Antony and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome, #7)
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Antony and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome #7)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,790 ratings  ·  193 reviews
A sweeping epic of ancient Rome from the #1 bestselling author of The Thorn Birds

In this breathtaking follow-up to The October Horse, Colleen McCullough turns her attention to the legendary romance of Antony and Cleopatra, and in this timeless tale of love, politics, and power, proves once again that she is the best historical novelist of our time.

Caesar is dead, and Rome...more
Unknown Binding
Published September 17th 2007 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 2007)
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I have been waiting for this book since I finished McCullough's previous book from this august series (no pun intended)The October Horse. It has been years. So my expectations were high, but the actual experience was not.

Have I changed in my reading tastes or was this book labored? I slogged through endless lists of names and details that were sometimes only tangential to the plot. I suppose that is part of the author's gift, but the actual historical events were so exciting I was impatient to s...more
Tom Landry
This was actually a pretty good book I almost never finished. The problem I had with it was that when she was describing the overview of what was going on at the time there were so many locations and people I could not keep track of what was going on and became a bit frustrated. I needed a map and a character log or something. She also tended to use words I have never heard of (they call them $100 words or something like that) but I was able to figure out what she was talking about. After about...more
There are clues early on that this will be a new twist of an old story. Antony suspected in Caesar's murder? Caesarion, not a brat but a precocious co-regnant with his own ideas on government? Has this been speculated before?

As the book progresses McCullough develops her theme, the reader comes to believe that this is IT: The true interpretation of this variously interpreted story.

Like all McCullough books, this one is an achievement. Because she is always meticulous, I expect every the fact of...more
By itself it is a very good book, but because to is in the Masters of Rome series, it can only recive 4 stars. It would have been five stars, except the Mrs. McCullough did not put an explanation at the conclusion of the novel like she normally has in the rest of the series. It may seem trival but I thought it was very important to these books.
This is actually a bit of a letdown from the previous six books. My understanding is that McCullough intended the series to end with The October Horse, and it shows. Although "Antony and Cleopatra" is sprawling with history and is quite entertaining, it does feel more obligatory and less passionate than its predecessors, which felt more like a single, massive tale.

Brief recap: The October Horse ends with Julius Caesar assassinated and many of the conspirators dead, including Brutus and Cassius....more
Manu Prasad
The seventh book of the Masters of Rome series. Unfortunately, I skipped the three before this (just couldn't find them at my regular places!) but the book thankfully works stand alone too.

This book marks the transition of Rome from a republic to an empire with the principal character, despite the book title, being Octavian, heir to Caesar's name and fortune, over the other hopeful Mark Antony.

The book spans the period from 41-27 BC, beginning with the aftermath of the Battle of Philippi and th...more
I always fall deeply into McCullough's books. Her writing style is so accessible, that even when the story is mired in history, geography, latin, unfamiliar words, hard to remember names...I still live it as I read!

I love the story of A&C and have read many versions. The uber-romantic ones appealed to me when I was younger (of course), but now that I have "matured" McCullough's version seems so much more realistic. Antony was a boor. By all accounts he was handsome, charming and strong, but...more
Justin Neville
Finally finished this book, the last in what is a magnificent seven-book series of historical fiction, published over 17 years with increasing gaps towards the end.

No question, the earlier books in the series were the best. The last two or three were not as good and probably are not suitable entry points to this series.

Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed "Antony and Cleopatra" and found it in fact more readable than the previous volume "The October Horse", whose earlier chapters were particularly...more
Linda Harkins
Another excellent book in McCullough's Masters of Rome series for which she was awarded a doctorate--and rightly so! Well, if it wasn't an asp, could it have been a cobra? Cleopatra certainly didn't drink poison according to McCullough. Why did Julius Caesar's 15-year-old son by Cleopatra have to die? Why were Antony's children by Cleopatra allowed to live? What was Octavian's part in all of this? Caesar Romulus or Caesar Augustus? Which name was more appropriate and why? McCullough gives the re...more
Judith Geary
Like all McCullough's incredibly researched books on ancient Rome, the strength of this one like in the exquisite attention to detail. It covers the period from 41 BCE to 27 BCE, and we do get the story of Anthony and Cleopatra, but the stars are Octavianus, Octavia and Livia Drusilla.
I have now completed all of the Master's of Rome series! That is quite an accomplishment for anyone who is aware of the size of each volume. McCullough consistently portrays Julius Caesar as too brilliant, too farsighted, too modern for my tastes although I have stuck with reading the series because of the portrayal of Rome and the epic nature of her works. She is a amazing writer and while I was truly annoyed by many of her characterizations of Caesar, Cicero, et al. I stuck with the series bec...more
Charles Franklin
This is one of the greatest versions that I have ever read about Antony and Cleopatra and my favorite book from the Masters of Rome series. In this book, Colleen McCullogh combines all of the elements that I enjoyed in her other books on ancient Rome: Intricate (and nearly precise) historical detail, intrigues of power and corruption, excellent use of pacing and plot, and an uncanny ability to speak from the character's perspective to make what I believe is a classic. I have read this book (prob...more
Definitivamente um grande livro para quem gosta de romances históricos. A beleza de um livro destes é que faz de uma historia antiga uma nova história. Sabemos quase tudo de Cleópatra, a mais famosa rainha do Egipto, de Marco António, o grande derrotado da história de Roma e de Octaviano, perdão, César Augusto, o primeiro homem de Roma, o primeiro imperador de Roma.
O sétimo livro desta saga, desta vez com três protagonistas. Cleópatra, Marco António e Octaviano. A ligação entre os 3 é Júlio Césa...more
I've been a huge fan of Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series ever since she published The First Man In Rome way back in 1990, but by the time she got around to writing the sixth (and I assumed final) book, The October Horse, I felt that her storytelling skills were on the wane.

What a surprise and delight then to find this book which continues the wondeful soap opera of Roman history and has Colleen back at her yarn spinning best. Despite the title, this book is really about the rise of Ju...more
Suzana Vuksanovic
An amazing, epic book. I started out hating Marc Antony and liking Octavian (his rival Triumvir in Rome, later calling himself 'Caesar Augustus') but by the time the story concluded ended up liking Antonious and hating Octavianus. Well maybe not in such black-and-white terms, because the books attention to character development makes the reader appreciate the motivations, the REASONS behind the characters' actions - and in this Colleen McCullough is a master.
As faulty as Marc Antony - and Cleop...more
Juanita Carter
This book took me a long time to get through! I thought it was good except that the author really bogs it all down by including way too many words that a typical modern reader won't grasp. I think she should have made some of the names a little less similar for less confusion as well as left out historical details that are actually NOT RELEVANT to the plot at all. Too many side notes about people who did something great, but had no involvement in the story except that a character passed the plac...more
Georgiana 1792
Vorrei essere stata l’aspide che ha dato il mozzico a Cleopatra, ma mooolto prima!
Sì lo so che così è la Storia, ma quanto era insopportabile quella donna?.
Per la verità sono pochissimi i personaggi di questo romanzo che si salvano. Tanto per cominciare avrei voluto saltare a piè pari tutti i capitoli in cui compariva Marco Antonio, un bambino capriccioso che andava sempre da mamma Cleopatra a piagnucolare perché Ottaviano, di ben 11 anni più giovane di lui, gli rubava i giocattoli.
Cleopatra, ch...more
Holly Weiss
7th book of the "Masters of Rome" series. McCullough intended to end the series with The October Horse. Despite the title, Cleopatra is less important than the political struggle to control the world between Octavian (Caesar's heir), who claims the east (Rome) and Antony, who rules the west. Caesarean, child of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar figures prominently.

By aligning herself with Mark Antony, Cleopatra hoped to keep Octavian (Julius Caesar's heir and Rome's probable next ruler) from absorbing...more
First let me say, I own all the books in this series and excluding "The October Horse" have read the first five several times. And enjoyed them all immensely. I am sure this might be a good book if it might be a stand alone. But unfortunately, it is the last book in a series which, over the course of several books, developed characters I cared deeply. We grow up with Caesar, and with Sulla, Marius, Servillia, Marcus Brutus, Aurelia; We get to know them, even though we first meet them as adults....more
Patricia Soriano
I'm halfway through the audio book, which is well dramatized though sometimes its hard to tell which character is speaking. Having been fascinated with Antony and Cleopatra from the HBO Rome series, I thought to read this book first. While the level of historical detail is amazing, it sometimes interferes with the storyline, which is more about Antony and Octavius than Antony and Cleopatra as other readers have noted.

