Mark Antony

Marcus Antonius
Marcus Antonius marble bust in the Vatican Museums.jpg
A Roman marble portrait bust of Mark Antony made during the Flavian dynasty (69—96 AD), Rome, Vatican Museums, Chiaramonti Museum
Triumvir of the Roman Republic
In office
27 November 43 BC – 31 December 33 BC
Consul of the Roman Republic
In office
1 January 34 BC – 31 December 34 BC
Preceded byLucius Cornificius and Sextus Pompeius
Succeeded byOctavian and Lucius Volcatius Tullus
In office
1 January 44 BC – 31 December 44 BC
Serving with Julius Caesar
Preceded byJulius Caesar
Succeeded byAulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Magister equitum of the Roman Republic
In office
48 BC – 48 BC
DictatorJulius Caesar
Preceded byLucius Valerius Flaccus
Succeeded byMarcus Aemilius Lepidus
People's Tribune of the Roman Republic
In office
1 January 49 BC – 7 January 49 BC
Consort of Queen Cleopatra
In office
32 BC – 30 BC
Personal details
Born14 January 83 BC
Rome, Italia, Roman Republic
Died1 August 30 BC (aged 53)
Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt
Cause of deathSuicide
Political partyPopulares
(dates unknown)
Antonia Hybrida Minor (?–47 BC)
Fulvia (46–40 BC)
Octavia Minor (40–32 BC)
Cleopatra (32–30 BC)
OccupationMilitary commander and politician
Known forHis rivalry with Octavian for the full control of Rome and its territories.
Military service
AllegianceRoman Military banner.svg Roman Republic
Branch/serviceRoman Army
Years of service54–30 BC
CommandsLegio XIII Gemina

Marcus Antonius[note 1] (14 January 83 BC – 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.

Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. 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.

Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.

With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.

Early life

A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on 14 January 83 BC.[1][2] His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the same name who had been murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC.[3] His mother was Julia Antonia, a distant cousin of Julius Caesar. Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla's march on Rome in 82 BC.[4][note 2]

Antony's brother Lucius, on a coin issued at Ephesus during his consulship in 41 BC

According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antony's father was incompetent and corrupt, and was only given power because he was incapable of using or abusing it effectively.[5] In 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress.[3][5][6] The elder Antony's death left 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. Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was constantly in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle. He 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.[7]

Antony's early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling, drinking, and becoming involved in scandalous love affairs.[6] Antony's contemporary and enemy, Cicero, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio.[8] There is little reliable information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher and his street gang.[9] He may also have been involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order later in life.[10] By age twenty, Antony had amassed an enormous debt. Hoping to escape his creditors, Antony fled to Greece in 58 BC, where he studied philosophy and rhetoric at Athens.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Marcus Antonius
Alemannisch: Marcus Antonius
العربية: مارك أنطوني
asturianu: Marcu Antoniu
azərbaycanca: Mark Antoni
беларуская: Марк Антоній
български: Марк Антоний
bosanski: Marko Antonije
brezhoneg: Marcus Antonius
català: Marc Antoni
čeština: Marcus Antonius
español: Marco Antonio
Esperanto: Marko Antonio
euskara: Marko Antonio
føroyskt: Marcus Antonius
français: Marc Antoine
hrvatski: Marko Antonije
Bahasa Indonesia: Markus Antonius
íslenska: Marcus Antonius
italiano: Marco Antonio
қазақша: Марк Антоний
Кыргызча: Антоний Марк
latviešu: Marks Antonijs
lietuvių: Markas Antonijus
Malagasy: Marko Antonio
Bahasa Melayu: Marcus Antonius
монгол: Марк Антони
Nederlands: Marcus Antonius
norsk nynorsk: Marcus Antonius
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Mark Antoniy
Plattdüütsch: Marcus Antonius
português: Marco Antônio
română: Marc Antoniu
русский: Марк Антоний
Seeltersk: Marcus Antonius
Simple English: Mark Antony
slovenčina: Marcus Antonius
slovenščina: Mark Antonij
српски / srpski: Марко Антоније
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Marko Antonije
татарча/tatarça: Марк Антоний
Türkçe: Marcus Antonius
українська: Марк Антоній
Tiếng Việt: Marcus Antonius
Yorùbá: Mark Antony