The Timeline of the Life of Cleopatra
Cleopatra's Relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony Julius Caesar killed Cleopatra's brother and husband, Ptolemy XIII when his army drove them. Marcus Antonius commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by. are just a few relationship lessons learned from Marc Antony and Cleopatra. She was forced out of Egypt and was about to go to war with her brother when.
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.
Antony was supposed to attend with Caesar, but was waylaid at the door by one of the plotters and prevented from intervening.
According to the Greek historian Plutarchas Caesar arrived at the Senate, Lucius Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother.
Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Roman historian Eutropiusaround 60 or more men participated in the assassination. Caesar was stabbed 23 times and died from the blood loss attributable to multiple stab wounds. When this did not occur, he soon returned to Rome.
The conspirators, who styled themselves the Liberatores "The Liberators"had barricaded themselves on the Capitoline Hill for their own safety. Though they believed Caesar's death would restore the Republic, Caesar had been immensely popular with the Roman middle and lower classeswho became enraged upon learning a small group of aristocrats had killed their champion. Antony, as the sole Consul, soon took the initiative and seized the state treasury.
CalpurniaCaesar's widow, presented him with Caesar's personal papers and custody of his extensive property, clearly marking him as Caesar's heir and leader of the Caesarian faction. Lepidus wanted to storm the Capitol, but Antony preferred a peaceful solution as a majority of both the Liberators and Caesar's own supporters preferred a settlement over civil war.
Caesar's assassins would be pardoned of their crimes and, in return, all of Caesar's actions would be ratified. Antony also agreed to accept the appointment of his rival Dolabella as his Consular colleague to replace Caesar.
This compromise was a great success for Antony, who managed to simultaneously appease Caesar's veterans, reconcile the Senate majority, and appear to the Liberatores as their partner and protector. Antony would struggle with Octavian for leadership of the Caesarian party following Caesar's assassination. On 19 March, Caesar's will was opened and read. In it, Caesar posthumously adopted his great-nephew Gaius Octavius and named him his principal heir.
Then only 19 years old and stationed with Caesar's army in Macedonia, the youth became a member of Caesar's Julian clanchanging his name to "Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus" Octavian in accordance with the conventions of Roman adoption. Though not the chief beneficiary, Antony did receive some bequests. Caesar's funeral was held on 20 March.
Antony, as Caesar's faithful lieutenant and reigning Consul, was chosen to preside over the ceremony and to recite the elegy. During the demagogic speech, he enumerated the deeds of Caesar and, publicly reading his will, detailed the donations Caesar had left to the Roman people. Antony then seized the blood-stained toga from Caesar's body and presented it to the crowd.
Worked into a fury by the bloody spectacle, the assembly rioted. Several buildings in the Forum and some houses of the conspirators were burned to the ground.
Panicked, many of the conspirators fled Italy. Such an assignment, in addition to being unworthy of their rank, would have kept them far from Rome and shifted the balance towards Antony.
Refusing such secondary duties, the two traveled to Greece instead. Additionally, Cleopatra left Rome to return to Egypt. Despite the provisions of Caesar's will, Antony proceeded to act as leader of the Caesarian faction, including appropriating for himself a portion of Caesar's fortune rightfully belonging to Octavian. Antony enacted the Lex Antoniawhich formally abolished the Dictatorship, in an attempt to consolidate his power by gaining the support of the Senatorial class. He also 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.
Lepidus, with Antony's support, was named Pontifex Maximus to succeed Caesar. Surrounding himself with a bodyguard of over six thousand of Caesar's veterans, Antony presented himself as Caesar's true successor, largely ignoring Octavian.
Although Antony had amassed political support, Octavian still had opportunity to rival him as the leading member of the Caesarian faction. The Senatorial Republicans increasingly viewed Antony as a new tyrant.
Antony had lost the support of many Romans and supporters of Caesar when he opposed the motion to elevate Caesar to divine status. By summer 44 BC, Antony was in a difficult position due to his actions regarding his compromise with the Liberatores following Caesar's assassination. He could either denounce the Liberatores as murderers and alienate the Senate or he could maintain his support for the compromise and risk betraying the legacy of Caesar, strengthening Octavian's position.
In either case, his situation as ruler of Rome would be weakened. Roman historian Cassius Dio later recorded that while Antony, as reigning Consul, maintained the advantage in the relationship, the general affection of the Roman people was shifting to Octavian due to his status as Caesar's son. Octavian continued to recruit Caesar's veterans to his side, away from Antony, with two of Antony's legions defecting in November 44 BC.
At that time, Octavian, only a private citizenlacked legal authority to command the Republic's armies, making his command illegal. With popular opinion in Rome turning against him and his Consular term nearing its end, Antony attempted to secure a favorable military assignment to secure an army to protect himself. Caesar orders that a gold-plated statue of Cleopatra be placed in the temple of Venus Genetrix.
