Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was a Roman patrician, a part of the Second Triumvirate alongside Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Marcus Antonius, the last Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Republic. Lepidus had been a close ally of Julius Caesar. Though he was an able military commander and proved a useful partisan of Caesar, Lepidus has always been portrayed as the weakest member of the Triumvirate, he appears as a marginalised figure in depictions of the events of the era, most notably in Shakespeare's plays. While some scholars have endorsed this view, others argue that the evidence is insufficient to discount the distorting effects of propaganda by his opponents, principally Cicero and Augustus. Lepidus was the son of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, his brother was Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus. His father was the first leader of the revived populares faction after the death of Sulla, led an unsuccessful rebellion against the optimates. Lepidus married Junia Secunda, sister of Marcus Junius Brutus and Junia Tertia, Cassius Longinus's wife.
Lepidus and Junia Secunda had Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the Younger. Lepidus joined the College of Pontiffs as a child, he started his cursus honorum as triumvir monetalis, overseeing the minting of coins, from c. 62–58 BC. Lepidus soon became one of Julius Caesar's greatest supporters, he was appointed as a praetor in 49 BC, being placed in charge of Rome while Caesar defeated Pompey in Greece. He secured Caesar's appointment as dictator, a position Caesar used to get himself elected as consul, resigning the dictatorship after eleven days. Lepidus was rewarded with the position of proconsul in the Spanish province of Hispania Citerior. While in Spain Lepidus was called upon to act to quell a rebellion against Quintus Cassius Longinus, governor of neighbouring Hispania Ulterior. Lepidus refused to support Cassius, who had created opposition to Caesar's regime by his corruption and avarice, he negotiated a deal with the rebel leader, the quaestor Marcellus, helped defeat an attack by the Mauretanian king Bogud.
Cassius and his supporters were allowed to leave and order was restored. Caesar and the Senate were sufficiently impressed by Lepidus' judicial mixture of negotiation and surgical military action that they granted him a triumph. Lepidus was rewarded with the consulship in 46 after the defeat of the Pompeians in the East. Caesar made Lepidus magister equitum his deputy. Caesar appears to have had greater confidence in Lepidus than in Mark Antony to keep order in Rome, after Antony's inflammatory actions led to disturbances in 47. Lepidus appears to have been genuinely shocked when Antony provocatively offered Caesar a crown at the Lupercalia festival, an act that helped to precipitate the conspiracy to kill Caesar; when in February 44 Caesar was elected dictator for life by the Senate, he made Lepidus magister equitum for the second time. The brief alliance in power of Caesar and Lepidus came to a sudden end when Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44. Caesar had dined at Lepidus' house the night before his murder.
One of the ringleaders of the conspiracy, Gaius Cassius Longinus, had argued for the killing of Lepidus and Mark Antony as well, but Marcus Junius Brutus had overruled him, saying the action was an execution and not a political coup. As soon as Lepidus learned of Caesar's murder, he acted decisively to maintain order by moving troops to the Campus Martius, he proposed using his army to punish Caesar's killers, but was dissuaded by Antony and Aulus Hirtius. Lepidus and Antony both spoke in the Senate the following day, accepting an amnesty for the assassins in return for preservation of their offices and Caesar's reforms. Lepidus obtained the post of Pontifex Maximus. At this point Pompey's surviving son Sextus Pompey tried to take advantage of the turmoil to threaten Spain. Lepidus was sent to negotiate with him. Lepidus negotiated an agreement with Sextus that maintained the peace; the senate voted him a public thanksgiving festival. Lepidus thereafter administered both Narbonese Gaul; when Antony attempted to take control of Cisalpine Gaul by force and displace Decimus Brutus, the Senate, led by Cicero, called on Lepidus to support Brutus – one of Caesar's killers.
