78 Facts About Mark Antony


Marcus Antonius, commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from a constitutional republic into the autocratic Roman Empire.

FactSnippet No. 524,782

Mark Antony was a relative and supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War.

FactSnippet No. 524,783

Mark Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain.

FactSnippet No. 524,784

Mark Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.

FactSnippet No. 524,785

Later that year, Mark Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium.

FactSnippet No. 524,786

The elder Mark Antony's death left Mark Antony and his brothers, Lucius and Gaius, in the care of their mother, Julia, who later married Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, an eminent member of the old Patrician nobility.

FactSnippet No. 524,787

Mark Antony was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement.

FactSnippet No. 524,788

In 57 BC, Mark Antony joined the military staff of Aulus Gabinius, the Proconsul of Syria, as chief of the cavalry.

FactSnippet No. 524,789

Mark Antony achieved his first military distinctions after securing important victories at Alexandrium and Machaerus.

FactSnippet No. 524,790

Mark Antony claimed years later to have first met Cleopatra, the then 14-year-old daughter of Ptolemy XII, during this campaign in Egypt.

FactSnippet No. 524,791

Mark Antony remained on Caesar's military staff until 50 BC, helping mopping-up actions across Gaul to secure Caesar's conquest.

FactSnippet No. 524,792

Mark Antony was then elected as one of the ten plebeian tribunes for 49 BC.

FactSnippet No. 524,793

Mark Antony's proposal was well received by most of the senators but the consuls and Cato vehemently opposed it.

FactSnippet No. 524,794

Mark 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.

FactSnippet No. 524,795

Mark Antony fled Rome, fearing for his life, and returned to Caesar's camp on the banks of the Rubicon, the southern limit of Caesar's lawful command.

FactSnippet No. 524,796

Mark Antony, however, managed to trick Libo into pursuing some decoy ships, causing Libo's squadron to be trapped and attacked.

FactSnippet No. 524,797

Mark Antony joined Caesar at the western Balkan Peninsula and besieged Pompey's larger army at Dyrrhachium.

FactSnippet No. 524,798

Mark Antony opposed the law for political and personal reasons: he believed Caesar would not support such massive relief and suspected Dolabella had seduced his wife Antonia Hybrida Minor.

FactSnippet No. 524,799

When Dolabella sought to enact the law by force and seized the Roman Forum, Mark Antony responded by unleashing his soldiers upon the assembled masses, killing hundreds.

FactSnippet No. 524,800

Mark Antony's handling of the affair with Dolabella caused a cooling of his relationship with Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,801

When Mark Antony protested, Caesar was forced to withdraw the motion out of shame.

FactSnippet No. 524,802

Mark Antony again protested and, in his capacity as an Augur, declared the omens were unfavorable and Caesar again backed down.

FactSnippet No. 524,803

Mark Antony, however, was stripped of all official positions and received no appointments for the year 46 BC or 45 BC.

FactSnippet No. 524,804

Instead of Mark Antony, Caesar appointed Marcus Aemilius Lepidus to be his consular colleague for 46 BC.

FactSnippet No. 524,805

Mark Antony again remained in Rome while Caesar, in 45 BC, sailed to Spain to defeat the final opposition to his rule.

FactSnippet No. 524,806

Whatever conflicts existed between himself and Caesar, Mark Antony remained faithful to Caesar, ensuring their estrangement did not last long.

FactSnippet No. 524,807

Mark Antony reunited with Caesar at Narbo in 45 BC with full reconciliation coming in 44 BC when Mark Antony was elected consul alongside Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,808

The reconciliation came soon after Mark Antony rejected an offer by Gaius Trebonius, one of Caesar's generals, to join a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,809

Mark Antony was granted further honors, including a form of semi-official cult, with Antony as his high priest.

FactSnippet No. 524,810

When Mark Antony placed the diadem in his lap, Caesar ordered the diadem to be placed in the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.

