BBC - History - Cleopatra
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony Will be himself. MARK ANTONY. But stirr'd by Cleopatra. Now, for the love of Love. Marcus Antonius commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius, and a third of the Senate abandoned Rome to meet Antony and Cleopatra in Greece. It was while he was in Egypt that Mark Antony met Cleopatra. Like Julius Caesar before him, Mark Antony soon fell in love with the Queen of Egypt. Mark Antony.
She made great preparations for her journey, of money, gifts, and ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a kingdom might afford, but she brought with her her surest hopes in her own magic arts and charms.
She herself lay all along, under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like Sea Nymphs and Graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes.
The market place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon the tribunal; while the word went. On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good humor and courtesy, he complied, and went.
He found the preparations to receive him magnificent beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of lights; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled for beauty.
The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very desirous to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance; but he found he was altogether beaten in both, and was so well convinced of it, that he was himself the first to jest and mock at his poverty of wit, and his rustic awkwardness.
She, perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross, and savored more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the same taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of reluctance or reserve. Frederick Arthur Bridgeman Cleopatra arrives at Tarsus a 19th century view For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her, or that no one could see her without being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all she said or did, was something bewitching.
It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she answered by an interpreter.
Antony was so captivated by her, that while Fulvia his wife maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by actual force of arms, and the Parthian troops Were Antony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet his wishes; at every turn she was upon him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night.
She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised in arms, she was there to see. At night she would go rambling with him to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows, dressed like a servant woman for Antony also went in servant's disguise, and from these expeditions he often came home very scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though most people guessed who it was.
However, the Alexandrians in general liked it all well enough, and joined good humouredly and kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much obliged to Antony for acting his tragic parts at Rome, and keeping his comedy for them.
Plutarch's account appears in: Caesar's influence secured greater political advancement for Antony. After a year of service in Gaul, Caesar dispatched Antony to Rome to formally begin his political careerreceiving election as Quaestor for 52 BC as a member of the Populares faction.
Following his year in office, Antony was promoted by Caesar to the rank of Legate and assigned command of two legions approximately 7, total soldiers. Without the stability they provided, the divide between Caesar and Pompey grew ever larger.
In 52 BC, Milo succeeded in assassinating Clodius, resulting in widespread riots and the burning of the Senate meeting house, the Curia Hostiliaby Clodius' street gang.
Cleopatra Seduces Antony, 41 BC
Anarchy resulted, causing the Senate to look to Pompey. Fearing the persecutions of Lucius Cornelius Sulla only thirty-years earlier, they avoided granting Pompey the dictatorship by instead naming him sole Consul for the year, giving him extraordinary but limited powers. Pompey ordered armed soldiers into the city to restore order and to eliminate the remnants of Clodius' gang.
With the war over, Antony was sent back to Rome to act as Caesar's protector against Pompey and the other Optimates. With the support of Caesar, who as Pontifex Maximus was head of the Roman religion, Antony was appointed the College of Augursan important priestly office responsible for interpreting the will of the Roman gods by studying the flight of birds.
All public actions required favorable auspices, granting the college considerable influence. Antony was then elected as one of the ten People's Tribunes for 49 BC. In this position, Antony could protect Caesar from his political enemies by vetoing any actions unfavorable to his patron.
Caesar's Civil War Cato the Youngera member of the Optimates faction, was one of the chief architects of the decree which provoked Caesar into civil war. The feud between Caesar and Pompey erupted into open confrontation by early 49 BC. Upon assuming office in January, Antony immediately summoned a meeting of the Senate to resolve the conflict: 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.
This arrangement ensured his immunity from suit would continue: Though Pompey found the concession satisfactory, Cato and Lentulus refused to back down, with Lentulus even expelling Antony from the Senate meeting by force. Antony fled Rome, fearing for his life, and returned to Caesar's camp on the banks of the Rubicon Riverthe southern limit of Caesar's lawful command.
Under the leadership of Cato and with the tacit support of Pompey, the Senate passed the "final decree" senatus consultum ultimum stripping Caesar of his command and ordering him to return to Rome and stand trial for war crimes.
The Senate further declared Caesar a traitor and a public enemy if he did not immediately disband his army. As Tribune, Antony's person was sacrosanct and therefore it was unlawful to harm him or refuse to recognize his veto. Three days later, on 10 January, Caesar crossed the Rubicon Riverstarting a civil war. Caesar's rapid advance surprised Pompey, who, along with the other chief members of the Optimates, fled Italy for Greece.