Lepidus prevaricated. After Antony's defeat at the Battle of Mutina, the Senate sent word that Lepidus' troops were no longer needed. Antony, marched towards Lepidus's province with his remaining forces. Lepidus engaged in negotiations with Antony; when the two armies met, large portions of Lepidus's forces joined up with Antony. Lepidus negotiated an agreement with him, while claiming to the Senate, it is unclear whether Lepidus' troops forced him to join with Antony, whether, always Lepidus's plan, or whether he arranged matters to gauge the situation and make the best deal. Antony and Lepidus now had to deal with Octavian Caesar, Caesar's great-nephew and, adopted by Caesar in Caesar's will. Octavian was the only surviving commander of the forces; the Senate instructed Octavian to hand over control of the troops to Decimus Brutus. Antony and Lepidus met with Octavian on an island in a river near Mutina but more near Bologna, their armies lined along opposite banks, they formed the Second Triumvirate, legalized with the name of Triumvirs for Confirming the Republic with Consular Power by the Lex T
Artashat. The name of the city is derived from Iranian languages and means the "joy of Arta". Founded by King Artaxias I in 176 BC, Artaxata served as the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia from 185 BC until 120 AD, was known as the "Vostan Hayots". King Artashes I founded Artashat in 176 BC in the Vostan Hayots canton within the historical province of Ayrarat, at the point where Araks river was joined by Metsamor river during that ancient eras, near the heights of Khor Virap; the story of the foundation is given by the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi of the fifth century: "Artashes traveled to the location of the confluence of the Yeraskh and Metsamor and taking a liking to the position of the hills, he chose it as the location of his new city, naming it after himself." According to the accounts given by Greek historians Plutarch and Strabo, Artashat is said to have been chosen and developed on the advice of the Carthaginian general Hannibal: It is said that Hannibal the Carthaginian, after Antiochus had been conquered by the Romans, left him and went to Artaxias the Armenian, to whom he gave many excellent suggestions and instructions.
For instance, observing that a section of the country which had the greatest natural advantages and attractions was lying idle and neglected, he drew up a plan for a city there, brought Artaxias to the place and showed him its possibilities, urged him to undertake the building. The king was delighted, begged Hannibal to superintend the work himself, whereupon a great and beautiful city arose there, named after the king, proclaimed the capital of Armenia. However, modern historians argue; some sources have indicated that Artashes built his city upon the remains of an old Urartian settlement. Strabo and Plutarch describe Artashat as a large and beautiful city and call it the "Armenian Carthage". A focal point of Hellenistic culture, Armenia's first theatre was built here. Movses Khorenatsi points that in addition to numerous copper pagan statues of the gods and goddesses of Anahit and Tir brought from the religious center of Bagaran and other regions to the city, Jews from the former Armenian capital of Armavir were relocated to Artashat.
Artashes built a citadel and added other fortifications, including a moat. Given the city's strategic position on the Araks valley, Artashat soon became a center of bustling economic activity and thriving international trade, linking Persia and Mesopotamia with the Caucasus and Asia Minor, its economic wealth can be gauged in the numerous bathhouses, workshops administrative buildings that sprang up during the reign of Artashes I. The city had customs; the amphitheater of Artashat was built during the reign of king Artavasdes II. The remains of the huge walls surrounding the city built by King Artashes I could be found in the area. During the reign of Tigranes II, the Armenian kingdom expanded and conquered many territories in the south and west reaching the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the remoteness of Artashat in the greater context of the empire, Tigranes built a new capital called Tigranocerta. However, in 69 the Roman general Lucullus invaded Armenia, defeated Tigranes' forces at the outskirts of Tigranocerta, sacked the new capital.
As the harassed Roman forces continued to move northeast in pursuit of the Armenian king, a second prominent battle took place, this time at Artashat where, according to Roman sources, Tigranes II was defeated once again. Artashat was restored as capital of Armenia in 60 B. C. However, the city remained a hotly contested military target for the next two centuries, it was occupied by Capadocian legions under the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, who razed it to the ground in 59 AD as part of the first, short-lived, Roman conquest of Armenia. After Emperor Nero recognized Tiridates I as king of Armenia in 66, he granted him 50 million sesterces and sent architects and construction experts to help in the reconstruction of the ruined city; the city was temporarily renamed Neronia, in honor of Nero. Artashat remained the capital of Armenia until 120 when the see of power was moved to Vagharshapat during the reign of Vologases I 117/8–144. After his death, the Romans led by Statius Priscus invaded Armenia and destroyed Artashat in 162 A.
