Reviews

Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy

8797999's review

Go to review page

5.0

Superb, I thoroughly enjoyed this history. Coming into it I knew only the bare bones and what popular culture wants us to know. It was a very interesting and informative read of the 'facts' of the story of one of histories tragic couples.

Given how little is known of Cleopatra, there are a lot of gaps in her history, as opposed to more being known of Antony. Nonetheless this was a great read and introduction to them and their place and part in Roman history and Europe's too.

I would like to read more on them but I can't see what could be added to a comprehensive read. The book not only touches on them but the history around them, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar and Octavian. Essentially a history of the final throes of the Roman Republic.

I do wonder how different it could have been had Antony been a competant General and had his own Aggripa leading his lines.

cwinter's review

Go to review page

informative medium-paced

3.75

caidyn's review

Go to review page

informative medium-paced

3.75

Interesting read. I kinda wish that this book wasn't about them jointly. I learned more about Antony from this book since a lot of the Cleopatra information were facts I was familiar with.

nikolaitripp's review

Go to review page

challenging informative lighthearted relaxing slow-paced

4.0

alexandragriffin's review

Go to review page

informative reflective slow-paced

4.0

kashila's review

Go to review page

informative reflective slow-paced

3.5

vegancleopatra's review

Go to review page

2.0

Overall I was not a fan of the author's writing style. Not only does he awkwardly transition from topic to topic or even paragraph to paragraph, but he also makes it difficult to distinguish which "he" is referencing numerous times. His style was not always clear, often irritating to read and frequently repetitive. His preferred topic was also clearly military strategy, but that was not meant to be the focus of this book.

I will say this, Goldsworthy included more information on Antony than other books including him I have read to date. But his treatment of Cleopatra was frustrating, especially as she is right there in the title but does not come into play very often in the book. When she is mentioned, it is often in a repetitive nature, such as insisting she needed Rome to maintain power but never really going beyond this. He also at one point says that Cleopatra was "uncritical" and lively with regards to Antony. I'm sorry but this just sounds like some cliche male fantasy of what a woman is and not how one actually is. Cleopatra, ruler of a nation, was apparently just a party to be around. Okay. He also does what I hate in NF, which is making assumptions on the people's part. He says things like the relationship was passionate but mostly political, Antony did not intend to never see Octavia again, he did not mean to stay with Cleopatra and so on and so forth. He also addresses Cleopatra and Antony's relationship as being shallow but much of the data put forth says otherwise. Listen, we cannot determine the real realities of other people's relationships even today with Twitter and FB and all that, yet authors continue to believe they can speak for beings from 2,000 years ago. Just stop.

elysianfield's review

Go to review page

3.0

Book was well written and informative but strayed from the topic too often. It told about general political situation in Rome and stuff. I don't know much about Rome and all the names just got me confused.
More...