Cleopatra Seduces Antony, 41 BC
After the death of Julius Caesar there was a struggle for power between his supporters and those who organised his death. Mark Antony was consul at the time. Antony and Cleopatra's love was strange. of Cleopatra to Egypt, eventually led to his death, and the end of a very one sided, but powerful relationship. Marc Antony, played by James Purefoy in HBO's series “Rome.”. Marcus Antonius commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide. Cicero, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio.
The Greek historian Plutarch records it was Antony who convinced Gabinius to finally act. In return for its support, Rome exercised considerable power over the kingdom's affairs, particularly control of the kingdom's revenues and crop yields. While Antony was serving Gabinius in the East, the domestic political situation had changed in Rome.
In 60 BC, a secret agreement known as the "First Triumvirate" was entered into between three men to control the Republic: Caesar used his governorship as a launching point for his conquest of free Gaul. Rome was effectively under the absolute power of these three men. Sometime between 54 and 47 BC, the union produced a single daughter, Antonia Prima. It is unclear if this was Antony's first marriage.
Antony's association with Publius Clodius Pulcher allowed him to achieve greater prominence. Clodius, through the influence of his benefactor Marcus Licinius Crassushad developed a positive political relationship with Julius Caesar. Serving under Caesar, Antony demonstrated excellent military leadership. Despite a temporary alienation later in life, Antony and Caesar developed friendly relations which would continue until Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.
Antony and Cleopatra - Wikipedia
Caesar's influence secured greater political advancement for Antony. After a year of service in Gaul, Caesar dispatched Antony to Rome to formally begin his political careerreceiving election as Quaestor for 52 BC as a member of the Populares faction. Following his year in office, Antony was promoted by Caesar to the rank of Legate and assigned command of two legions approximately 7, total soldiers.
Without the stability they provided, the divide between Caesar and Pompey grew ever larger. In 52 BC, Milo succeeded in assassinating Clodius, resulting in widespread riots and the burning of the Senate meeting house, the Curia Hostiliaby Clodius' street gang. Anarchy resulted, causing the Senate to look to Pompey.
Fearing the persecutions of Lucius Cornelius Sulla only thirty-years earlier, they avoided granting Pompey the dictatorship by instead naming him sole Consul for the year, giving him extraordinary but limited powers. Pompey ordered armed soldiers into the city to restore order and to eliminate the remnants of Clodius' gang. With the war over, Antony was sent back to Rome to act as Caesar's protector against Pompey and the other Optimates.
With the support of Caesar, who as Pontifex Maximus was head of the Roman religion, Antony was appointed the College of Augursan important priestly office responsible for interpreting the will of the Roman gods by studying the flight of birds.
All public actions required favorable auspices, granting the college considerable influence. Antony was then elected as one of the ten People's Tribunes for 49 BC. In this position, Antony could protect Caesar from his political enemies by vetoing any actions unfavorable to his patron. Caesar's Civil War Cato the Youngera member of the Optimates faction, was one of the chief architects of the decree which provoked Caesar into civil war.
The feud between Caesar and Pompey erupted into open confrontation by early 49 BC. Upon assuming office in January, Antony immediately summoned a meeting of the Senate to resolve the conflict: Antony then made a new proposal: Caesar would retain only two of his eight legions and the governorship of Illyrium if he was allowed to stand for the Consulship in absentia.
This arrangement ensured his immunity from suit would continue: Though Pompey found the concession satisfactory, Cato and Lentulus refused to back down, with Lentulus even expelling Antony from the Senate meeting by force.
Antony fled Rome, fearing for his life, and returned to Caesar's camp on the banks of the Rubicon Riverthe southern limit of Caesar's lawful command. Under the leadership of Cato and with the tacit support of Pompey, the Senate passed the "final decree" senatus consultum ultimum stripping Caesar of his command and ordering him to return to Rome and stand trial for war crimes. The Senate further declared Caesar a traitor and a public enemy if he did not immediately disband his army.
As Tribune, Antony's person was sacrosanct and therefore it was unlawful to harm him or refuse to recognize his veto. Three days later, on 10 January, Caesar crossed the Rubicon Riverstarting a civil war.
Caesar's rapid advance surprised Pompey, who, along with the other chief members of the Optimates, fled Italy for Greece. After entering Rome, instead of pursuing Pompey, Caesar marched to Spain to defeat Pompeian-loyalists there. Meanwhile, Antony, with the rank of Propraetor despite never having served as Praetorwas installed as governor of Italy and commander of the army, stationed there while Marcus Lepidusone of Caesar's staff officers, ran the provisional administration of Rome itself.
In early 48 BC, he prepared to sail with seven legions to Greece to face Pompey.
Marc Antony and Cleopatra Relationship Lessons | LoveToKnow
Pompey's forces, however, defeated them and assumed control of the Adriatic Sea along with it. Additionally, the two legions they commanded defected to Pompey. Without their fleet, Caesar lacked the necessary transport ships to cross into Greece with his seven legions.
Instead, he sailed with only two and placed Antony in command of the remaining five at Brundisium with instructions to join him as soon as he was able.
Antony, however, managed to trick Libo into pursuing some decoy ships, causing Libo's squadron to be trapped and attacked. Most of Libo's fleet managed to escape, but several of his troops were trapped and captured.
The Battle of Pharsalus: Antony commanded the left wing of Caesar's army. During the Greek campaign, Plutarch records Antony was Caesar's top general and second to only him in reputation.
