Antony, Marc

Antony, Marc

(properly MARCUS ANTONIUS), the triumvir, son of M, Antonius Creticus and Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar, was born apparently B.C. 83, for he was chosen consul as early as B.C. 64. His father dying while he was yet young, and his mother marrying again, he was left in his youth to all sorts of dissipation, and early became distinguished for profligacy, which continually afterward involved him in want and danger. To escape from his creditors, he served in the army in Syria under Gabinius, where he acquired a reputation for intrepidity (Josephus, Ant. 14, 5, 3; War, 1, 8, 5). He took part in the campaigns against Aristobulus in Palestine (B.C. 57, 56), and also in the restoration of Ptolemy Auletes to Egypt (in B.C. 55). In the following year he followed J. Caesar into Gaul, through whose influence he was elected quaestor in B.C. 52, and whose legate he became during the contest with the party of Pompey (B.C. 49-47). On the murder of Caesar, Antony was left in supreme power, but a rival soon appeared in the young Octavianus, with whom, after a defeat in battle, he at length formed the first triumvirate, in connection with Lepidus, the chief in command of the consular troops, B.C. 43, the death of Cicero being one of the terms of the compact. — Antony now vigorously prosecuted the war against the opponents of the late dictator Caesar, and defeated Brutus and Cassius in a pitched battle at Pharsalia, B.C. 42.

Then, after an interval spent in Rome, he passed over to Asia, in order to procure funds for paying his troops, and in Egypt he became enamored of the famous Cleopatra (q.v.), and, neglecting his affairs in dalliance with her, at last became involved in inextricable reverses, which terminated in the disastrous battle of Actium, B.C. 31, by which Octavianus became master of Egypt. Antony fled to Alexandria, and when Octavianus appeared before the place, he committed suicide, B.C. 30 (Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v.). Several of the events in the later part of his career are referred to by Josephus (Ant. 14, 13,- 1; War, 1, 16, 4), who speaks in detail of his connection with Herod (Ant. 14, 13-15, 4), and recites his decrees to various countries in favor of the Jews (Ant. 14, 10, 9 and 10). SEE HEROD THE GREAT. Plutarch wrote a Life of Antony. See Liddell's Hist. of Rome, p. 674729.

 
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