Antony and Cleopatra are still household names more than two thousand years after their spectacular suicides, surely the two most famous lovers from history. Shakespeare's version of the story is only the most famous retelling of their tale. Fiction has long since overwhelmed the true story. This biography goes back to the ancient evidence to look at the real people and not the legends. Most of what is commonly believed about both the Queen and her Roman lover turns out to be myth. The romance is genuine, but both were also intensely political creatures, struggling for survival and power. She was a Greek, not an Egyptian, and in terms of power and wider importance never his equal. He was not the bluff, simple soldier of his own propaganda, and spent little time on campaign. He was a politician, but most of all an aristocrat who never questioned his birth-right to dominate Rome. The truth may not give us the Antony and Cleopatra we imagine, or even the couple we might like. Yet it is far more fascinating and dramatic, and tells us more about both Roman and Greek worlds.
For more information about the UK edition published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson on the 15th July see the Orion Publishing website:
For more information about the US edition published by Yale University Press on the 28th September, see their page:
There will also be editions in Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, and Dutch, and hopefully in other languages in due course.
|© Adrian Goldsworthy 2009|