And at times, the background of each new character is stated in such detail, th...more
Honestly, I started this book last year and only got 30 pages into it before I quit it because it was slow-moving. I'm not sure what I was smoking because I didn't feel that way this time around. This turned out to be an outstanding book. The author has an amazing grasp on historical detail and I commend her highly for using original Latin terms throughout the book. It gives it an air of authenticity because, obviously, this story *happened* in Latin and Greek. Due to the taint of Shakespeare's...more
Apr 30, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction fans
Although, this book does not quite measure up to the previous six, nevertheless, it is a well written, interesting, meticulously researched story.

Caesar's death, and the military defeat of his assassins, gives rise to another triumvirate. Lepidus goes to Africa, Antony rules the East, and Octavian controls the West, including the City of Rome. This arrangement temporarily prevents a civil war. Most of Rome seems to want a true heir to Caesar. Antony, angry that Caesar named Octavian as his heir,...more
Colleen McCullough has done it again, though her skill is exposed as one more fit to history and intrigue than to passionate romance. This book captivated me as any book that describes the years of Augustus' supremacy will always captivate me. Her depiction of Augustus and Livia (two cold fish in a pond) was both fun and fascinating. As always, McCullough's strength lies in getting into the minds, not the hearts, of her characters. She is at her best when exploring the political twists and turns...more
The seventh book in the Founders of Rome series is as juicily entertaining as ever, although (much like the second season of HBO's "Rome") it occasionally feels like McCullough's writing on fast-forward, covering major events in a few gossipy but abrupt paragraphs. This has the advantage of packing events in and moving the narrative along nicely, and the disadvantage of depriving the characters of what could have been a much greater degree of complexity. No doubt part of the problem lies in the...more
The final saga of Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series is Antony and Cleopatra. The story chronicles the time period of 41 BC to 27 BC in
Rome and Egypt. Julius Caesar has died leaving Cleopatra and his son Caesarian to ruling Egypt and Octavian and Antony are fighting for the Roman throne. Cleopatra also has designs on the throne for her son, Julius' heir. Love, sex, conspiracy and war.

I was excited to read this book before I realized it was the last of a series, and one I had not read....more
The latest chapter of 'The Masters of Rome' series. (I wonder if there will be more? I hope so!) Lovely to read history as a story rather than just a litany of facts and dates. Not that Ms McCullough doesn't know her stuff - her research is impeccable. It's just that - as much as I love reading history (oh, and I do!) - it can get a little dry sometimes when it's just 'So and so did this,' and 'then this other person did that,' and it all happened 'somewhere' and 'sometime.' This series about Ro...more
McCullough newest take on the history of Rome once again has shown that she can use original sources, historical works and lots of imagination to give us a picture of Rome and the ancient world that entertains without losing track of the history. Cleopatra is not a beauty queen but is seductive, to the right male. She loves her children and the men she loves, but is not above using them. And, she is not above outright murder. McCullough uses her imagination to describe a decade of western civili...more
Faith Justice
I've loved earlier books in this series, but this one was a bit of a slog. Part of the problem might have been that it was my "bed book" -- a hefty hardback that stayed on the bedside table and got read a chapter or two at a time. I did a lot of traveling in the past few months, so it was put down for weeks at a time. As before, McCollough provides wonderful research and meticulous detail, but the characters were flat. Because I know the story so well, the plot didn't grab me either. Rather than...more
This is the latest (and possibly the last) in her series on Republican Rome.

While engrossing, this time the author does not provide an afterword to explain the reasons behind why she chose to deviate from established opinion. In previous books, she had always provided convincing, even if you did not agree with them, reasons for her choices.

In this book, no such explanations are furnished for the claim that


the battle of Actium was pure propanganda, which, given the number of witnesses,...more
Astrid Lim
To tell you the truth I just skimmed the last pages of the book, since I couldn't take Antony's sad fate at the end of the story. I fell in love with the rude, childish, selfish guy, as if he's the most charming protagonist instead of the semi antagonist. Compare to the cold, indifferent Octavianus (aka Caesar Augustus), I like Antony better because he had great sense of humor. But his weakness, like many great leaders, was women, and the worst woman came in form of Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.
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Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) is an internationally acclaimed Australian author. Colleen was born in Wellington in central west New South Wales to James and Laurie McCullough.

McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. She grew up during World War II. Before entering tertiary education, she previously earned a livin...more
More about Colleen McCullough...
The Thorn Birds The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome, #3) Caesar (Masters of Rome, #5)

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