Caesar's clan, the Julians, were supposedly descended from Venus. Although Pompey had been defeated and was killed in Egypt the civil war did not end. Pompey's two sons had gained control of Cordoba in Spain and were preparing to continue the conflict. Caesar took an army to Spain to deal with this threat. After a series of retreats the Pompeys decided to do battle at Munda from some high ground.
Caesar lured the Pompeys' forces down from the high ground. The battle was indecisive until a shift in troops by one of the Pompeys was misinterpreted as a retreat and their other troops began to retreat.
This led to a decisive victory by Caesar's forces. Caesar had achieved total victory over the armies of his rivals, he had been made dictator politically. His enemies in the Roman senate saw Caesar as acquiring all powers, even to the point of having himself declared a god.
The True Story Of 'Antony And Cleopatra' : NPR
They arranged his assassination in which some of previous friends participated as well as his enemies. A month after Caesar's assassination Cleopatra left Rome and returned to Egypt. She wanted to make her son, Caesarion, co-regent with her as Ptolemy XV.
Caesar's enemies are defeated at the Battle of Philippi. Marcus Antonius Mark Antony emerges as the leader of the forces which backed Caesar. Mark Antony decides for no obvious reason to attack the Parthian Persian Empire. He calls for Cleopatra to join him at Tarsus.
Mark Antony needed Cleopatra's support financially and militarily for his invasion. He had met Cleopatra 13 years before when she was 14 years old. That had been an inconsequential meeting. Their meeting a Tarsus was anything but inconsequential. Cleopatra having lost the protection of the strongman Caesar needed another Roman leader to protect her.
Mark Antony was so captivated by Cleopatra that he gave up his plans for the invasion of the Parthian Empire and went with Cleopatra back to her capital of Alexandria. From the likenesses of Cleopatra on the coins of her realm she was not a great beauty so her attraction came from the charm of her personality and from her intellect. At Cleopatra's request Antony sent orders for the execution of Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsinoe, in Rome.
Arsinoe was possible rival for the throne of Egypt.
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Arsinoe herself was helpless but her enemies in Egypt could have used her in a bid to depose Cleopatra. A very distant threat but Cleopatra was not one to take chances.
Octavian was Mark Antony's major rival for the command of the Romans. An agreement was reached and part of the arrangement was that Mark Antony marry the sister of Octavian, Octavia.
Cleopatra bears Antony's children. They were twins, a boy named Alexander Helios and a girl named Cleopatra Selene. Meanwhile back in Egypt another drama was unfolding. Herod was the king of Judea. He had accepted Roman overlordship and the Romans in turn had allowed him to continue to rule his kingdom.
Herod was a competent ruler. Cleopatra was enraged and began to do whatever she could to harm Herod's interests. Mark Antony decides that he and Octavian can never work together. He decides to resume the campaign against the Parthian Empire. Cleopatra joins him at Antioch and they get married. This was not only illegal under Roman Law it was a betrayal of Octavia, his legal wife and the sister of Octavian.
This makes war between Octavian and Mark Antony inevitable. He even gives Jericho, a portion of Herod's kingdom, to Cleopatra. This not only enrages Octavian, it infuriates most Romans and they back Octavian in the struggle between the two leaders.
The Parthian campaign results in only minor conquests, notably Armenia. Cleopatra bears Antony another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Mark Antony celebrates a victory triumph in Alexandria for his gains from the Parthians.
At the celebration he awards Armenia to his and Cleopatra's oldest son, Alexander Helios. The area west of Armenia is awarded to the second son, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
The daughter Selene is given Cyprus. Furthermore, at the celebration Caesarion is publically declared to be the son of Julius Caesar and thus the king of kings.
Marc Antony and Cleopatra Relationship Lessons
The celebration of a triumph in Alexandria was a serious offense to Romans. Such celebration were only supposed to take place in Rome, the capital of the empire. He publicizes its contents. Mark Antony's will made provision for turning parts of the Roman Empire over to Cleopatra. The Roman citizens are outraged.
Mark Antony and Cleopatra live together in Greece. At the height of the battle Cleopatra fearing capture takes her ships out of the battle.
Mark Antony's forces alone are not strong enough to match those of Octavian and Mark Antony's forces are defeated. His army surrenders to Octavian.
Mark Antony escapes from the defeat and joins Cleopatra on her ship, but he is furious with her for having unnecessarily precipitated the defeat at Actium. After several days he relents and he and Cleopatra stay together in Alexandria. Mark Antony has revealed himself as a loser and Cleopatra needs someone else who can protect her.
Octavian communicates to Cleopatra that if she kills Mark Antony that he might work out something with her.