Birth anniversary of Marcus Antonius

14 Jan 2017  Sat

“My heart lies in the coffin there with Caesar!”

Marcus Antonius or Mark Antony, the Roman politician and general was born on 14 January in 83 BC. A supporter of Julius Caesar, he played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the autocratic Roman Empire.

During Caesar’s first year long dictatorship, Mark Antony was his second-in-command. He also was Caesar’s co-consul when Julius Caesar assumed his fifth and final consulship in 44 B.C.

After the Ides of March (Caesar's assassination), as Julius Caesar's friend and right-hand man, he gave a stirring funeral oration. He, along with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian (later Augustus), Caesar's nephew and adopted son, formed a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate (43–30 BC).

After defeating the traitors and Caesar’s assassins in the battle of Philippi in October 42 B.C., the Triumvirate divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Mark Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was also given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.

After assuming control of the eastern part of the empire, he went to Egypt and became Cleopatra's lover. This alliance with Cleopatra angered his supporters in Rome. Yet another civil war ensued and Octavian declared war on Antony and Cleopatra. The fleet and army of Antony and Cleopatra were defeated and they committed suicide.

Antony was a man of considerable ability and impressive appearance, an outstanding leader of men and a competent general. He was a dedicated politician!

“I shall be a good politician, even if it kills me. Or if it kills anyone else, for that matter!”

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