Massie's Antony Chat Transcript
222 lines of discussion for Jul. 27, 2000


22:54 Morgana Flavius: So from pure property confiscation to the bloody proscription lists, Antony and Octavian were familiar with all kinds of obscure devices to get what they needed. However, and this was Octavian's primary concern, they always tried to have all their acts supported by the Senate. Even if the Senate was "gently pressed" to do so, in view of the "innocent" toops (180,000 men) commanded by the Triumvirs.
22:54 Torrey Philemon: Mara, the Livia and Vestal Virgins story in Massie's Augustus is very interesting isnt it?
22:57 Morgana Flavius: I think Antony was not faithful to Octavian. I guess he expected Octavian to avoid civil war, as he Antony was trying. Civil war was not something Antony wanted because that would prevent him to consolidate his power over the East. That's why he always "overlooked" Octavian's mistakes.
22:59 Torrey Philemon: what do you mean, morgana, that antony was not faithful to Octavian? He honored all his promises to Octavian, didn't he?
23:01 Mara Durotriges: ya'll didn't bite - retry:  why didn't Antony warn Caesar of the plot against his life?
23:02 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey. Antony was not faithful to Octavian (the person). He was faithful to the effort to avoid civil war. And the only way to avoid civil war was to avoid fighting Octavian.
23:02 Torrey Philemon: Right. Octavian was very clever. He made Antony into the enemy but pretended the enemy was Cleopatra so he wouldn't alienate all Antony's supporters.
23:03 Morgana Flavius: Ah, yes, Mara! I never heard about that one, that Antony knew about the plot against Caesar. What's the source of that?
23:03 Torrey Philemon: (I did too respond Mara! <-: I said that Antony was sitting on the fence, waiting to see which side won. Pro-Caesar or anti-Caesar. )   COMMENT LATER DURING TRANSCRIPT EDITING: Torrey did type a response earlier but apparently it got lost in cyberspace as it didn't show up in the transcript.
23:04 Mara Durotriges: It was in Plutarch, for one, Morgana, and I missed your response, Torrey
23:05 Mara Durotriges: also p. 2 here in the Antony
23:06 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, I still don't get why you're saying that Antony was not faithful to Octavian.
23:07 Morgana Flavius: Wow! I must have missed that in Plutarch, Mara! Hum... if Antony knew, then the only reason why he would not tell Caesar was that he did not believe it.
23:07 Mara Durotriges: nope, wrong not p.2, p.4 alludes to it
23:07 Torrey Philemon: Actually, Mara wasn't it true that Caesar heard of several plots against him? The plots weren't totally a secret.  He was warned NOT to go to the Senate but refused to hide away.
23:08 Mara Durotriges: I'll post the part from the Plutarch on the board .
23:08 Morgana Flavius: (I think you and I are saying the same thing with different words, Torrey, but I'll get back to the faith issue right away)
23:09 Torrey Philemon: I don't know my Julius Caesar well enough, but it's my impression that Antony heard rumors about plotting against Caesar but didn't really know the details of who was involved or what was definitely being planned.
23:13 Torrey Philemon: On another note, the Southern book focuses a lot on Antony's life before Cleopatra. After all, he was only with her his last ten years? I'm curious about some of his affairs, like with the actress Cytherea. He never seemed to pay attention to his public image whereas Octavian was a master of public image.
23:13 Morgana Flavius: I just read about Caesar's death in Southern's book a couple of days ago. She says that Antony was coming to the Senate meeting with Caesar, on the Ides of March. And at the entrance, Cassius called Antony apart to talk to him, so that Caesar would go in alone.
23:14 Torrey Philemon: Right, the conspirators  planned to get Antony out of the way. I think that's in Shakespeare too.
23:16 Mara Durotriges: I've found it - too long to type out now but the pertinent part:  [Trebonius ...let fall several sound [Antony]; that Antony very well understood him, but did not encourage it; however he had said nothing of it to Caesar, but had kept the secret faithfully."
23:16 Morgana Flavius: All Antony saw was some Senators leaving the meeting in haste and it is not known how Antony found out what had gone on inside, if he saw it or just was told. All we know is that Antony left Rome disguised as a slave, on that day. Why would he do so if he knew about the plot?
23:18 Torrey Philemon: Was that Plutarch, Mara? Remember that Plutarch was very anti-Cleopatra and Antony. But if Antony did know ...... perhaps he didn't feel loyal to Caesar. Caesar after all had shunned him for quite a time..... Morgana, Antony was associated with Caesar and indeed feared that he could be next. 
