Demand. I noticed that they had the entire series of Rome on there, and I remember thinking it looked kind of good. Well, from the first minute I was hooked. I quickly watched the entire series, and wanted to learn all I could about these fascinating people. Some books on this subject can be kind of dry, but definitely not this one. It's hard to believe that this happened two thousand years ago. It reads like the author was there herself. It's amazing how much has survived from that time. All the letters, and monuments, etc. And my favorite person has got to be Marc Antony. (And if you haven't watched "Rome" you need to watch it just for James Purefoy's performance of Marc Antony.)

This book is so well researched and written it almost feels like a novel. Everything was so dramatic back then. And I always wonder if these people knew that they would be in all the history books, and be talked about for thousands of years. You can tell that the author loves ancient Rome as much as I do. I was so impressed with her writing that I went out and bought her book on the sinking of the Lusitania. (Which is three times as long as this book was, and I'm only about 1/10th of the way through it).

I would recommend this book to everyone. You don't need to be a history scholar to understand it, and it doesn't read like a history textbook from high school, which, unfortunately, a lot of books on this subject do. I really enjoyed it, and I am glad that I bought it, so I can loan it to friends. I look forward to reading more from Diana Preston.
  • Gir
Diana Preston's Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World is a well-told history of this infamous couple. The best parts of the book are the rich descriptions of the luxuries of Cleopatra's court. The days of feasting and debauchery are mind-boggling, even by the standards of today's college students. In one scene, Cleopatra bets that she can throw a meal worth 10 million sesterces, and then achieves this by throwing one of her diamond earrings into the vinegar!

I wouldn't say there's anything particularly new or different about this book. In fact, it is really geared toward "popular" audiences (the first page even has a footnote that all dates are BC). If you're unfamiliar with the ancient world, this is a good book to start with. Preston gives a long and thorough "back history" of the Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Egypt. However, if you're a history buff, it might seem like there's too much general history, not enough detail about Antony and Cleopatra. For the latter audience, I suspect Adrian Goldsworthy's new Antony and Cleopatra would be a better bet.
  • Ranterl
Toga drama galore in "Cleopatra and Antony" by noted Oxford educated history Diana Preston. In 300 pages the author separates the two famous lovers from myth and gives us a portrait of two powerful personalities.
Cleopatra was quite a dame! She was the last of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Greeks who had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great. She spoke seven languages, was well schooled and a good queen of Egypt for almost twenty years. Cleopatra was also a crafty political operative who quashed her younger brother's bid for power and was not adverse to killing opponents.
Cleopatra bore a child by Julius Caesar. The boy named Caesaron would be murdered by Octavian's soldiers. Following Caesar's assassination in 44 BC she fled to Egypt. It was in Tarsus she first met by Mark Antony. Antony was a Caesar supporter who helped in the elimination of his assassins including Brutus and Cassius. Antony was a notorious womanizer, drinker and doughty warrior whose courage was real. He comes across as an earthy man who truly loved Cleopatra despite affairs with other women. He had three children by Cleopatra. His rival for Roman dictatorship was Octavian the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar. Octavian became the first Emperor of Rome following his defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the decisive sea battle of Actium in 31 BC.
Antony and Cleopatra chose suicide rather than capture and execution by the victorious Octavian. Antony died with a sword thrust; Cleopatra may have been bitten to death by an asp or cobra but her mode of death is unclear.
Preston's book not only details in clear and understandable prose the political affairs of the volatile first century but also opens the door to Egyptian and Roman customs from sexual practices to religious beliefs.
Diana Preston is not a specialist in the ancient world but writes for the educated general reader. Her book will both entertain and instruct the reader. An added bonus is the fascinating reconstruction of a bust showing what experts believed was Cleopatra's real life appearance. She was probably plump, hawk-nosed with an olive complexion. She died at only 39 years of age.