The Life and Legacy of Mark Antony with Jeff Tatum

Server Costs Fundraiser 2024

Help our mission to provide free history education to the world! Please donate and contribute to covering our server costs in 2024. With your support, millions of people learn about history entirely for free every month.
$3071 / $18000


Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 11 March 2024

A complex and captivating portrait of Mark Antony that offers a fresh perspective on the fall of the Roman Republic

In his lifetime, Mark Antony was a famous man. Ally and avenger of Julius Caesar, rhetorical target of Cicero, lover of Cleopatra, and mortal enemy of Octavian (the future emperor Augustus), Antony played a leading role in the transformation of the Roman world. Ever since his and Cleopatra's demise at the hands of Octavian, he has remained famous, or infamous, a figure of recurring fascination.

His life–variegated, passionate, sensual, bold, and tragic–inspires vigorous reactions. Nearly everyone has a view on Antony. For Cicero, he was a distasteful though talented man. Octavian fashioned him a dangerous failure, a Roman noble corrupted by his appetites and his lust for Cleopatra. Later historians adopted and adapted these themes, delivering their readers an Antony who was irresistibly depraved, startlingly brave, sometimes cunning, but almost always constitutionally incapable of choosing the right side of history. From these, especially Plutarch's compelling portrait, Shakespeare gave us the chivalrous and unstudied Antony of Antony and Cleopatra.

A Noble Ruin, the fullest biography of Antony in English, assimilates the various, often competing, ancient sources to provide a strong and much-needed dose of realism to the caricature we have of this major historical figure. The book gives ample attention to the varied cultural circumstances in which Antony operated, including the social and moral expectations of his republican heritage, as well as the exceptional challenges posed by the convulsion of civil war. In furnishing a complex and captivating portrait of Anthony, A Noble Ruin allows readers to freshly assess his conduct, ambitions, and attainments, as well as the turbulent age in which he lived.




0:00​ Introduction
0:55 What is A Noble Ruin All About?
2:25 The Fullest Biography of Mark Antony in English
4:00 The Evidence For Mark Antony's Life
5:15 Beyond a Political Lens
6:40 Why Write a Biography of Mark Antony?
8:10 Mark Antony's 'Eastern Identity'
11:00 The Most Surprising Thing About Mark Antony's Life to Jeff
13:30 Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra'
15:30 What is One Thing People Should Know about A Noble Ruin?
17:27 Outro

Mark Antony's Oration at Caesar's Funeral
Mark Antony's Parthian Campaign
Mark Antony
Battle of Actium

The New Roman Empire - Interview with Anthony Kaldellis
The Genius of their Age: Ibn Sina, Biruni, and the Lost Enlightenment
The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
Cleopatra VII Philopator: the Last Queen of Ancient Egypt


The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#markantony #antonyandcleopatra #jefftatum #oup

Remove Ads
Subscribe to this author

About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2024, March 11). The Life and Legacy of Mark Antony with Jeff Tatum. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Life and Legacy of Mark Antony with Jeff Tatum." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 11, 2024.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Life and Legacy of Mark Antony with Jeff Tatum." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 11 Mar 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024.