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date: 30 November 2020

Antonius, Marcus(2)locked

, Roman consul and triumvir, d. 31 bce
  • Christopher Pelling

Extract

Antonius (2), Marcus, ‘Mark Antony’, Roman statesman and general. The truth of his career and personality has been heavily overlaid by legend, as first hostile propaganda presented him as a villain, then romantic biography turned him into a figure of tragic self-destruction.2. Eldest son of M. *Antonius (Creticus), he was born in 83 (or, less likely, 86) bce. His youth was allegedly dissipated. He distinguished himself as cavalry commander under A. *Gabinius (2) in Palestine and Egypt (57–4), then joined *Caesar in Gaul, where, apart from an interval in Rome (53–2), he remained till the end of 50; in 51 he was *quaestor. As tribune (see tribuni plebis) in 49 he defended Caesar's interests in the senate, fled to his camp when the ‘last decree’ was passed (see senatus consultum ultimum), took part in the fighting in Italy, and was left in charge of Italy during Caesar's Spanish campaign. In 48 he served in Greece and commanded Caesar's left wing at *Pharsalus.

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