With food sources running low, Caesar, in July, ordered a nocturnal assault on Pompey's camp, but Pompey's larger forces pushed back the assault. Though an indecisive result, the victory was a tactical win for Pompey. Pompey, however, did not order a counter-assault on Caesar's camp, allowing Caesar to retreat unhindered. Caesar would later remark the civil war would have ended that day if Pompey had only attacked him.
Assuming a defensive position at the plain of PharsalusCaesar's army prepared for pitched battle with Pompey's, which outnumbered his own two to one. Though the civil war had not ended at Pharsulus, the battle marked the pinnacle of Caesar's power and effectively ended the Republic. After Pompey's defeat, most of the Senate defected to Caesar, including many of the soldiers who had fought under Pompey. The young Cleopatra became Caesar's mistress and bore him a son, Caesarion.
Caesar's actions further strengthened Roman control over the already Roman-dominated kingdom. The chief cause of his political challenges concerned debt forgiveness. One of the Tribunes for 47 BC, Publius Cornelius Dolabellaa former general under Pompey, proposed a law which would have canceled all outstanding debts.
Antony opposed the law for political and personal reasons: When Dolabella sought to enact the law by force and seized the Roman ForumAntony responded by unleashing his soldiers upon the assembled mass.
Antony's violent reaction had caused Rome to fall into a state of anarchy. Caesar sought to mend relations with the populist leader; he was elected to a third term as Consul for 46 BC, but proposed the Senate should transfer the consulship to Dolabella.
When Antony protested, Caesar was forced to withdraw the motion out of shame. Later, Caesar sought to exercise his prerogatives as Dictator and directly proclaim Dolabella as Consul instead. After returning victorious from North Africa, Caesar was appointed Dictator for ten years and brought Cleopatra and their son to Rome. Antony again remained in Rome while Caesar, in 45 BC, sailed to Spain to defeat the final opposition to his rule.
When Caesar returned in late 45 BC, the civil war was over. During this time Antony married his third wife, Fulvia. Following the scandal with Dolabella, Antony had divorced his second wife and quickly married Fulvia.
Assassination of Julius Caesar Ides of March[ edit ] Whatever conflicts existed between himself and Caesar, Antony remained faithful to Caesar, ensuring their estrangement did not last long. Yet most often Antony and Cleopatra are remembered as a couple, and as lovers -- perhaps the most famous lovers from history.
Shakespeare's play helped them to grow into fictional characters as well, and so their story can now be numbered alongside other tales of passionate, but doomed romance, as tragic as the finale of Romeo and Juliet.
It is unsurprising that the tale has been reinvented time after time in print, on stage and, more recently, on screen. Since they both had strongly theatrical streaks, this enduring fame would no doubt have pleased them, although since neither was inclined to modesty it would probably not have surprised them or seemed less than their due.
The story is intensely dramatic, and I cannot remember a time when I had not heard of Antony and Cleopatra. As young boys, my brother and I discovered a small box containing coins collected by our grandfather, a man who had died long before either of us was born. A friend spotted one of them as Roman, and it proved to be a silver denarius, minted by Mark Antony to pay his soldiers in 31 B. Already interested in the ancient world, the discovery added to my enthusiasm for all things Roman.
It seemed a connection not only with a grandparent, but also with Marcus Antonius the Triumvir, whose name circles the face of the coin with its picture of a warship. We do not know where our grandfather acquired this and the other coins -- an eclectic mixture, several of which are from the Middle East.
It is certainly nice to think that. So in some ways, Antony and Cleopatra have always had a special place in my interest in the ancient past, and yet the desire to write about them is fairly recent. A lot has been written, most especially about the queen, and it seemed unlikely that there could be much more worth saying. Then, a few years ago, I fulfilled a long-held ambition by working on Caesar: The Life of a Colossus, which amongst other things involved looking in far more detail at his affair with Cleopatra, as well as Antony's political association with him.
Some of what I found surprised me, and -- though this was less unexpected -- there were vast differences to the popular impression of the story.
If it was valuable to look at Caesar's career with a straightforward chronology, and to emphasise the human element in his own behaviour and that of his associates and opponents, it soon became clear that most other aspects of the period would benefit from the same approach.
For all their fame, Antony and Cleopatra receive little attention in formal study of the first century b. Engaged in a power struggle, they were beaten and so had little real impact on later events. As a student I took courses on the Fall of the Roman Republic and the creation of the Principate, and later on as a lecturer I would devise and teach similar courses myself. The years from 44—31 b. Ptolemaic Egypt is usually a more specialised field, but, even when it is included in a course, the reign of its last queen -- poorly documented and anyway in the last days of long decline -- is seldom treated in any detail.
Antony and Cleopatra did not change the world in any profound way, unlike Caesar and to an even greater extent Augustus. One ancient writer claimed that Caesar's campaigns caused the death of one million people and the enslavement of as many more.
Marc Antony and Cleopatra Relationship Lessons
Whatever the provocation, he led his army to seize Rome by force, winning supreme power through civil war, and supplanted the Republic's democratically elected leaders.
Against this, Caesar was famous for his clemency. Throughout his career he championed social reform and aid to the poor in Rome, as well as trying to protect the rights of people in the provinces. Although he made himself dictator, his rule was generally benevolent, and his measures sensible, dealing with long-neglected problems.
The path to power of his adopted son, Augustus, was considerably more vicious, replacing clemency with revenge. Augustus' power was won in civil war and maintained by force, and yet he also ruled well.