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A Noble Ruin: Mark Antony, Civil War, and the Collapse of the Roman Republic

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A complex and captivating portrait of Mark Antony that offers a fresh perspective on the fall of the Roman Republic

In his lifetime, Mark Antony was a famous man. Ally and avenger of Julius Caesar, rhetorical target of Cicero, lover of Cleopatra, and mortal enemy of Octavian (the future emperor Augustus), Antony played a leading role in the transformation of the Roman world. Ever since his and Cleopatra's demise at the hands of Octavian, he has remained famous, or infamous, a figure of recurring fascination.

His life—variegated, passionate, sensual, bold, and tragic—inspires vigorous reactions. Nearly everyone has a view on Antony. For Cicero, he was a distasteful though talented man. Octavian fashioned him a dangerous failure, a Roman noble corrupted by his appetites and his lust for Cleopatra. Later historians adopted and adapted these themes, delivering their readers an Antony who was irresistibly depraved, startlingly brave, sometimes cunning, but almost always constitutionally incapable of choosing the right side of history. From these, especially Plutarch's compelling portrait, Shakespeare gave us the chivalrous and unstudied Antony of Antony and Cleopatra.

A Noble Ruin, the fullest biography of Antony in English, assimilates the various, often competing, ancient sources to provide a strong and much-needed dose of realism to the caricature we have of this major historical figure. The book gives ample attention to the varied cultural circumstances in which Antony operated, including the social and moral expectations of his republican heritage, as well as the exceptional challenges posed by the convulsion of civil war. In furnishing a complex and captivating portrait of Anthony, A Noble Ruin allows readers to freshly assess his conduct, ambitions, and attainments, as well as the turbulent age in which he lived.

Author: Tatum Jeffrey
Pages: 482
ISBN: 9780197694909
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2024

CHAPTER I: Beginning
CHAPTER II: Fighting for Empire
CHAPTER III: Quaestor, Tribune, and Guardian of Italy
CHAPTER IV: Caesar's Master of the Horse
CHAPTER V: The Ides of March
CHAPTER VI: A Consul and an Antony
CHAPTER VII: When Civil Fury First Grew High
CHAPTER VIII: Athens to Alexandria
CHAPTER IX: My Brother's Keeper
CHAPTER X: Enforce No Further the Griefs Between Ye
CHAPTER XI: Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves
CHAPTER XII: Dissolution

W. Jeffrey Tatum is Professor of Classics at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). He is the author of Always I Am Caesar, translator of Quintus Cicero's A Brief Handbook on Canvassing for Office (for the Clarendon Ancient History Series), and co-translator of Plutarch's The Rise of Rome (for Penguin Classics).

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