Marcus Antonius known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire. Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate; the Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.
Relations among the triumvirs were strained. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs, their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. That year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt. With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor. A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on 14 January 83 BC.
His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the same name, murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC. His mother was a distant cousin of Julius Caesar. Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla's march on Rome in 82 BC. According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antony's father was incompetent and corrupt, was only given power because he was incapable of using or abusing it effectively. In 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress; the elder Antony's death left Antony and his brothers and Gaius, in the care of their mother, who married Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, an eminent member of the old Patrician nobility. Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle, he was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement.
Antony's early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling and becoming involved in scandalous love affairs. Antony's contemporary and enemy, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio. There is little reliable information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher and his street gang, he may have been involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order in life. By age twenty, Antony had amassed an enormous debt. Hoping to escape his creditors, Antony fled to Greece in 58 BC, where he studied philosophy and rhetoric at Athens. In 57 BC, Antony joined the military staff of Aulus Gabinius, the Proconsul of Syria, as chief of the cavalry; this appointment marks the beginning of his military career. As Consul the previous year, Gabinius had consented to the exile of Cicero by Antony's mentor, Publius Clodius Pulcher.
Hyrcanus II, the Roman-supported Hasmonean High Priest of Judea, fled Jerusalem to Gabinius to seek protection against his rival and son-in-law Alexander. Years earlier in 63 BC, the Roman general Pompey had captured him and his father, King Aristobulus II, during his war against the remnant of the Seleucid Empire. Pompey had deposed Aristobulus and installed Hyrcanus as Rome's client ruler over Judea. Antony achieved his first military distinctions after securing important victories at Alexandrium and Machaerus. With the rebellion defeated by 56 BC, Gabinius restored Hyrcanus to his position as High Priest in Judea; the following year, in 55 BC, Gabinius intervened in the political affairs of Ptolemaic Egypt. Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes had been deposed in a rebellion led by his daughter Berenice IV in 58 BC, forcing him to seek asylum in Rome. During Pompey's conquests years earlier, Ptolemy had received the support of Pompey, who named him an ally of Rome. Gabinius' invasion sought to restore Ptolemy to his throne.
This was done against the orders of the Senate but with the approval of Pompey Rome's leading politician, only after the deposed king provided a 10,000 talent bribe. The Greek historian Plutarch records it was Antony who convinced Gabinius to act. After defeating the frontier forces of the Egyptian kingdom, Gabinius's army proceeded to attack the palace guards but they surrendered before a battle commenced
Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Antonia Minor, he was born at Lugdunum in the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius' infirmity saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns, his survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an efficient administrator, he was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, issued up to twenty edicts a day, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign by elements of the nobility.
Claudius was forced to shore up his position. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend. After his death in 54, his grand-nephew, step-son, adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor, his 13-year reign would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesares, the Claudii Nerones, he was a great-nephew of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum, he had two older siblings and Livilla. His mother, may have had two other children who died young, his maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, Tiberius Claudius Nero.
During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania from illness. Claudius was left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried; when Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, used him as a standard for stupidity, she seems to have passed her son off to his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was a little kinder, but often sent him short, angry letters of reproof, he was put under the care of a "former mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.
He spent a lot of his time with the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase, his work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars, either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant, his mother and grandmother put a stop to it, this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line; when he returned to the narrative in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the Second Triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, his family pushed him into the background; when the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes and Lucius, Germanicus' children.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades and that he did not appear at all. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius—then aged 23—appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new Emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius was snubbed. Since the new Emperor was no more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites, or knights, chose
Atia (mother of Augustus)
Atia was the daughter of Julius Caesar's sister Julia Minor, mother of the Emperor Augustus, step-grandmother of the Emperor Tiberius, great-grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, great-great grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, great-great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Nero. The name Atia Balba was borne by the other two daughters of Julia and her husband praetor Marcus Atius Balbus, they were Atia's older sister Atia Balba Prima, her younger sister was Atia Balba Tertia. As a result, she was sometimes referred to as Atia Balba Secunda to differentiate her from her two sisters. In his Dialogus de oratoribus, Tacitus notes her to be exceptionally religious and moral, one of the most admired matrons in the history of the Republic: In her presence no base word could be uttered without grave offence, no wrong deed done. Religiously and with the utmost delicacy she regulated not only the serious tasks of her youthful charges, but their recreations and their games.
