aa100 assignment 1. octavian versus plutarch on anthony

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Assignment 01
Compare and contrast the ways in which the passage below attempts top discredit Anthony with the ways this is done in the speech attributed to Octavian die ( in reading 1.1 of book 1. Chapter 1.)

It is very obvious when reading both passages that whilst Plutarch and Octavian had similar but also differing opinions about Mark Anthony and his relationship with Cleopatra, they are both guilty of putting their own negative spin on the situation. They both use different approaches to the subject but the end result is the same. Anthony is portrayed as a man who has lost his way and in doing so, has sunk to the lowest levels of society .The one thing they both agree on, is that Cleopatra had a very negative effect on Anthony
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He cites several cases where Anthony disregards his fellow roman man e.g. on one occasion Octavian discovered the contents of Anthony’s will to his disgust. he had left orders that his body should be carried in state through the forum but then sent to Egypt to be with Cleopatra this was seen as being a huge insult to the roman empire. He also cites several while he was sitting on the tribunal administering juice to kings and tetrarchs, he would receive love letters written on tablets of onyx or crystal and starts to read then aloud. Plutarch makes it very clear that Anthony should have not allowed himself to behave like a love stuck puppy but stood up to Cleopatra and behave like a man of honour.
When we compare Octavian’s passage, his thoughts are quite different. He believes Anthony was a man bewitched. He argues that no man in his right mind would behave in such a scandalous way .without thought or caring for his fellow noblemen. He say she is either blind or accursed and so being enslaved by her he plunges into war with all its attendant dangers which he has accepted for her sake against his country and fellow noblemen.
Looking at both passages we see the similarities but also see the differences...it is a great example of the problems we have trying to make sense of ancient history. Ancient historians never collected facts or proof.

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