D. Archaeological excavations conducted during the Soviet era uncovered a Latin inscription bearing the full titles of the Emperor Trajan, inscribed upon the governor's palace, dating back to the first quarter of the second century. Artashat remained one of the principal political and cultural centres of Armenia until 369 when it was destroyed by the Sassanid Persian invading army of king Shapur II. In 449, just prior to the Battle of Avarayr, the city witnessed the gathering of the Artashat Council, where the political and religious leaders of Christian Armenia gathered to discuss the threats of the Sassanid king Yazdegerd II. However, after losing its status as a capital to Vagharshapat and Dvin, Artashat lost its significance; the exact location of ancient Artashat was identified during the 1920s, with archaeological excavations beginning in 1970. The archaeological site is 8 kilometres south of the modern city of Artashat, near the
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic, a naval engagement between Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the promontory of Actium, in the Roman province of Epirus Vetus in Greece. Octavian's fleet was commanded by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, while Antony's fleet was supported by the power of Queen Cleopatra of Ptolemaic Egypt. Octavian's victory enabled him to consolidate his power over its dominions, he adopted the title of Princeps and some years was awarded the title of Augustus by the Roman Senate. This became the name by which he was known in times; as Augustus, he retained the trappings of a restored Republican leader, but historians view this consolidation of power and the adoption of these honorifics as the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. The alliance among Octavian, Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus known as the Second Triumvirate, was renewed for a five-year term in 38 BC.
However, the triumvirate broke down when Octavian saw Caesarion, the professed son of Julius Caesar and Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, as a major threat to his power. This occurred when Mark Antony, the other most influential member of the triumvirate, abandoned his wife, Octavian's sister Octavia Minor. Afterwards he moved to Egypt to start a long-term romance with Cleopatra, becoming the de facto stepfather to Caesarion; such an affair was doomed to become a political scandal. Antony was perceived by Octavian and the majority of the Roman Senate as the leader of a separatist movement that threatened to break the unity of the Roman Republic. Octavian's prestige and, more the loyalty of his legions had been boosted by Julius Caesar's legacy of 44 BC, by which 19-year-old Octavian was adopted as Caesar's only son and the sole legitimate heir of his enormous wealth. Antony had been the most important and most successful senior officer in Caesar's army and, thanks to his military record, claimed a substantial share of the political support of Caesar's soldiers and veterans.
Both Octavian and Antony had fought against their common enemies in the civil war that followed the assassination of Caesar. After years of loyal cooperation with Octavian, Antony started to act independently arousing his rival's suspicion that he was vying to become sole master of Rome; when he left Octavia Minor and moved to Alexandria to become Cleopatra's official partner, he led many Roman politicians to believe that he was trying to become the unchecked ruler of Egypt and other eastern kingdoms while still maintaining his command over the many Roman legions in the East. As a personal challenge to Octavian's prestige, Antony tried to get Caesarion accepted as a true heir of Caesar though the legacy did not mention him. Antony and Cleopatra formally elevated Caesarion 13, to power in 34 BC, giving him the vague but alarming title of "King of the Kings". Being a son of Caesar, such an entitlement was felt as a threat to Roman republican traditions, it was believed that Antony had once offered a diadem to Caesar.
Thereafter, Octavian started a propaganda war, denouncing Antony as an enemy of Rome, asserting that he was seeking to establish a personal monarchy over the entire Roman Empire on behalf of Caesarion, circumventing the Roman Senate. It was said that Antony intended to move the capital of the empire to Alexandria; as the Second Triumvirate formally expired on the last day of 33 BC, Antony wrote to the Senate that he did not wish to be reappointed. He hoped that he might be regarded by them as their champion against the ambition of Octavian, whom he presumed would not be willing to abandon his position in a similar manner; the causes of mutual dissatisfaction between the two had been accumulating. Antony complained that Octavian had exceeded his powers in deposing Lepidus, in taking over the countries held by Sextus Pompeius and in enlisting soldiers for himself without sending half to him. Octavian complained. During 32 BC one-third of the Senate and both consuls allied with Antony; the consuls had determined to conceal the extent of Antony's demands.