After entering Rome, instead of pursuing Pompey, Caesar marched to Spain to defeat Pompeian-loyalists there. Meanwhile, Antony, with the rank of Propraetor despite never having served as Praetorwas installed as governor of Italy and commander of the army, stationed there while Marcus Lepidusone of Caesar's staff officers, ran the provisional administration of Rome itself. In early 48 BC, he prepared to sail with seven legions to Greece to face Pompey.
Pompey's forces, however, defeated them and assumed control of the Adriatic Sea along with it. Additionally, the two legions they commanded defected to Pompey. Without their fleet, Caesar lacked the necessary transport ships to cross into Greece with his seven legions. Instead, he sailed with only two and placed Antony in command of the remaining five at Brundisium with instructions to join him as soon as he was able. Antony, however, managed to trick Libo into pursuing some decoy ships, causing Libo's squadron to be trapped and attacked.
Most of Libo's fleet managed to escape, but several of his troops were trapped and captured. The Battle of Pharsalus: Antony commanded the left wing of Caesar's army. During the Greek campaign, Plutarch records Antony was Caesar's top general and second to only him in reputation.
The True Story Of 'Antony And Cleopatra'
With food sources running low, Caesar, in July, ordered a nocturnal assault on Pompey's camp, but Pompey's larger forces pushed back the assault. Though an indecisive result, the victory was a tactical win for Pompey. Pompey, however, did not order a counter-assault on Caesar's camp, allowing Caesar to retreat unhindered. Caesar would later remark the civil war would have ended that day if Pompey had only attacked him. Assuming a defensive position at the plain of PharsalusCaesar's army prepared for pitched battle with Pompey's, which outnumbered his own two to one.
Though the civil war had not ended at Pharsulus, the battle marked the pinnacle of Caesar's power and effectively ended the Republic. After Pompey's defeat, most of the Senate defected to Caesar, including many of the soldiers who had fought under Pompey.
The young Cleopatra became Caesar's mistress and bore him a son, Caesarion.
Caesar's actions further strengthened Roman control over the already Roman-dominated kingdom. The chief cause of his political challenges concerned debt forgiveness. One of the Tribunes for 47 BC, Publius Cornelius Dolabellaa former general under Pompey, proposed a law which would have canceled all outstanding debts.
Antony opposed the law for political and personal reasons: When Dolabella sought to enact the law by force and seized the Roman ForumAntony responded by unleashing his soldiers upon the assembled mass.
Antony's violent reaction had caused Rome to fall into a state of anarchy. Caesar sought to mend relations with the populist leader; he was elected to a third term as Consul for 46 BC, but proposed the Senate should transfer the consulship to Dolabella. When Antony protested, Caesar was forced to withdraw the motion out of shame.
Later, Caesar sought to exercise his prerogatives as Dictator and directly proclaim Dolabella as Consul instead. After returning victorious from North Africa, Caesar was appointed Dictator for ten years and brought Cleopatra and their son to Rome.
Antony again remained in Rome while Caesar, in 45 BC, sailed to Spain to defeat the final opposition to his rule. When Caesar returned in late 45 BC, the civil war was over. During this time Antony married his third wife, Fulvia. Following the scandal with Dolabella, Antony had divorced his second wife and quickly married Fulvia. Assassination of Julius Caesar Ides of March[ edit ] Whatever conflicts existed between himself and Caesar, Antony remained faithful to Caesar, ensuring their estrangement did not last long.
Caesar planned a new invasion of Parthia and desired to leave Antony in Italy to govern Rome in his name. The reconciliation came soon after Antony rejected an offer by Gaius Treboniusone of Caesar's generals, to join a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar. The festival was held in honor of Lupathe she-wolf who suckled the infant orphans Romulus and Remusthe founders of Rome. Caesar had enacted a number of constitutional reforms which centralized effectively all political powers within his own hands.
He was granted further honors, including a form of semi-official cultwith Antony as his high priest. Caesar's political rivals feared these reforms were his attempts at transforming the Republic into an open monarchy.
During the festival's activities, Antony publicly offered Caesar a diademwhich Caesar refused. The event presented a powerful message: By refusing it, Caesar demonstrated he had no intention of making himself King of Rome. Antony's motive for such actions is not clear and it is unknown if he acted with Caesar's prior approval or on his own. A group of Senators resolved to kill Caesar to prevent him from seizing the throne. Although Cassius was "the moving spirit" in the plot, winning over the chief assassins to the cause of tyrannicideBrutus, with his family's history of deposing Rome's kings, became their leader.