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The story of the world's best-remembered celebrity couple, set against the political backdrop of their time. Historian Diana Preston explores the lives and times of a couple whose names--two millennia later--still invoke passion and intrigue. Preston views this drama as an integral part of the military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the rise of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra ruled Egypt with political shrewdness. Her affair with Julius Caesar linked Egypt with Rome; in the aftermath of the civil war following Caesar's murder, her alliance with Antony, and his split with Octavian, set the stage for the end of the Roman Republic.--From publisher description.