Mark Antony

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mark Antony

 

(also Marcus Antonius). Born circa 83 B. C.; died circa 30 B. C. Roman political leader and general.

Mark Antony gained distinction as a cavalry leader during the war in Palestine and Egypt (57–55 B. C.). In 54 B. C. he attached himself to Julius Caesar and participated in the Gallic campaigns. During the Civil War (49–45 B. C.) he actively supported Caesar; after the Battle of Pharsala in 48 B. C. he was appointed cavalry commander (magister equitum). After Caesar’s assassination Antony at first took a conciliatory position toward the murderers and the Senate, but soon his relations with the Senate sharply worsened, particularly because of his insistence on ruling Gaul. (Antony was relying on the army, which included many of Caesar’s veterans.) The matter came to an open break, and the Senate sent troops against Antony. In 43 B. C. near the city of Mutina, Antony suffered a defeat, but then under pressure from the army a union occurred, including Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus (the Second Triumvirate). In 42 B. C. at Philippi in Macedonia, Antony and Octavian utterly defeated the armies of Brutus and Cassius. In the division of the provinces among the triumvirs which followed this action Antony was given the eastern regions of the Roman dominions to rule. During his stay in the east, Antony conducted several unsuccessful campaigns against the Parthians.

In the east Antony behaved like an autocrat; he began a love affair with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, giving enormous possessions to her and to her children. Such a policy led to a breakup of the triumvirs and aroused public opinion in Rome against Antony. The Senate declared war on Cleopatra. In 31 B. C. off the Cape of Actium the Egyptian fleet was crushed, and after the invasion of Egypt by Octavian’s army, Antony committed suicide.

REFERENCES

Mashkin, N. A. Printsipat Avgusta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Lindsay, J. Marc Antony, His World and His Contemporaries. London, 1936.

S. L. UTCHENKO

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Antony, Mark

gives famous speech against Caesar’s assassins. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]

Antony, Mark

Caesar’s beloved friend; turns public opinion against Caesar’s assassins. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]
See: Loyalty

Antony, Mark

thinking Cleopatra is dead, he falls upon his sword. [Br. Lit.: Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra]
See: Suicide
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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