Posted on 26th December 2020
Born Marcus Antonius in January 83BC, Marc Antony as he became known was raised with very little parental guidance; he spent his teenage years gambling and drinking excessively. At this time, he accrued many debts and pursued by creditors he fled to Greece in 58BC.
Antony’s military career started shortly after in 57BC when he fought in Judea and Egypt performing with distinction. Between 52BC – 50BC he became a staff officer to Julius Caesar in Gaul, and also served as quaestor (magistrate). In 49BC he was named ‘tribune of the plebians’ (common people). Both his political and military careers were rising.
Antony fought in a series of battles with Julius Caesar in his war with Pompey Magnus and following Caesar’s death in 44BC, Antony was next in line to rule, however he was challenged in this by Caesar’s assassins. At the reading of Caesar’s will, it was announced that Caesar had adopted his great nephew Gaius Octavian as his son and heir, therefore Antony was challenged again.
Following an uncertain time, an agreement was made between Octavian, Antony and Lepidus (Roman general) to form a triumvirate (power shared by three leaders).
Octavian would rule the west including Rome.
Lepidus would rule Africa.
Antony would rule the east including Egypt.
Antony and Octavian formed an alliance and together they fought Caesar’s killers, and were victorious at the battle of Philippi in Greece in 42BC.
Antony travelled to his provinces where he met and became the lover of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt in 41BC.
The relationship between Antony and Octavian was strained, to secure this relationship, Antony returned to Rome and was betrothed and married to Octavian’s sister Octavia in 40BC.
Antony went on an unsuccessful military campaign against the Parthian’s, then in 36BC he returned to Egypt and Cleopatra.
The relationship between Octavian and Antony deteriorated fast; Octavian was turning Roman support away from Antony. The two met at the battle of Actium on 2 September 31BC and Antony was defeated.
Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt and Octavian pursued them. When Octavian and his armies invaded Egypt in 30BC, Antony committed suicide with his own sword. He died on 1 August 30BC.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Rome
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