FactSnippet No. 524,811

Cicero, though not personally involved in the conspiracy, later claimed Mark Antony's actions sealed Caesar's fate as such an obvious display of Caesar's preeminence motivated them to act.

FactSnippet No. 524,812

Mark Antony went with Caesar, but was waylaid at the door of the Theatre of Pompey by Trebonius and was distracted from aiding Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,813

Lepidus wanted to storm the Capitol, but Mark Antony preferred a peaceful solution as a majority of both the Liberators and Caesar's own supporters preferred a settlement over civil war.

FactSnippet No. 524,814

Mark Antony agreed to accept the appointment of his rival Dolabella as his consular colleague to replace Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,815

Mark Antony then seized the blood-stained toga from Caesar's body and presented it to the crowd.

FactSnippet No. 524,816

Under the pretext of not being able to guarantee their safety, Mark Antony relieved Brutus and Cassius of their judicial duties in Rome and instead assigned them responsibility for procuring wheat for Rome from Sicily and Asia.

FactSnippet No. 524,817

Mark Antony enacted the Lex Antonia, which formally abolished the Dictatorship, in an attempt to consolidate his power by gaining the support of the senatorial class.

FactSnippet No. 524,818

Mark Antony enacted a number of laws he claimed to have found in Caesar's papers to ensure his popularity with Caesar's veterans, particularly by providing land grants to them.

FactSnippet No. 524,819

Lepidus, with Mark Antony's support, was named Pontifex Maximus to succeed Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,820

Mark Antony had lost the support of many Romans and supporters of Caesar when he opposed the motion to elevate Caesar to divine status.

FactSnippet No. 524,821

When Mark Antony refused to relinquish Caesar's vast fortune to him, Octavian borrowed heavily to fulfill the bequests in Caesar's will to the Roman people and to his veterans, as well as to establish his own bodyguard of veterans.

FactSnippet No. 524,822

Mark Antony, however, objected to the assignment, preferring to govern Cisalpine Gaul which had been assigned to Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, one of Caesar's assassins.

FactSnippet No. 524,823

Meanwhile, Mark Antony recovered his position by joining forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who had been assigned the governorship of Transalpine Gaul and Nearer Spain.

FactSnippet No. 524,824

Octavian and Mark Antony reinforced their alliance through Octavian's marriage to Mark Antony's stepdaughter, Claudia.

FactSnippet No. 524,825

Mark Antony arrived shortly and positioned his army on the south of the via Egnatia, while Octavian put his legions north of the road.

FactSnippet No. 524,826

Mark Antony offered battle several times, but the Liberators were not lured to leave their defensive stand.

FactSnippet No. 524,827

Thus, Mark Antony tried to secretly outflank the Liberators' position through the marshes in the south.

FactSnippet No. 524,828

Mark Antony commanded the Triumvirate's army due to Octavian's sickness on the day, with Mark Antony directly controlling the right flank opposite Cassius.

FactSnippet No. 524,829

Mark Antony received the largest distribution, governing all of the Eastern provinces while retaining Gaul in the West.

FactSnippet No. 524,830

Mark Antony assumed direct control of the East while he installed one of his lieutenants as the ruler of Gaul.

FactSnippet No. 524,831

Mark Antony spent the winter of 42 BC in Athens, where he ruled generously towards the Greek cities.

FactSnippet No. 524,832

Mark Antony attended religious festivals and ceremonies, including initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries, a secret cult dedicated to the worship of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone.

FactSnippet No. 524,833

Mark Antony granted pardons to all Roman nobles living in the East who had supported the Optimate cause, except for Caesar's assassins.

FactSnippet No. 524,834

Mark Antony confirmed Ariarathes X as king of Cappadocia after the execution of his brother Ariobarzanes III of Cappadocia by Cassius before the Battle of Philippi.

FactSnippet No. 524,835

In Hasmonean Judea, several Israelite delegations complained to Mark Antony of the harsh rule of Phasael and Herod, the sons of Rome's assassinated chief minister in the territory of Judaea, who was an Edomite called Antipater the Idumaean.

FactSnippet No. 524,836

Subsequently, influenced by the beauty and charms of Glaphyra, the widow of Archelaus, Mark Antony deposed Ariarathes, and appointed Glaphyra's son, Archelaus, to rule Cappadocia.

FactSnippet No. 524,837

Mark Antony had first met a young Cleopatra while campaigning in Egypt in 55 BC and again in 48 BC when Caesar had backed her as queen of Egypt over the claims of her half-sister Arsinoe.

FactSnippet No. 524,838

Mark Antony granted formal control over Cyprus, which had been under Egyptian control since 47 BC during the turmoil of Caesar's civil war, to Cleopatra in 40 BC as a gift for her loyalty to Rome.

FactSnippet No. 524,839

Fulvia attempted to delay the land settlements until Mark Antony returned to Rome, so that he could share credit for the settlements.

FactSnippet No. 524,840

The Roman world was redivided, with Mark Antony receiving the Eastern provinces, Octavian the Western provinces, and Lepidus relegated to a clearly junior position as governor of Africa.

FactSnippet No. 524,841

Mark Antony's reasons were to punish the Parthians for assisting Pompey in the recent civil war, to avenge Crassus' defeat at Carrhae, and especially to match the glory of Alexander the Great for himself.

FactSnippet No. 524,842

Mark Antony then spent the winter of 41 BC in Alexandria with Cleopatra, leaving only two legions to defend the Syrian border against Parthian incursions.

FactSnippet No. 524,843

The Roman governor of Asia, Lucius Munatius Plancus, a partisan of Mark Antony, was forced to flee his province, allowing Labienus to recruit the Roman soldiers stationed there.

FactSnippet No. 524,844

Instead, Mark Antony dispatched Publius Ventidius Bassus to check the Parthian advance.

FactSnippet No. 524,845

Mark Antony then met a Parthian army at the border between Cilicia and Syria, defeating it and killing a large portion of the Parthian soldiers at the Amanus Pass.

FactSnippet No. 524,846

Mark Antony was promised a future position with the Priestly College of Augurs and the consulship for 35 BC.

FactSnippet No. 524,847

Under an agreement with Octavian, Mark Antony would be supplied with extra troops for his campaign.

FactSnippet No. 524,848

Mark Antony, who recognized that Antigonus would remain a permanent threat to Herod, ordered him beheaded in Antioch.

FactSnippet No. 524,849

Mark Antony, however, realized Octavian had no intention of sending him the additional legions he had promised under the Treaty of Tarentum.

FactSnippet No. 524,850

Wintering in Antioch during 37, Mark Antony's combined Roman–Egyptian army numbered some 200, 000, including sixteen legions plus an additional 40, 000 auxiliaries.

FactSnippet No. 524,851

Mark Antony dispatched Publius Canidius Crassus to Armenia, receiving Artavasdes II's surrender without opposition.

FactSnippet No. 524,852

Mark Antony married Livia and started to attack Antony in order to raise himself to power.

FactSnippet No. 524,853

Mark Antony argued that Antony was a man of low morals to have left his faithful wife abandoned in Rome with the children to be with the promiscuous queen of Egypt.

FactSnippet No. 524,854

Mark Antony was accused of everything, but most of all, of "going native", an unforgivable crime to the proud Romans.

FactSnippet No. 524,855

Several times Mark Antony was summoned to Rome, but remained in Alexandria with Cleopatra.

FactSnippet No. 524,856

Mark Antony divorced Octavia and accused Octavian of being a social upstart, of usurping power, and of forging the adoption papers by Caesar.

FactSnippet No. 524,857

Mark Antony's honours were revoked and his statues removed, but he was not subject to a complete damnatio memoriae.

FactSnippet No. 524,858

Mark Antony had many mistresses and was married in succession to Fadia, Antonia, Fulvia, Octavia and Cleopatra.

FactSnippet No. 524,859