23:19 Mara Durotriges: yep, Torrey, I have it right here in my hand
23:21 Morgana Flavius: Yes, of course Antony thought he would be the next. But do you think that Antony did not say anything to Caesar because he wanted Caesar's death?
23:23 Morgana Flavius: And if so, why he did not "let the word out" to the conspirators that he agreed with it? And if he did "leave the word" to them, why then would he fear for his life after the murder?
23:23 Torrey Philemon: If Antony knew, I would think he was thinking of protecting himself more than Caesar. Remember that Caesar was losing support at that time, and becoming increasingly resented. Antony was already associated with him but maybe didn't want to be too associated with him (I'm thinking of how in the U.S. Gore sought to distance himself from Clinton after Clinton's misbehavior, while still remaining partially loyal)
23:24 Morgana Flavius: What's your opinion about all that, Mara?
23:25 Torrey Philemon: I'm looking at Southern.....Southern  points out before his death Caesar was favoring Dolabella, whom Antony objected too, and also was increasingly favoring Octavian. Antony was only briefly Caesar's favored son.....  My guess is that there was a lot of "sibling rivalry" going on here......
23:28 Torrey Philemon: Southern suggests that Antony DIDN'T know about the conspiracy....and in fact didn't even know who had killed Caesar immediately after his death. I imagine that he and a lot of people were in panic. And after all, they didn't have CNN (our biggest news source, Morgana) and cable tv back then ! <-:
23:30 Morgana Flavius: If Antony heard of the plot and believe it and agreed with it, why he didn't make sure that the murderes would leave him out? This does not make much sense to me...
23:30 Torrey Philemon: I doubt if he knew about least about the details.....Plutarch isn't known to have been totally accurate!
23:30 Mara Durotriges: 1st he says that Antony furnished the pretext for the assassination by offering Caesar the crown at the Lupercalia.  Then, to quote:
23:31 Morgana Flavius: (CNN tentacles have already reached Brazil too, Torrey. LOL!)
23:31 Mara Durotriges: where did it go?
23:31 Mara Durotriges: "These passages gave great encouragement to Brutus and Cassius who, in making choice of trusty friends for such an enterprise, were thinking to engage Antony.  The rest approved, except Trebonius, who told them that Antony and he had lodged and travelled together in the last journey they took to meet Caesar, and that he had let fall several words, in a cautious wat, on purpose to sound him, but did not encourage it; however, he had said nothing of it to Caesar, but had kept the secret faithfully.  The conspirators thhen proposed that Antony should die with thim, which Brutus would not consent to, insisting that an action undertaken in defense of right and the laws must be maintained unsullied, and pure of injustice.  It was settled that Antony, whose bodily strength and high office made him formidalbe, should, at Caesar's entrance into the senate, when the deed was done, be amused outside by some of the party....
23:35 Mara Durotriges: so after Caesar was killed "Antony, at the first moment took a servant's dress and hid himself.  But, understanding that the conspirators had assembled in the Capitol, and had no further design upon anyone, he persuaded them to come down, giving them his son as a hostage" - I hadn't noticed that before - what son?
23:37 Morgana Flavius: Funny, I don't remember that part in Plutarch, but of course it was there. ;-)
23:38 Mara Durotriges: I think in anything a group reads, each person notices different things, Morgana
23:39 Morgana Flavius: Antony had two sons with Fulvia. Antyllus and Iullus.
23:40 Morgana Flavius: That's right, Mara. So, do you think that Plutarch suggests that Antony simply "washed his hands" about this plot against Caesar
23:40 Torrey Philemon: (sorry folks I had a phone call on my other line and now am catching up)
23:42 Torrey Philemon: Antony was  effective in making peace after Caesar's a   chaotic time, in which all sorts of violence etc. could have broken loose....."and that he had let fall several words, in a cautious way, on purpose to sound him" doesn't imply that he knew directly of the plot, only perhaps that he knew some people were wanting to get rid of Caesar.... I don't get the impression that Antony knew  an assassination attempt was definitely planned.
23:45 Morgana Flavius: As Mara would tell Morgana: "Hey, I think Torrey is a bad dictator and is dominating our chat. So I want to kick her outta here" and good Morgana says: "Don't count on me" and also keeps her mouth shut and does not tell Torrey. Next thing, Mara (a terrible hacker) writes a java code and Torrey is kicked out, not able to come back. Then good old Morgana realizes that Mara may think that Morgana is going to dominate next, and Morgana wisely hits the exit button before Mara can write the devilish java code against her. And Plutarch, that big mouth, then tells all the world the filthy story. (LOL! what an imagination!)
