BBC - History - Cleopatra
After Caesar's assassination, Cleopatra set her sights on the dashing Roman general Mark Antony. The two began an affair, resulting in twins in 40 B.C. Antony. Marc Antony In 41 BC he summoned Cleopatra to meet him in the city of Tarsus in modern-day Turkey. having formerly recommended her to Caesar and the young Pompey, she did not doubt might prove yet more successful with Antony. Cleopatra met Mark Antony in 41 BC. Antony had summoned her to Tarsus, and when he met her, she put on the same airs as she did when she seduced Julius.
While Antony was serving Gabinius in the East, the domestic political situation had changed in Rome. In 60 BC, a secret agreement known as the "First Triumvirate" was entered into between three men to control the Republic: Caesar used his governorship as a launching point for his conquest of free Gaul. Rome was effectively under the absolute power of these three men.
Sometime between 54 and 47 BC, the union produced a single daughter, Antonia Prima. It is unclear if this was Antony's first marriage.
Antony's association with Publius Clodius Pulcher allowed him to achieve greater prominence. Clodius, through the influence of his benefactor Marcus Licinius Crassushad developed a positive political relationship with Julius Caesar.
Serving under Caesar, Antony demonstrated excellent military leadership. Despite a temporary alienation later in life, Antony and Caesar developed friendly relations which would continue until Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.
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. 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.
- Mark Antony
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.
Mark Antony - Wikipedia
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. Cleopatra was determined to rule. Julius Caesar was engaged in a civil war with another Roman leader, Pompey. Pompey had been defeated in a battle and fled to Egypt. Caesar was pursuing him but Pompey was assassinated upon his arrival in Egypt before Caesar arrived in Egypt.
Caesar was left with idle time. Cleopatra arranges to meet Caesar under intimate terms by having herself rolled up in a carpet that is delivered to Caesar's home quarters. When the carpet was unrolled a vivacious 21 year old Egyptian queen emerges. Caesar was about 52 at the time.
Cleopatra captivated him but it was probably not her youth and beauty. Caesar could have had bevies and bevies of beautiful young women. Probably the audacity of Cleopatra's ploy amused him and it was a brilliant strategy.
Cleopatra Seduces Antony, 41 BC
Had Cleopatra met Caesar through official state channels protocol would have interfered with her working her charms upon him. She was said to have a thousand ways of flattering.
A not unimportant factor in Cleopatra's attraction for Caesar was that she was rich, perhaps the richest woman in the world. Or, at least she would be once back in power in Egypt. Caesar was chronically and often disastrously in debt.
Ptolemy XIII dies of drowning while trying to escape the field of battle. Caesar returns to Rome. Cleopatra gives birth to Caesar's child, a boy who is named Ptolemy Caesar and called Caesarion. In Rome, Caesar holds a triumphal celebration of his victories. These celebrations whenever ever possible included the parading of the defeated enemies.
Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsenoe, was paraded in Caesar's triumphal celebration. Cleopatra joins Caesar in Rome. 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.
Cleopatra (c.69 BC - 30 BC)
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 and he had been made officially dictator politically. His enemies in the Roman senate saw Caesar as acquiring all powers, even to the point of having himself declared a god. 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. However, their relationship ended in mutual suicide in 30 BC, eleven years after it started, when Roman troops engulfed the Egyptian city of Alexandria and threatened their capture.
Rome descended into anarchy and civil war. By 41 BC Antony and Octavian who would later change his name to Augustus shared the leadership of Rome and had divided the state into two regions - the western portion including Spain and Gaul ruled by Octavian, the eastern region including Greece and the Middle East ruled by Antony.
Marc Antony The Parthian Empire located in modern-day Iraq posed a threat to Antony's eastern territory and he planned a military campaign to subdue them. But Antony needed money to put his plan into action and he looked to Cleopatra - ruler of Egypt and the richest woman in the world - to supply it.
Cleopatra was a seductive woman and she used her talents to maintain and expand her power. Her first conquest was Julius Caesar in 48 BC. He was 52, she was Their relationship produced a son and was ended only by Caesar's assassination. Her initial response to Antony's summons was to delay her journey - possibly to send the message to the Roman leader that as a queen in her own right, she was not at his beck and call.
Eventually surrendering to the inevitable, Cleopatra sailed from Egypt to the city of Tarsus.