Gnaeus Ahenobarbus seems to have wished to keep quiet, but Gaius Sosius on 1 January made an elaborate speech in favor of Antony, would have proposed the confirmation of his act had it not been vetoed by a tribune. Octavian was not present, but at the next meeting made a reply of such a nature that both consuls left Rome to join Antony. After staying with his allies at Samos, Antony moved to Athens, his land forces, in Armenia, came down to the coast of Asia and embarked under L. Canidius Crassus. Octavian was not behind in his strategic preparations. Military operations began in 31 BC, when his general Agrippa captured Methone, a Greek town allied to Antony. However, by the publication of Antony's will, put into his hands by the traitor Plancus and by letting it be known in Rome what preparations were going on at Samos and how Antony was acting as the agent of Cleopatra, Octavian p
Battle of Pharsalus
The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War. On 9 August 48 BC at Pharsalus in central Greece, Gaius Julius Caesar and his allies formed up opposite the army of the republic under the command of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Pompey had the backing of a majority of the senators, of whom many were optimates, his army outnumbered the veteran Caesarian legions; the two armies confronted each other over several months of uncertainty, Caesar being in a much weaker position than Pompey. The former found himself isolated in a hostile country with only 22,000 men and short of provisions, while on the other side of the river he was faced by Pompey with an army about twice as large in number. Pompey wanted to delay, knowing the enemy would surrender from hunger and exhaustion. Pressured by the senators present and by his officers, he reluctantly engaged in battle and suffered an overwhelming defeat fleeing the camp and his men, disguised as an ordinary citizen. A dispute between Caesar and the optimates faction in the Senate of Rome culminated in Caesar marching his army on Rome and forcing Pompey, accompanied by much of the Roman Senate, to flee in 49 BC from Italy to Greece, where he could better conscript an army to face his former ally.
Caesar, lacking a fleet to give chase, solidified his control over the western Mediterranean – Spain – before assembling ships to follow Pompey. Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, whom Pompey had appointed to command his 600-ship fleet, set up a massive blockade to prevent Caesar from crossing to Greece and to prevent any aid to Italy. Caesar, defying convention, chose to cross the Adriatic during the winter, with only half his fleet at a time; as Pontifex Maximus, Caesar was responsible for adjusting the Roman calendar at the end of each year to align it with the rotation of the Earth around the sun. As Caesar had been in Gaul and occupied by the civil war for years, he had not been able to make this yearly change and over time, the difference between the Earth's rotation and the calendar that Rome operated on had grown to such an extent that Bibulus, along with the others who had fled to Greece, believed that it was months than when Caesar knew it was; as such, this move surprised Bibulus, who believed it was winter, the first wave of ships managed to run the blockade easily.
Now prepared, Bibulus died soon afterwards. Caesar was now in a precarious position, holding a beachhead at Epirus with only half his army, no ability to supply his troops by sea, limited local support, as the Greek cities were loyal to Pompey. Caesar's only choice was to fortify his position, forage what supplies he could, wait on his remaining army to attempt another crossing. Pompey by now had a massive international army. Realizing Caesar's difficulty in keeping his troops supplied, Pompey decided to mirror Caesar's forces and let hunger do the fighting for him. Caesar used every channel he could think of to pursue peace with Pompey; when this was rebuffed he made an attempt to cross back to Italy to collect his missing troops, but was turned back by a storm. Mark Antony rallied the remaining forces in Italy, fought through the blockade and made the crossing, reinforcing Caesar's forces in both men and spirit. Now at full strength, Caesar felt confident to take the fight to Pompey. Pompey was camped in a strong position just south of Dyrrhachium with the sea to his back and surrounded by hills, making a direct assault impossible.
Caesar ordered a wall to be built around Pompey's position in order to cut off water and pasture land for his horses. Pompey built a parallel wall and in between a kind of no man's land was created, with fighting comparable to the trench warfare of World War I; the standoff was broken when a traitor in Caesar's army informed Pompey of a weakness in Caesar's wall. Pompey exploited this information and forced Caesar's army into a full retreat, but ordered his army not to pursue, fearing Caesar's reputation for setting elaborate traps; this caused Caesar to remark, "Today the victory had been the enemy's, had there been any one among them to gain it." Pompey continued his strategy of avoiding any direct engagements. After trapping Caesar in Thessaly, the prominent senators in Pompey's camp began to argue loudly for a more decisive victory. Although Pompey was against it — he wanted to surround and starve Caesar's army instead — he gave in and accepted battle from Caesar on a field near Pharsalus.
Excerpt from Cassius Dio's "Roman History" gives a more ancient flavor of his take on the prelude to the "Battle of Pharsalus": "As a result of these circumstances and of the cause and purpose of the war a most notable struggle took place. For the city of Rome and its entire empire then great and mighty, lay before them as the prize, since it was clear to all that it would be the slave of him who conquered; when they reflected on this fact and furthermore thought of their former deeds they were wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement....they now, led by their insatiable lust of power, hastened to break and rend asunder. Because of them Rome was being compelled to fight both in her own defense and against herself, so that if victorious she would be vanquished." The date of the actual decisive battle is given as 9 August 48 BC according to the republican calendar. According to the Julian calendar however, the date was either 29 June or 7 June (according to Drumann/G