One of the most recognized and probably remembered men of Rome due to his glory and triumphs was Marco Antonio . A man who was always by Caesar’s side in his most important battles and who had every right to rule Rome but who nevertheless failed in his attempt to come to power.
- When he was born: 01/14/83 BC
- Where he was born: Rome, Italy
- When he died: 08/01/30 BC
- Where he died: Alexandria, Egypt
Who was Marco Antonio?
Marco Antonio was a renowned politician and general who had an important contribution in the transition of Rome from a Republic to an Empire . A man who was destined to be the new man of Rome but his contempt for Augustus and his passion for Cleopatra led him to ruin .
- What did Marco Antonio do
- Marco Antonio biography
- Relationship with Cleopatra
- Wives and children
- Physical characteristics
- Works by Marco Antonio
- Presence in popular culture
What did Marco Antonio do
Marco Antonio was one of the main men in Rome who stood out for his political and military gifts , a man who became part of the main pillars of the final era of the Republic in Rome . He actively participated in helping Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars and the Civil War and was in charge of ruling Italy while Caesar was absent.
Marco Antonio biography
Marco Antonio was born in 83 BC in Rome . His family was of plebeian descent and his grandfather had been one of the best orators of the time and had served as a consul and censor for Sulla’s party. His parents were Marco Antonio Creticus , who fought against pirates in the Mediterranean, and his mother Julia, who was Julius Caesar’s cousin.
During his formative years, he received an education that included the study of philosophy and rhetoric . However, despite the fact that he had friends of high social rank, he always preferred to be in the company of ” actors and courtesans ” which caused him great debts and problems. As he had no money to pay his creditors, Marco Antonio fled to Greece , where he continued to study public speaking and dedicated himself to military life .
In 57 BC, Aulus Gabinius convinced Marco Antonio to join the expedition in Syria as commander of the cavalry , in this mission he sought to reassign the Egyptian throne to Pharaoh Ptolemy XII, and it is precisely during this period that he met Cleopatra VII. Three years later he joined Caesar’s army to conquer northern Gaul when he began to work alongside Gabinius as a cavalry commander participating after the Syrian campaign where he was able to demonstrate his courage, fearlessness and vision as one of the best strategists . All these successes made it possible for him to return toRome and then participated in several military battles under the command of Caesar who, seeing his great capacity, sent him back to Rome. From that moment he became one of the confidants of Caesar and began his political life actively opposing the Plantes of Pompey and the noble class of the Senate .
Later, after Caesar controlled Italy, he left Marco Antonio in charge of the Italian troops, however, he dedicated himself to committing many arbitrariness in the economic field and in the administration of justice , despite this, he managed to help Caesar sending a total of twenty thousand men to help him. He was later appointed magister equitum and thus became the master of the affairs of Rome .
Due to his way of being, he could not handle with certainty the image that Caesar wanted to give to the citizens because he liked to lead a scandalous life in the city. When César returned, he put things in order and when he learned of all the scandals made by Marco Antonio, he sanctioned him by depriving him of the consulate to which he aspired.
After the assassination of Caesar took place , Marco Antonio decided to take the reins of power thanks to the magistracy he possessed, he was in charge of meeting the Senate and approving an amnesty for the conspirators , he maintained the provisions of Caesar and abolished the dictatorship by making the people will return to republican legality . His power little by little grew as a dictator but he was also filled with privileges that caused scandals and unrest.
While he is living with Cleopatra , decided to negotiate with Octavian however this is not possible so he decides to jump back into combat overcoming the forefront of Octaviano, a few days later, his infantry suffers defeat and soldiers that remained decide to move to the other side . This situation, plus the false news that Cleopatra had committed suicide , make her temper of honor come to the fore, so she decides to commit suicide with her sword before falling into the hands of her enemies .
Relationship with Cleopatra
Marco Antonio and Cleopatra had a relationship and a complex and tragic love story at the same time. They were together for 13 years and together they had three children and went through periods in which they separated but nevertheless, Marco Antonio always returned to their arms. From the first moment he saw her, he fell in love with her and at a certain moment, he decided to abandon all his family , political and military obligations to move to live in Egypt with Cleopatra, a situation that made him an enemy of Rome and Octavio. .
Wives and children
According to the story, Marco Antonio had a romantic relationship with a woman named Fadia about whom there is not much data, however, Cicero mentioned that he had given him several children despite the fact that there is no data on them either. He had a relationship with Antonia Híbrida, who was his cousin, but when he found out that she was unfaithful, he immediately divorced.
He married Fulvia who was the widow of Curión , a woman who had an important role in Rome as she was the heir to the house of the Fulvios and the Sempronios . She was very ambitious and had a lust for power so she managed to move and manage Marco Antonio at will. After the death of Fulvia , Marco Antonio decides to get married to Octavia mainly political reasons , was a woman who was always faithful to her husband but nevertheless, was forgotten by Marco Antonio because Cleopatrawho was the woman who led him to perdition. The children of Marco Antonio were Alexander Helios , Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphia .
Regarding his physical characteristics, there is no exact description, since only some busts that were made in his honor have been found.
Marco’s personality was quite reckless, he was considered a certainly lazy man , he was loyal to his friends and also very brave . He had a number of drinking problems and always liked to surround himself with courteous women . His personality was incredibly complex, and there are diverse opinions about his character. In his youth he did not show any political ambition: rather he displayed a friendly , harsh , direct and carefree demeanor .
Marco Antonio was important because he managed to be a Roman military and political leader of great relevance. As a colleague and close friend of Julius Caesar , Antony helped secure Caesar’s rise to power. He was also an important defender of Gaius Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator .
There is no data on recognitions that have been made on behalf of Marco Antonio.
Works by Marco Antonio
Among his main works are the following:
- He participated in the wars of Gaul where he managed to stand out for the siege of Alesia.
- It became the right hand of Caesar and remained as manager of Italy.
- He obtained power after the assassination of Caesar, standing firm in favor of the people
- He had the Senate hand over the province of Gaul to him .
- He formed the second triumvirate of Rome.
Some of his most remembered phrases are mentioned below.
- A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.
- If you grieve for an external cause, it is not it that bothers but rather your judgment of it.
- Conscience is worth a thousand witnesses.
- The happiness of life depends on the quality of thoughts.
- Do not do it if it is not convenient, do not say it if it is not true.
- You have power over the mind not outside of events.
Presence in popular culture
The life story of Marco Antonio can be found in popular culture in different films , books and documentaries that tell his story. The film Julius Caesar , a film based on the play written by William Shakespeare tells the whole story of Marco Antonio and was nominated for an Oscar in the category of best artistic direction .
In the films that have been made about Cleopatra it is very common to find Marco Antonio as one of its main characters. In the series El Emporio Romano , you can also find his story. A great deal of literature has also been developed where you can read and learn about Marco Antonio.
Some curiosities of Marco Antonio are mentioned below:
- He spent his adolescence roaming Rome with his friends, gambling and drinking.
- Marco Antonio demonstrated excellent military leadership under Caesar and during this time, developed a friendly relationship with Caesar that lasted until his assassination.
- To prevent Caesar from seizing all powers, a group of senators plotted to kill him at the meeting of the Ides in March. Marco Antonio learned of the plot and was quick to prevent Caesar from attending the meeting. However, the senators intercepted Caesar before Antonio put him on notice.