Suetonius' account of Augustus mentions the divine omens she experienced before and after his birth: When Atia had come in the middle of the night to the solemn service of Apollo, she had her litter set down in the temple and fell asleep, while the rest of the matrons slept. On a sudden a serpent shortly went away; when she awoke, she purified herself, as if after the embraces of her husband, at once there appeared on her body a mark in colours like a serpent, she could never get rid of it. In the tenth month after that Augustus was therefore regarded as the son of Apollo. Atia too, before she gave him birth, dreamed that her vitals were borne up to the stars and spread over the whole extent of land and sea, while Octavius dreamed that the sun rose from Atia's womb; the day he was born the conspiracy of Catiline was before the House, Octavius came late because of his wife's confinement. Atia was so fearful for her son's safety that she and Philippus urged him to renounce his rights as Caesar's heir.
She died during her son's first consulship, in August or September 43 BC. Octavian honored her memory with a public funeral. Another Philippus, consul suffectus in 38 BC and the son of her second husband from a previous marriage married one of her sisters, her first marriage was with Gaius Octavius, the praetor in 61 BC and Macedonian governor. Her family lived close to ancestral home of the Octavii, they had two children: Octavia Minor, born in 69 BC, the younger Gaius Octavius, born in 63 BC. Octavius died in 59 BC; that same year Atia remarried to Lucius Marcius Philippus, consul in 56 BC. They had no known children. Many of her children's descendants became major figures of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, among them were the emperors Caligula and Nero. A fictionalised Atia of the Julii is portrayed by Polly Walker in the BBC-HBO-RAI television series Rome. There she is portrayed as shrewd, sexually uninhibited, mindful of her family's advancement. Atia A portrait bust of Atia, from the Getty Museum portraits of her family and children
Octavia the Younger
Octavia the Younger known as Octavia Minor or Octavia, was the elder sister of the first Roman Emperor, the half-sister of Octavia the Elder, the fourth wife of Mark Antony. She was the great-grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, maternal grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Nero. One of the most prominent women in Roman history, Octavia was respected and admired by contemporaries for her loyalty and humanity, for maintaining traditional Roman feminine virtues. Full sister to Augustus, Octavia was the only daughter born of Gaius Octavius' second marriage to Atia Balba Caesonia, niece of Julius Caesar. Octavia was born in Nola, present-day Italy, her mother remarried, to the consul Lucius Marcius Philippus. Octavia spent much of her childhood travelling with her parents. Marcius was in charge of educating her brother Augustus. Before 54 BC her stepfather arranged. Marcellus was a man of consular rank, a man, considered worthy of her and was consul in 50 BC.
He was a member of the influential Claudian family and descended from Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a famous general in the Second Punic War. In 54 BC, her great uncle Caesar is said to have been anxious for her to divorce her husband so that she could marry Pompey who had just lost his wife Julia; the couple did not want to get a divorce so instead Pompey declined the proposal and married Cornelia Metella. So Octavia's husband continued to oppose Julius Caesar including in the crucial year of his consulship 50 BC. Civil war broke out when Caesar in Gaul invaded Italy in 49 BC. Marcellus, a friend of Cicero, was an initial opponent of Julius Caesar when Caesar invaded Italy, but did not take up arms against his wife's great uncle at the Battle of Pharsalus, was pardoned by him. In 47 BC he was able to intercede with Caesar for his cousin and namesake a former consul living in exile. Octavia continued to live with her husband from the time of their marriage to her husband's death when she was about 29.
They had three children: Claudia Marcella Major, Claudia Marcella Minor and Marcus Claudius Marcellus. All three were born in Italy, her husband Marcellus died in May 40 BC. By a Senatorial decree, Octavia married Mark Antony in October 40 BC, as his fourth wife; this marriage had to be approved by the Senate, as she was pregnant with her first husband's child, was a politically motivated attempt to cement the uneasy alliance between her brother Octavian and Mark Antony. Between 40 and 36 BC, she travelled with Antony to various provinces and lived with him in his Athenian mansion. There she raised her children by Marcellus as well as Antony's two sons; the alliance was tested by Antony's abandonment of Octavia and their children in favor of his former lover Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. After 36 BC, Octavia returned to Rome with the daughters of her second marriage. On several occasions she acted as a political advisor and negotiator between her husband and brother. For example in the spring of 37 BC, while pregnant with her daughter Antonia Minor, she was considered essential to an arms deal held at Tarentum, in which Antony and Augustus agreed to aid each other in their Parthian and Sicilian campaigns.
