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Antony & Cleopatra  By  cover art

Antony & Cleopatra

By: Adrian Goldsworthy
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
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Publisher's Summary

In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, 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, this audiobook takes listeners 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. In addition Goldsworthy makes an important case for understanding Antony as a powerful Roman senator and political force in his own right.

©2010 Adrian Goldsworthy (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Unlike many competing authors, Goldsworthy never disguises the scanty evidence for many historical events." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Antony & Cleopatra

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Very good

While I throughly enjoyed Antony and Cleopatra, I was disappointed in how little is actually known and so a book entitled about these two lovers ends up being more about Roman history ( no fault of the author since the solid proven facts are just not there ) with some hours devoted to A and C, basically telling us that
" little is known " !! But, it still was a very interesting listening experience and I just love Steven Crossley reading anything!!!

11 people found this helpful

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Not a Bad Book but...

So after finishing Goldsworthy's Caesar I started right into this book. If you've just finished that book you will like this book but probably not 'as much'. I still haven't finished Antony & Cleopatra, I have a few hours left. I finished Caesar in like 2 days. A flaw I didn't think I would hate was how little information we know about the two in this book. I read a lot of other reviews talking about the lack of solid facts that are known and that really is a running theme. With Caesar we have documentation from himself, from historians just after or around his time, a narrative created by Augustus about his uncle. With Antony and Cleopatra we have very little about them other than propaganda pieces created against them by Augustus and even less about their early lives. While it is a good book that I will finish eventually I'm not as into it as I was the book Caesar. I wish I was. I'm glad he doesn't fill it with the modern 20th century image of Antony and Cleopatra but it's kinda tedious when you're just listening to "We don't know" for the millionth time.

8 people found this helpful

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Too Cool

Excellent history...juicy story...master storyteller ... all by the master historian of the ancient roman world....Adrian Goldsworthy....you can't get any better.... Don't look to the left or right.... just get it. Very exceptional work.... also dont miss Julius Caesar... and How Rome Fell... and also Agustus....Goldsworthy shines...his work rocks. ..
Anthony and Cleopatra. ... just spend your credit and soak it in. ...

6 people found this helpful

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Great detail- learned a lot!

The first 1/3 of the book is really dry, laying the background on Roman politics and family histories... hard to follow at times. But the reasoning for the detail makes sense once the main 7-8 characters come to the fore... it helps make the cause/effect of political and warring decisions make a lot of sense in context. It’s a great read overall- my best measuring stick of this is that I now have about 6 other related topics to go learn about (Augustus, Battle of Philippi, Actium, and of course, Julius Caesar). Fortunately, this author has several books on these, of which I’m sure I will buy a few.

3 people found this helpful

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A balanced and well executed biography.

There's a reason why Adrian Goldsworthy is one of the big historical writers of our time. This was a wonderfully balanced dual-account of two extraordinary individuals. He highlights the strengths and weakness of both characters and the actual history is more riveting than many fictional retellings.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting

Gives a full biography of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony, focusing mostly on Antony. My only concern would be that the audio is slightly quieter than most audiobooks and it’s hard to keep track of certain historical figures unless you do your own research on them to compliment the book.

1 person found this helpful

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A historical look at two incredible lives.

If You are looking for what we historically actually know about these two this is the book for you. Anthony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy is just another example of how Adrian Goldsworthy tells actual history not made up facts. In every single one of his books he tells you what we know not what his guest not what is speculated but what we know and informs you to make that decision for yourself. Adrian Goldsworthy is probably the best modern historian for the ancient Roman world that we have. So if that is what you are looking for with these two historical figures you will love this book!

1 person found this helpful

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An Unbiased Historical Account Rich in Detail

I am an armchair Egyptologist and enthusiast. One of my favorite books on the subject is Margaret George's Memoirs of Cleopatra, and while I consider that book a masterpiece, I embarked on this listen with intent to learn a bit more. Let me preface this by freely admitting that Rome is my least favorite ancient and classical period civilization. By my reckoning they were the nails in the coffin of multiple cultures and have left a legacy of empire and colonialism in spite of their contributions to infrastructure and senses of discipline and general stoicism.

This is an unbiased, largely clinical, fact based view of Antony and Cleopatra. I never held much regard for the Ptolemaic dynasty either, but that is not important in all this. This audiobook is full of information and well-reasoned conclusion and anyone who is caught up in the romanticism of the subject is liable to feel a sting of truth, which is under no obligation to appeal to us, but merely is or is not true.

The truth, whether we find it palatable or not, is what should be pursued with passion and zeal, and takes precedence over fanciful notions. It needs to be embraced and accepted lest we cheapen our own academic endeavors whether for scholastic or personal enrichment.

This book is marvelously instructive and well prepared and narrated. It is worthy of the five stars I have given it in spite of the acute consternation I have felt having my own illusions and presuppositions removed. It is a test of character of the individual to modify their view or opinions when given information that contradicts their prior assertions. Not to make this about me, but I am more educated about this last period than I was before I listened to this, and for that I tip my hat to the author.

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Another excellent book from Goldsworthy

Adrian retells some history from his other works as they’re inextricably intertwined, but what I most appreciate in his accountings aside from the narrative account are the instances where he pushes back against contemporary impulses to recast the past in some way that makes it conform to modern political conventions or basically fabricate details to the point that history is fictionalized to satisfy intentional mischaracterizations of the past. Well worth your time to take a listen.

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wonderfull history

loved it. top popular history by a top historian. great for anyone interested in Cleopatra.