Today on January 14th 83 BCE, Mark Antony, the future right-hand man to Caesar, was born.
Marcus Antonius, simply known as Mark Antony, was born in Rome, the heart of the ancient republic. Antony is best remembered for serving as a Roman General alongside Julius Caesar. He was born to a prominent and well-respected Roman family. As a young man, Antony was known for his reckless behavior and heavy gambling. After losing all of his personal wealth he eventually joined the Roman Army. He quickly proved to be a competent commander while campaigning in Judea (present day Israel).
In 52 BCE, he was assigned as a staff officer to Julius Caesar in Gaul. He played a critical role in helping Caesar quell rebellions across the newly conquered Roman territory. Antony became one of Caesar’s favorites and his trusted second-in-command. After Caesar became the sole ruler over Rome, Antony was appointed to the role of Tribune and was responsible for representing the interests of the people. As a resulted, he became an extremely popular and powerful man within the republic. After the eventual assassination of Caesar, Antony and Octavian (Caesar’s nephew) decided to split control over the vast empire.
Antony would also replace Caesar as Cleopatra’s lover. And like Caesar, he too became deeply infatuated with the beautiful Egyptian Queen and the luxuries of life in the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Cleopatra played an important role in funding Antony’s army and future military campaigns. However, peace between Antony and Octavian quickly faded as they both jockeyed for sole control over Rome. The two rivals finally faced off during a naval battle at Actium. The battle ended in utter defeat for Antony’s forces with he and Cleopatra narrowly escaping back to Egypt. After facing total annihilation, the two lovers committed suicide before Octavian was able to capture them.