Chapter

<i>Erōs</i> and the Fall of Mark Antony

Jeffrey Beneker

in The Passionate Statesman

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695904
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741319 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695904.003.0005
Erōs and the Fall of Mark Antony

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This chapter examines the influence of erotic desire (erōs) in Plutarch's narration of the fall of Demetrius Poliorcetes and Antony. It demonstrates that in composing these biographies Plutarch has created a role for erōs that is central to his historical-ethical reconstruction of the careers of these men. He has used the Demetrius to establish a model for an erotically reckless but nonetheless relatively successful general. In the Antony, he has made erōs not simply an important element in his characterization but has even depicted its influence as pervasive and largely responsible for the outcome of the civil war with Octavian. In addition to interpreting Antony's well-known relationship with Cleopatra, the chapter also analyses his marriages to Fulvia and Octavia. The study of erōs in this chapter demonstrates the extent to which moral virtue informed Plutarch's interpretation of history.

Keywords: Demetrius Poliorcetes; Antony; Cleopatra; Fulvia; Octavian; Octavia; civil war; erōs

Chapter.  17590 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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