23:45 Mara Durotriges: maybe that was my interpretation, but I do think I've run into another version of this somewhere, just can't think where
23:47 Mara Durotriges: what?  did it come through as gibberish for you Morgana?
23:48 Torrey Philemon: oh my mara, now you're making me paranoid! maybe it was one of you calling me on the other line to give you space to talk <-:
23:49 Mara Durotriges: uh oh, I think  I may have missed a joke here, slow sometimes  LOL
23:49 Torrey Philemon: I meant morgana!
23:49 Morgana Flavius: I interpret Plutarch's text like Torrey did: that what might have been leaked to Antony's ear about the plot was not worth to tell Caesar.
23:49 Mara Durotriges: no, I meant another version of my plot theory
23:50 Mara Durotriges: arrgghh!!! you guys are messing with me - don't you know better than to mess with old people?!  they're so easy to confuse! LOL!
23:51 Torrey Philemon: who's an old people? (are we all midlifers?)
23:51 Mara Durotriges: midlife here
23:52 Torrey Philemon: We're the inimitable midlivers
23:53 Morgana Flavius: (yes, it was a joke, Mara. I was just trying to bring the plot to a hypothetical present situation and see if it would work. Well it would! LOL!)
23:54 Mara Durotriges: my liver may be well past midlife - but well pickled - preservation techniques
23:55 Torrey Philemon: Ok consider this. Twenty years ago I taught Bible as literature and used an exercise I read about to show how stories get distorted over time. I gave the first person in a class of thirty people a story written in about three paragraphs on a piece of paper. That person had to whisper the story to the 2nd person, who then had to repeat it to the 3rd, who repeated it secretly to the 4th on and on until the 29th person repeated the story to the 30th. Then the 30th person got up and told the story to the class and we compared it to the original story. As you can imagine.........
23:56 Morgana Flavius: will someone gram me and tell me how old you have to be in order to be consider a midlifer? (We don't want the vast audience who will read this chat transcript to know our age, will we ladies?)
23:56 Mara Durotriges: I understand now, Morgana, but since I typed elsewhere where I could see it (didn't help a whole lo with the mistakes, did it?!) and pasted it in I thought the machine may have taken over and transmitted weirdness to you
23:58 Torrey Philemon: We're all the inimitable midlivers
23:59 Mara Durotriges: yes, Torrey, there's an old children's game called whisper which works much the same way, that's often used as an example of the same thing.  Makes one pause and consider our texts here, translated and retranslated over the centuries as they have surely been
23:59 Torrey Philemon: That's why I'm  skeptical of what we call history, Mara! Who knows if we have any accurate information.
00:00 Mara Durotriges: I think midlife may be in the eye of the beholder.  As is old age - sort of depends on what hurts on a given day
00:00 Morgana Flavius: I was in a group once where that technique of whispering the story was used. It is really fun to compare the 2 stories: the first one and the last one.
00:01 Torrey Philemon: What kind of group was that, Morgana? Were the two versions of the story very different in your experience?
00:04 Morgana Flavius: Anyway, I know it's late, but I'd like to go back to the faith issue very quickly: Massie implies (through Critias, in the text quoted by Mara on the board) that Antony had a personal/emotional attachment to Octavian. I don't think that's the case. The reason why Antony seemed to have expected a certain behavior from Octavian (in my opinion) is that Antony knew that Octavian didn't want Civil War either. What Antony had miscalculated in the beginning and might have found out at the end (and maybe that's why he decided to divorce Octavia) is that Octavian was really good at making Romans believe that going against the East would not be a civil war, but just a valid one against a foreign enemy.
00:06 Torrey Philemon: Which means that Octavian did after all want a civil war, right? He just wanted to appear as if he didn't? (Meaning he wanted ultimate power, and wanted to dispense with Antony)
00:07 Mara Durotriges: Perhaps Octavian didn't care whether or not there was a civil war.  He didn't seem to have much regard for his countrymen, he only seemed to want what would consolidate his power and be damned to anyone else and to the hardships any civil war brings to the common man, as well as the difficulty for the soldiers in fighting their friends
00:08 Morgana Flavius: Torrey, it was a group for learning group techniques. The instructor used that story telling through whispers to show how in a group members would get different versions of the same fact if the fact was not spoken publicly. And yes, the stories in the end were totally different and the group had no more than 20 persons.
00:08 Mara Durotriges: Octavian cared about Octavian.  Period.
00:10 Torrey Philemon: Agreed, Mara, though in all fairness I think he also cared about Livia!
