Aa100 Cleopatra


This passage is from a series of historical biographies written approximately 150 years after events took place, for which   Plutarch would have extracted his evidence from sources including consulting   politically orchestrated Octavian friendly propaganda, as well as having access to oral histology passed throughout generations.   Johnson (Johnson, J.R, "Augustan Propaganda, the Battle of Actium: Mark Antony’s will, the Fasti Capitolini Consulares and Early Imperial Historiography” 1976 pg14) states that Romans were susceptible to propaganda, especially that which was personal or moral.

The passage is very critical of Antony, strongly suggesting his enslavement by Cleopatra, adopting a submissive role resulting in the loss of esteem of his peers and ultimately his life.   Plutarch writes that “Antony showed to all the world that he was no longer actuated by the thoughts and motives of a commander or a man.”   However, Plutarch does acknowledge Antony’s military success and alliance with Caesar and by identifying his Roman Virtues, his vices are further reinforced.

De Wet (De Wet, B.X., “Contemporary sources in Plutarch’s Life of Antony’’ 1990 pg 82) states that Plutarch had the capacity for creative imagination to transform what his sources offered.   Plutarch wrote solely from the Victorious Roman Perspective projecting a view that Cleopatra’s involvement with Mark Antony was solely to further her raw political and leadership ambition stating that “Antony was now the mere appendage to the person of Cleopatra”.  

Plutarch infers that Cleopatra’s presence at the battle of Actium was reason enough for Antony’s men to defect   she was controlling Antony for her Egyptian cause thus impacting on his leadership capability   it is evident that he projects Cleopatra as dominant within the relationship.   Defection did occur, Antony became increasingly out of control in the build up to this battle losing the alliances of his commanders and negatively...