She was hailed as a "marvel of womankind." Mark Antony divorced Octavia in 32 BC. In 35 BC, after Antony suffered a disastrous campaign in Parthia, she brought fresh troops and funds to Athens. There Antony had left a letter for her. Following Antony's rejection of her, their divorce, his eventual suicide in 30 BC, Octavia became sole caretaker of their children as well as guardian of Antony's children from his unions with both Fulvia and Cleopatra: Iullus Antonius, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, Ptolemy Philadelphus Octavia did not marry a third time. In 35 BC Augustus accorded a number of honours and privileges to Octavia, Augustus's wife Livia unheard of for women in Rome, they were granted sacrosanctitas. This had been only granted to tribunes. Livia and Octavia were made immune from tutela, the male guardianship which all women in Rome except for the Vestal Virgins were required to have; this meant they could manage their own finances. They were the first women in Rome to have statues and portraits displayed en masse in public places.
Only one woman, mother of the Gracchi, had been part of the public statues displayed in Rome. In Augustus's rebuilding of Rome as a city of marble, Octavia featured. In all her representations she wore the "nodus" hairstyle, which at the time was considered conservative and dignified, worn by women from many classes.. Augustus adored, but never adopted, her son Marcellus; when Marcellus died of illness in 23 BC unexpectedly, Augustus was thunderstruck, Octavia disconsolate beyond recovery. Aelius Donatus, in his Life of Vergil, states that Virgil recited three whole books for Augustus: the second and sixth—this la
Fulvia was an aristocratic Roman woman who lived during the Late Roman Republic. She gained access to power through her marriage to three of the most promising men of her generation, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Scribonius Curio, Marcus Antonius. All three husbands were politically active populares and supporters of Julius Caesar. Though she is more famous for her involvement in Antony's career, many scholars believe that she was politically active with all of her husbands. Fulvia is remembered in the history of the late Roman Republic for her political ambition and activity, she is most famous for her activities during her third marriage and her involvement in the Perusine War of 41–40 BC. She was the first Roman non-mythological woman to appear on Roman coins. Fulvia was raised either in Rome or Tusculum, her date of birth is not known. Fulvia was a member of the Fulvia gens; the Fulvii were one of the most distinguished Republican plebeian noble families in Rome. Fulvia was the only child of Marcus Fulvius Sempronia.
Her father Marcus received the nickname Bambalio, from the Latin to stutter, because of his hesitancy in speech. Her maternal grandfather was Sempronius Tuditanus, described by Cicero as a madman, who liked to throw his money to the people from the Rostra, her first marriage was to Publius Clodius Pulcher, circa 62 BC. Fulvia and Clodius had two children together, a son named Publius Clodius Pulcher and a daughter, Clodia Pulchra; as a couple they went everywhere together. Clodia married the future Emperor Augustus. Clodius was a popularis aristocratic politician, popular with the urban masses. Plutarch considered him a demagogue, he is most famous. In 62 BC, Clodius dressed as a woman and entered the house of Julius Caesar while the sacred rites of the Bona Dea were being performed. Charged with "incestum", Clodius defended himself by stating that he was not in Rome the day of the sacred rites, an alibi, refuted by Cicero in court, which started a lifelong enmity between the two men. In 52 BC, Clodius ran for praetor and political competition with a consular rival, Titus Annius Milo, escalated to violence.
Milo and his gang killed Clodius on January 18 on the Appian Way, the road built by Clodius's ancestors. Fulvia first appears in the record after his death, she grieved over his body publicly and dragged it through the streets of Rome which, due to his popularity, incited an angry mob that took his corpse and cremated it in the senate. Fulvia and her mother Sempronia were present at the trial of Milo, Fulvia's was the last testimony given by the prosecution. Milo was exiled for his crime. While alive, Clodius had control of many gangs, Fulvia retained the power and status that came with their loyalty. There is some evidence; as Clodius' widow and mother of his children, she was a symbol and reminder of him, was able to transfer this power to her future husbands. Her widowhood did not last long. Fulvia most married her second husband, Gaius Scribonius Curio, soon after this period had passed, they were married in 52-51 BC. Like Clodius, Curio was popular with the plebeians, he was from a less distinguished family than Clodius, being from a new consular family, but he may have had more wealth.