00:12 Mara Durotriges: from what I've read, Livia is a whole 'nother topic, a real can of worms perhaps
00:13 Torrey Philemon: Yes let's talk about Livia sometime. You have Massie's Augustus too, Mara? I think Morgana said she just read it.
00:15 Mara Durotriges: so where do we go from here?  Massies Augustus?  I liked the Cicero/assignment idea you posted , Torrey; also you mentioned wishing to write a letter to one of the ladies involved, can't remember which one - that might be fun - to each respond and compare
00:15 Morgana Flavius: Well, yes, Mara. Octavian didn't care about HOW he would achieve his goals (mainly, personal power), but he did care how people would percieve those achievements. So, back to my little horror story, if Torrey would want to get rid of Mara, but didn't want Morgana to think that it was a bad thing, Torrey would make Morgana believe that Mara crashed because the gods wanted so and sent a terrible lightning over her electrical system, destroying her powerful PC. (LOL! I'm being really bad tonight)
00:16 Mara Durotriges: But Morgana, I know I've been a nice girl this month - the gods can't possibly be looking on my with disfavor ....(small, trembling voice - can they?)!
00:17 Morgana Flavius: I finished Massie's Augustus (btw, much better written than Antony), and would like to go on a chat about Augustus. Livia is VERY interesting, and I'd like to talk about her. I agree with Mara, she seemed to have been a big can of worms too.
00:17 Torrey Philemon: Yes Morgana you ARE really being bad tonight! Have you been watching too many horror stories? <-:
00:18 Torrey Philemon: Mara, how long do you need to read Massie's Augustus? (by the way I   like the idea of a creative exercise too.....but we don't all have to do the same one. we could all come up with something that inspires us)
00:18 Mara Durotriges: oh, Torrey, PLEASE don't tell them to send more lightning bolts!  I've not fully finished cleaning up the last mess!  Or if they must send them, get it over with before I go through all the rest of the reinstalling!
00:19 Mara Durotriges: I can finish in several days, if I get on with it.
00:19 Morgana Flavius: Well, Mara, we are WISE women and we all know about Torrey's connections to the electricity plant people. So the lightening is just for those freaks in AncientSites. And of course, the gods would not treat you that bad, specially because you're such a nice girl. But Torrey... hum... that's an entirely different issue (do I sound like Maecenas in Massie's Augustus? LOL!)
00:20 Torrey Philemon: Now I'm not responsible for the lightning bolts! That's Morgana's idea! I think she's inspired by Zeus/Jupiter tonight.
00:21 Torrey Philemon: There are two Augustus boards in for Massie's Augustus already. We ought to let others know we're going to do a Massie's Augustus chat and see if we can bring in more people.
00:22 Torrey Philemon: Huh? My connections to the electricity plant people? What Amazon plants are you eating tonight, Morgana? <-:
00:22 Morgana Flavius: Yeah... I guess I've been too much influenced by Romans' way of thinking tonight. *w*
00:22 Mara Durotriges: instigator you are, Morgana! LOL
00:24 Mara Durotriges: she's stalking the Wild Asparagus
00:24 Torrey Philemon: I"m trying to figure out a time for our next chat. I don't have any weekday evenings available two weeks from now. Weekend evenings are better for me but not everyone else.
00:25 Morgana Flavius: Anyway, if Massie re-wrote Plutarch, in his Antony book, he seemed to have re-written Suetonius for Augustus. But I have to read my Suetonius before saying my final word. ;o)
00:25 Mara Durotriges: in case you don't remember, that was a book by Youell somebody about surviving on what one could forage
00:26 Torrey Philemon: (Watch out or I'll start making references to Harry Potter which I've been reading this week instead of Antony and Cleopatra books. I think Octavian belongs in Slytherin and Morgana is feeling like playing with wizardry tonight.
00:26 Mara Durotriges: I can do weekends most of the time.  I have to know ahead of time so I don't make plans .
00:26 Torrey Philemon: Yes we ought to talk about Suetonius sometime. He's easy reading, but just about the Caesars not Antony.
00:27 Mara Durotriges: I'm going to get to those one of these days - I've had so many recommendations on them
00:27 Mara Durotriges: this may be endless
00:27 Mara Durotriges: what HAVE I gotten myself into?!
00:28 Torrey Philemon: Possibilities: Friday evening August 4th, Saturday August 5th, Sunday August 13th.....what works for you Morgana?
00:28 Mara Durotriges: I'm tired of thinking, people.  We can decide later
00:28 Torrey Philemon: yes mara we're hooking you in the snare of the inimitable midlivers
00:29 Mara Durotriges: 4th or 5th is ok here
00:29 Mara Durotriges: you do go on about that liver of yours....
