By Eve MacDonald in The Conversation.
The papers and social media are today full of claims of fake news; back and forth the accusations fly that one side of the political divide in the US has been filling the world with lies in order to discredit the other. We used to call this propaganda; now it’s fake news.
One of the most egregious examples of this takes us back to ancient Rome and to the very end of the Republic, when almost a century of civil war, chaos and political assassinations had led the Roman government to the brink of collapse.
It was the time of the so-called Second Triumvirate. The alliance between Octavian, the powerful heir of Julius Caesar, and his right-hand man, Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), was crumbling and two sides had formed – a clash was inevitable. It is a well-known story – Mark Antony claimed the Eastern Roman Empire as his fiefdom and had moved in with the alluring Cleopatra in Egypt. Meanwhile, his main rival, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), was in Rome, where the ability to influence the governing Senate and the people of the city still mattered.
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: