Oblong Online: Ancient Lives - James Romm, Francine Prose & Peter Stothard

Event date: 
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
EST. via Zoom


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Ancient Lives is a new series, from Yale University Press, of biographies of “thinkers, writers, kings, queens, conquerors, and politicians—both the well-known and the lesser known—from all parts of the ancient world.” James Romm, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College and editor of the series, will talk with fellow authors Francine Prose & Peter Stothard about the first three books in the series - Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth, Crassus: The First Tycoon and Demetrius: Sacker of Cities.

James Romm, Peter Stothard & Francine Prose

James Romm's Demetrius: Sacker of Cities is a portrait of one of the ancient world’s first political celebrities, who veered from failure to success and back again. The life of Demetrius (337–283 BCE) serves as a through-line to the forty years following the death of Alexander the Great (323–282 BCE), a time of unparalleled turbulence and instability in the ancient world. With no monarch able to take Alexander’s place, his empire fragmented into five pieces.

Peter Stothard's Crassus: The First Tycoon is the story of Rome’s richest man, who died a humiliating desert death in search of military glory. After Crassus was killed, historians told many stories of his demise. Some said that his open mouth, shriveled by desert air, had been filled with molten gold as a testament to his lifetime of greed. His story poses both immediate and lasting questions about the intertwining of money, ambition, and power.

Francine Prose brings a feminist reinterpretation of the myths surrounding Cleopatra and casts new light on the Egyptian queen and her legacy. Prose delves into ancient Greek and Roman literary sources, as well as modern representations of Cleopatra in art, theater, and film, to challenge past narratives driven by orientalism and misogyny and offer a new interpretation of Cleopatra’s history through the lens of our current era.

Ancient Lives


Demetrius: Sacker of Cities (Ancient Lives) By James Romm Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300259070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - November 29th, 2022

Crassus: The First Tycoon (Ancient Lives) By Peter Stothard Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300256604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - November 15th, 2022

Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth (Ancient Lives) By Francine Prose Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300256673
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - November 8th, 2022