Today on January 14, 83 BCE, the future right-hand man to Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, was born in the bustling heart of the Roman Republic.
Marcus Antonius, simply known as Mark Antony, was born in the capital city of Rome. Mark Antony is largely remembered for serving as a trustworthy general alongside Julius Caesar. He was born into a prominent and well-respected Roman family. As a young man, Antony was known for reckless behavior and being a heavy gambler. After squandering all of his wealth, he ultimately joined the Roman Army to kickstart his career. Mark Antony quickly proved to be a competent commander and quickly rose the ranks. He led many successful initiatives while campaigning in Judea (present-day Israel).
In 52 BCE, he was assigned to the role of staff officer for Julius Caesar in Gaul. He played a critical role in helping Caesar quell several rebellions across the newly conquered Roman territory. They achieved a decisive victory after the ferocious Siege of Alesia. Antony cemented himself as one of Caesar’s favorites and his trusted second-in-command. After defeating Pompey the Great at the Battle of Pharsalus, Antony was appointed to the role of Tribune. As the man responsible for representing the interests of the people, he became extremely popular and powerful. Following the assassination of Caesar on the Ides of March, Antony and Octavian decided to split control over the vast republic.
Mark Antony would eventually 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 his future military campaigns. However, peace between Antony and Octavian soon faded as they both jockeyed for sole control of Rome. The two rivals faced off during a decisive naval battle at Actium. The battle ended in an utter defeat for Mark Antony’s forces. He and Cleopatra narrowly escaped back to Egypt. After facing total annihilation, the two lovers committed suicide before Octavian could capture them.