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Option M (Rome) 3.3

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Information about Option M (Rome) 3.3

Published on March 20, 2014

Author: dieharper

Source: slideshare.net

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ROME Rivalry and Civil War between Mark Antony and Octavian; role of Cleopatra VII; Battle of Actium Fall of the Republic

The Story of the Second Triumvirate

The story of the death of the republic After divorcing Octavia and formalising his relationship with Cleopatra, Antony was seen by many to be abandoning the Roman cause. He still had friends though and in 32BC the consuls made a speech in his favour in the Senate. Originally they apposed the idea of reading Antony’s latest despatches (letters) in the senate as they knew senators would react baldy to his ‘donations’ to Cleopatra and her children but Gaius Sosius on 1 January made an elaborate speech in favour of Antony. He wanted it to be confirmed but it was vetoed by a tribute Octavian was not present on the day of the speech, but at the next meeting made a reply of such a nature that the consuls, in concern for their lives, both left Rome to join Antony. Octavian had entered the senate with an armed guard which worked as an implied threat. As well as the two consuls, pro-Antony senators also fled.

At this time there was a war of propaganda. Octavian had the upper hand since he was in Rome. He denounced Antony as an enemy of Rome, spreading rumours that he was seeking to establish a personal monarchy over the entire Roman Empire on the behalf of Caesarion, circumventing the Roman Senate. It was also said that Antony intended to move the capital of the empire to Alexandria. Coin minted in 41BC Obverse: Antony Reverse: Cleopatra

Octavian was already making military preparations but in 31BC he was given an opportunity to destroy Antony’s reputation and support in Rome completey. He was given a copt of Antony’s will which he had taken from the Vestal virgins. In the will he recognised Ptolemy Caesar as the true son of Julius Caesar and gave extravagemt legacies to his children with Cleopatra. This was not, according to the Romans, the worst of it. Much to their horror he included instructions on what should happen to his body if he were to die in Rome – his body should be sent to Alexandria to be buried. Standing portrait of Mark Antony from Aphroditopolis, Egypt, in pose of Lysippos' portrait of Aexander the Great;

As a result of the will and Octavian’s propaganda campaign, war was declared on Cleopatra - well understood to mean against Antony, though he was not named In doing this, the Senate issued a war declaration and deprived Antony of any legal authority. During the winter of 33-32 both sides prepared for war. Antony gathered his forces at Ephesus; they included one of the greatest fleets ever assembled. Plutarch says that it numbered of 500 ships, of which Cleopatra had contributed 60. Cleopatra accompanied the fleet. Marc Antony, AR Denarius, 32-31 BC, Mint moving with Marc Antony Obverse: Praetorian galley right, scepter tied with fillet on prow Reverse: Aquila between two legionary standards

Octavian crossed the Adriatic with a smaller force and occupied an area just north of Actium from where his troops could prevent access by Antony to the best routes to the east. Agrippa not only blockaded Antony’s fleet in the Bay of Actium, but in a number of brilliant naval raids secured various strategic ports in Greece, cutting off Antony’s supplies and communication. Bust of Agrippa from Magnesia on the Meander

Antony’s troops were weakened by hunger and malaria and many leading Romans and client-kings deserted him, particulary angered by Cleopatra’s influence over him. The blockade had to be broken, and it is believed that he and Cleopatra had a plan to risk everything on a baval battle and try to break out with as many ships and legionaries as possible, making for Egypt. Apparently, however, the plan was not communicated to the bulk of the fleet or to the army. During the engagement – which ‘was suddenly seen to hoist sail and make through the very midst of the battle. They had been stationed astern of the heavy ships, and so threw their whole formation into disorder as they plunged through’. Once out of danger she waited for Antony and his small number of ships, leaving the remainder of the fleet be be captured or surrender to Octavian. Cleopatra and Antony escaped – they sailed back to Alexandria while Antony’s troops, stationed in Greece, gave themselves up to Octavian. The course, character and duration of The battle itself is all a mystery – and a Topic of controversy. There may have Been fighting and comparatively few Casualties. A large part of the fleet of Antonius either refused battle or after Defeat was forced back into the harbour SYME The Roman Revolution p297

In 30BC Octavian invaded Egypt. Antony’s troops deserted him. Cleopatra attempted to win Octavian’s support, offering to abdicate her throne in return for the safety and acknowledgement of her children. Octavian refused.

Plutarch tells us of the death of Antony. When his armies deserted him and joined with Octavian, he cried out that Cleopatra had betrayed him. She, fearing his wrath, locked herself in her monument with only her two handmaidens and sent messengers to tell Antony that she was dead. Believing them, Antony stabbed himself in the stomach with his sword, and lay on his couch to die. Instead, the blood flow stopped, and he begged any and all to finish him off. Another messenger came from Cleopatra with instructions to bring him to her, and he, rejoicing that Cleopatra was still alive, consented. She wouldn't open the door, but tossed ropes out of a window. After Antony was securely trussed up, she and her handmaidens hauled him up into the monument. This nearly finished him off. After dragging him in through the window, they laid him on a couch. Cleopatra tore off her clothes and covered him with them. She raved and cried, beat her breasts and engaged in self-mutilation. Antony told her to calm down, asked for a glass of wine, and died upon finishing it. Antony believed that message, and saying to himself, "Why doest thou longer delay, Antony? Fortune has taken away thy sole remaining excuse for clinging to life," he went into his chamber. Here, as he unfastened his breastplate and laid it aside, he said: "O Cleopatra, I am not grieved to be bereft of thee, for I shall straightway join thee; but I am grieved that such an I mperator as I am has been found to be inferior to a woman in courage." PLUTARCH Life of Antony

Plutarch’s account says that Octavian was able to capture Cleopatra in the musleum after Antony’s death. He did not want her to commit suicide as he wanted to parade her through the streets of Rome as part of his triumph. He states that Cleopatra was found dead, her handmaiden Iras dying at her feet, and another handmaiden, Charmion, adjusting her crown before she herself fell. He then goes on to state that an asp was concealed in a basket of figs that was brought to her by a rustic, and, finding it after eating a few figs, she held out her arm for it to bite. Other stories state that it was hidden in a vase, and that she poked it with a spindle until it got angry enough to bite her on the arm. Finally, he indicates that in Octavian's triumphal march back in Rome, an effigy of Cleopatra that had an asp clinging to it was part of the parade Black basalt statue of Cleopatra VII

The ancient sources, particularly the Roman ones, are in general agreement that Cleopatra killed herself by inducing an Egyptian cobra to bite her. The oldest source is Strabo, who was alive at the time of the event, and might even have been in Alexandria. He says that there are two stories: that she applied a toxic ointment, or that she was bitten by an asp on her breast.

The Legacy of Sulla Rivalry and Civil War between Mark Antony and Octavian; role of Cleopatra VII; Battle of Actium

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