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Lecture

Plutarch, Life of Antonius


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA233H1
Professor
Erik Gunderson

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Plutarch Life of Antonius
Plutarch writes so that we may learn form the past.
The Augustan Revolution. Overview of hi life:
Born Octavian in 63 BCE
Named Julius Caesar's heir in 44BCE and defeats Antony in 31 BCE. No rivals in
power.
Title Augustus in 27 BCE and imperium for 10 years.
Receives core powers in 23 BCE
Dies in 14
Rise:
Takes up arms against Antonius , essentially pushes for power through until
success. Secures broad military arms.
Antonius.
Born 83BCE
57-54 Serves in Palestine in Egypt. Recognized.
Serves with Caesar in Gaul and is recognized more
Quaestor, Tribune in 49. Expulsion is a justification for civil war.
48: Commands one of the wings at the decisive battle of parsalus.
45: Master of the horse and second in command to Carsar the dicatator.
Consul with Caesar in 44.
44. Controls the dead Caesar's papers. What is "found" in them has the force of
law. Runs the show by forging documents.
43: Second Triumvirate: Antony Lepidus and Octavian. Pool their power and
proscribe enemies.
42: Defeat of Brutus and Cassius.
Given eastern half of the Roman Empire.
42 Meets Cleopatra.
41 In Egypt w. Cleopatra.
40: Marries octavia
39: Returns to the east
37" Remewal of Triumvirate
36: Parthian Expedition.
35: Refuses of meet Ocravia. and in 34 bestwees territories upon Cleopatra.
33: Tensions between Octavian and Antony
32: Divorce of Octavia
Declares war on Cleopatra
Cleopatra
Born in 69BCE To Ptolemy twelfth
51 = Ruler of Egypt w. younger brother
49 Supports Pompey
48: Expelled by Egyptians and then reinsated by Caesar
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47: Caesaris
46: In rome with Caesar.
44: Leaves when Caesar is killed.
41: Meets Antony
37: Twins born to Antony Alexander Sun and Cleopatra Moon
36: Another child with Antony Ptolemy Philadelphus
TO THE READING: Life of Antonius
Relatively negative conclusions throughout. A number of scenes arise that give a
feeling for who he is.
Theatricality
A lot of dress-up where it is to seem that Antony and Cleopatra and Plutarch are
presenting themselves. Antony is often dressed liek a servant. He is seen
running around naked.
Cleopatra pretends to be lovesick in order to undermine Octavia, attending to
theatre before practicality.
The Dreadful East - Asia
Excess, money, luxury, extacy. All negative things associated with the East.
Movement east is both literal and metaphorical. Nearly a code. Going east =
getting soft. Rumors that tyrannical figures have fantasies of transferring the seat
of the roman empire from Rome and into Alexandria.
Women
Cleopatra gets her hands on Antony, or so it seems. And Cleopatra herself is
under Antony. The life of Antony ends, but the text does not. His life turns to her
life. Antony is not in the right mind because of her. Her fighting Caesar after
defeat.
Opposing: Octavia. Does what she can to be a peace maker. Presented as
the Roman ideal. She knows that Civil war could break out because of her and
tries to rpevent it. East vs. West game has representatives. Cleopatra as he
eastern girl and Octavia as Western girl. Ethnic identity is played out in these two
women.
54-55 = juxtaposition of Cleopatra and Octavia.
Opening: Family Background.
Connected, active. Julia from the house of Caesar
Antony gave brilliant promise
in his youth, they say, until his intimate friendship with Curio fell upon him like a
pest.
Curio is older lover and Antony is younger. Curio is unrestraiend in
pleasures. Curio used pleasure to get Antony to do what was desired.
Engaged in drinking and women immoderately.
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Idea that smooth talking = positive.
Asiatic style of oratory. Seems to be exuberant and colourful. Athen style
vs Asiatic. The style was a reflection of his life. Showy, but empty.
[4] He had also a noble dignity of form; and a shapely beard, a broad forehead,
and an
aquiline nose were thought to show the virile qualities peculiar to the portraits
and
statues of Hercules.
Plays up a Hercules quality to himself. Acts the role of a Hercules figure.
But also famous drinker, partier, sex with women. Mode of being in Rome.
People loved Anthony, soldier and friend to many.
Mixture of virtues and vices makes Plutarch uncomfortable.
Dollabella: Tribune. Constant debt crisis = he tries that game.
(3) This course naturally made him odious to the multitude, and to men of
worth and uprightness he was not acceptable because of his life in general, as
Cicero
says
Poor hate him because they care about money
Aristocrats hate him because they care about honour and nobility. He
lacks both.
They loathed his ill-timed drunkenness, his heavy
expenditures, his debauches with women, his spending the days in sleep or in
wandering about with crazed and aching head, the nights in revelry or at shows,
or in
attendance at the nuptial feasts of mimes and jesters. (
Hanging out with theatre people.
he once feasted at the nuptials of Hippias the mime, drank all night, and then,
early in
the morning, when the people summoned him to the forum, came before them
still
surfeited with food and vomited into his toga, which one of his friends held at his
service.
Disgusting display in public service. The people who have influence over
him are mimes, women and circus/theatre people.
Takes his theatre girl mistress with him wherever he goes. Entourage
should be officials and high people, instead it's this kind of person.
Moreover, people were vexed at the sight of
golden beakers borne about on his excursions from the city as in sacred
processions, at
the pitching of tents when he travelled, at the laying out of costly repasts near
groves
and rivers, at chariots drawn by lions, and at the use of honest men and women's
houses as quarters for harlots and psaltery-players.
Billetting: can force the townspeople to put up your staff. Antony's staff
was in tents.
For Antony put away his reprehensible way of
living, and turned his thoughts to marriage, taking to wife Fulvia, the widow of
Clodius
the demagogue. She was a woman who took no thought for spinning or
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