Cleopatra authors

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Vellius Paterculus (Historian)

·         Alive during the second half of Octavians reign, but wrote his histories during the reign of Tiberius(successor of Octavian)

·         Supported Octavian and Tibirius and therefore writes very favourably of their reigns

·         Not alive during battle of Actium but would have been able to talk to people who had

·         His work is a summary of Roman History ,rather than a full scale history meaning it contains less detail and is superficial and uncritical

·         Biased towards Octavian (said he was merciful and executed no one)

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Plutarch(Biographer)

·         A Greek biographer

  • No real military experience

·         writing 100 years after Actium

·         Interested in character and personality

·         Loves a good story so focuses on these rather than key events.

·         Tells us about the mans character rather then everything about them so skips over great events in light detail.

·         Uses his biographies to teach moral lessons such as the danger of luxury and the fickle nature of fortune and sees Antony as someone who was distracted by his infatuation with Cleopatra.

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Suetonius (Biographer)

  • A roman Biographer
  • No military experience
  • Writing 150 years after Actuim
  • Wrote biographies for the first 12 Ceasers
  • He was the secretary for the emperor Hadrian, and therefore had access to the imperial palace archives
  • Is interested in character and personality as well as loving a good story
  • His work contains rumour and gossip and does not treat sources critically
  • Compared to other emperors Julius and Octavian are presented favourably however he does include sources which are unflattering and he can do this because he is writing a long time after the events.
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Virgil (poet)

  • Famous for the poet the Aenied which contains lots of surface praise for Octavian and Julius Ceaser
  • viewed as propaganda for Octavian however could be seen as being critical
  • worked for Macenus Octavian's political advisor so were indirectly sponcerd by Octavian
  • Used to justify a war against Cleopatra
  • Wrote during Octavian's rule
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Horace (poet)

  • Wrote short poems on different topics
  • Friendly towards Octavian and often praises him
  • Presents Octavian as being a divine figure who saved the world from the barbarian threat of Cleopatra
  • Worked for Macenus who was Octavian's political advisor and may have wanted to repay this financial support by writing in favour of Octavian
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Propertius

  • Mainly wrote love poetry, however occationaly included political themes
  • Very favourble to Ovtavian however can be seen to be uneasy about his rule
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