00:29 Morgana Flavius: Harry Potter?! What a traitor you are, Torrey! And we all thought you were reading only Southern, Massie, Plutarch, Suetonius and the whole Res Gestae (in the original Latin!) Didn't we, Mara? *winking to Mara when Torrey is not looking)
00:29 Mara Durotriges: I like you guys, I'm glad I fell into this!
00:30 Torrey Philemon: it trips the tongue inimitable midlivers inimitable midlivers - morgana are you fading? time preferences?
00:30 Mara Durotriges: at least she's stopped rotting her brain with MOVIES!  and TV.  Harry is better than that
00:30 Torrey Philemon: hell i'm almost done with the 2nd harry potter book and can't wait to finish  <-:
00:31 Morgana Flavius: If I know ahead, I don't make plans for any of those dates, Torrey. Should be fine for me.
00:31 Mara Durotriges: if I started mumbling inimitable midlivers around the house, I might find myself homeless  LOLs
00:31 Torrey Philemon: Mara, I'm really glad you've joined us! I really enjoy the stimulating conversation. As I've said to Morgana, this is a great means of sublimation..... <-:
00:33 Torrey Philemon: Well you see, no muggles are allowed at ancient sites.......when one lives in a muggle world one has to have wizard chats every now and then to stay alive!
00:33 Morgana Flavius: It is really addicting, Mara! It all started with Metamorphoses last year and as far as I know, we seem to be getting back to Ovid and his time since then (even Dante remits us to Ovid sometimes!)
00:33 Torrey Philemon: ok how about next friday night the 4th for Augustus? I've only read the first half so far.......
00:33 Mara Durotriges: I am tired.  I'm going away now.  This has been fun but it's been an incredibly busy week for my brain and it needs to rest.  Decide on when and I'll arrange my life, such as it is, to suit.
00:34 Mara Durotriges: ok, 4th is fine
00:34 Mara Durotriges: This whole AS thing is addicting!
00:34 Torrey Philemon: (My Renaissance art class went to the Museum of Fine Arts this week Morgana and saw a sculpture combining the heads of Dante and Virgil)
00:35 Mara Durotriges: and I've not read Ovid, I'll put it on my two mile long list
00:35 Torrey Philemon: Mara, I was involved in a lot of discussions etc at A.S. 1-2 years ago and really cut back. Now I'm only active here (this discussion). After awhile, you've got to set limits. How long have you been here?
00:35 Mara Durotriges: modern art...hmmm...can't imagine
00:36 Mara Durotriges: since Jan, but I lurked for quite awhile
00:36 Morgana Flavius: It was great, ladies! Let's go on with Augustus. We have Livia, Octavia, the two Julias (mother and daughter) and a great number of interesting women to find out about. And if they are known only through men's eyes, let's make them speak on their own as much as we can!
00:36 Mara Durotriges: I've another person here, who is around more than poor old Mara
00:37 Mara Durotriges: I thought I was leaving... maybe I'm one of those people who must have the last word
00:38 Torrey Philemon: oh Mara you must tell us your alter identity (if you would that is, perhaps in a telegram)
00:38 Torrey Philemon: yes morgana, let's do somethign creative with the women....livia, octavia, julia......i think I'll write something from octavia's viewpoint this weekend......guess we ought to all go sleep now!
00:39 Mara Durotriges: hmmm - is that allowed?!  the cyber gods won't zap me?!
00:39 Morgana Flavius: Good night, ladies! As always, it has been a pleasure to participate on these chats. (My connection is getting very slow now)
00:39 Torrey Philemon: just instant message it to us Mara. i have an alter identity here too but she hasn't been online in about six months..... Goodnight, Morgana. Wonderful as always.
00:40 Mara Durotriges: good night Morgana, always a pleasure to talk with you!
00:40 Mara Durotriges: ok, I guess, it may entertain you for a bit
00:41 Torrey Philemon: of course you may always choose to maintain your privacy (via alter identity).
00:42 Torrey Philemon:  maybe we're all fading and I should just say goodnight......
00:44 Morgana Flavius exits...
00:45 Mara Durotriges enters...
00:45 Mara Durotriges: stupid thing just cut me off!  I get to decide when to leave, not IT!
00:46 Mara Durotriges: goodnight, Torrey, enjoyed it. as always
00:46 Torrey Philemon: Ok, and I'll have to let you have the last word. When you're ready to go you can say LAST WORD, ok, and I won't say anything else.  <-:
00:46 Mara Durotriges: last word having been had, over and out.
00:46 Mara Durotriges exits...
00:47 Torrey Philemon exits...

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