Mark Antony

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Marcus Antonius (in Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) (January 14, 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony (and often pronounced "Anthony"), was a Roman politician and general. He was an important supporter and the loyal friend of Gaius Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator, despite his blood ties, through his mother Julia, to the branch of Caesars opposed to the Marians and murdered by them. After Caesar's assassination, Antony formed an official political alliance with Octavian (Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, known to historians today as the Second Triumvirate.

The triumvirate broke up in 33 BC. Disagreement between Octavian and Antony erupted into civil war, the Final War of the Roman Republic, in 31 BC. Antony was defeated by Octavian at the naval Battle of Actium, and in a brief land battle at Alexandria. He and his lover Cleopatra committed suicide shortly thereafter. His career and defeat are significant in Rome's transformation from Republic to Empire.

Contents

Biography

Early life

A member of the Antonia clan (gens), Antony was probably born in winter 87-6 BC. Plutarch (Ant. 86.8) records the two traditions that he was 56 or 53 at his death in 30 BC. This strange conflict is best resolved by supposing that Antony falsified his age in later life, after the example of his political mentor Caesar, to make himself three years younger (Caesar cut off two years). But the day and month of his birth are securely attested as 14 January.[2]
He was homonymous and therefore eldest son of Marcus Antonius Creticus (praetor 74 BC), grandson of the great Marcus Antonius Orator (consul 99 BC, censor 97-6 BC) who had been murdered and decapitated in the Marian Terror of winter 87-6 BC.

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