Though an optimate, Curio became a popularis soon after marrying Fulvia, continued many of Clodius' popularist policies. He soon became important to Gaius Julius Clodian supporters. In 50 BC, the year after he married Fulvia, Curio won election as a tribune. Curio was killed while fighting for Julius Caesar in North Africa in 49 BC, by the army of King Juba I of Numidia. During the civil war, Fulvia was most in Rome or nearby, due to Caesar's troops taking over Italy. At the time, she would have had her two children by Clodius and was either pregnant with Curio's son or had delivered him. After Curio's death in Africa, Fulvia was still an important widow in elite circles, she provided an important tie to Clodius and his clientela, had proven her fertility, could offer a husband money and political organization. Her husband would become the stepfather of Clodius' children, further linking him to Clodian politics. Fulvia's third and final marriage was to Mark Antony in 47 or 46 BC, a few years after Curio's death, although Cicero suggested that Fulvia and Antony had had a relationship since 58 BC. Cicero wrote about their relationship in his Philippicae as a way of attacking Antony.
According to him, while Fulvia and Antony were married, Antony once left a military post to sneak back into Rome during the night and deliver a love letter to Fulvia describing his love for her and how he had stopped seeing the famous actress Cytheris. Cicero suggested that Antony married Fulvia for her money. At the time of their marriage, Antony was an established politician, he had been tribune in 49 BC, commanded armies under Caesar and was the Master of the Horse in 47 BC. As a couple, they were a formidable political force in Rome, had two sons together, Marcus Antonius Antyllus and Iullus Antonius. Plutarch believed that Fulvia influenced Antony, that former Clodian policies were continued through him. Throughout their marriage, Fulvia defended Antony from Cicero's attacks, sustained his popularity with his soldiers and hindered Octavian's ascension to power. In fact, Fulvia still retain
Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and the son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed. Domitian had a minor and ceremonial role during the reigns of his father and brother. After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard, his 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius. As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia, in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics. Religious and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.
As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate. Domitian's reign came to an end in 96, he was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century. Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October 51, the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Flavia Domitilla Major, he had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger, brother named Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which a new Italian nobility replaced in prominence during the early part of the 1st century.
One such family, the Flavians, or gens Flavia, rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Domitian's great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar's civil war, his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upward mobility of Petro's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Domitian's grandfather. Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied the Flavian family to the more prestigious gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to senatorial rank; the political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, culminated in a consulship in 51, the year of Domitian's birth.
As a military commander, Vespasian gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian's upbringing claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula and Nero. Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and to maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius and his son Britannicus. By all appearances, the Flavians enjoyed high imperial favour throughout the 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. Following a prolonged period of retirement during the 50s, he returned to public office under Nero, serving as proconsul of the Africa Province in 63, accompanying the emperor Nero during an official tour of Greece in 66.
That same year Jews from the Province of Judaea revolted against the Roman Empire, sparking what is now known as the First Jewish-Roman War. Vespasian was assigned to lead the Roman army against the insurgents, with Titus — who had completed his military education by this time — in charge of a legion. Of the three Flavian emperors, Domitian would rule the longest, despite the fact that his youth and early career were spent in the shadow of his older brother. Titus had gained military renown during the First Jewish–Roman War. After their father Vespasian became emperor in 69 following the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors, Titus held a great many offices, while Domitian received honours, but no responsibilities. By the time he was 16 years old, Domitian's mother and sister had long since died, while his father and brother were continuously active in the Roman military, commanding armies in Germania and Judaea. For Domitian, this meant that a significant part of his adolescence was spent in the absence of his near relatives.
During the Jewish–Roman wars, he was taken under the care of his uncle Titus Flavius Sabinus II, at the time serving as city prefect of Rome.
Murcia is a city in south-eastern Spain, the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, the seventh largest city in the country, with a population of 447,182 inhabitants in 2018. The population of the metropolitan area was 689,591 in 2010, it is located on the Segura River, in the Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, noted by a climate with hot summers, mild winters, low precipitation. Murcia was founded by the emir of Cordoba Abd ar-Rahman II in 825 with the name Mursiyah. Nowadays, it is a services city and a university town. Highlights for visitors include the Cathedral of Murcia and a number of baroque buildings, renowned local cuisine, Holy Week procession works of art by the famous Murcian sculptor Francisco Salzillo, the Fiestas de Primavera; the city, as the capital of the comarca Huerta de Murcia is called Europe's orchard due to its long agricultural tradition and its fruit and flower production and exports. Murcia is located near the center of a low-lying fertile plain known as the huerta of Murcia.
The Segura River and its right-hand tributary, the Guadalentín, run through the area. The city has an elevation of 43 metres above sea level and its municipality covers 882 square kilometres; the best known and most dominant aspect of the municipal area's landscape is the orchard. In addition to the orchard and urban zones, the great expanse of the municipal area is made up of different landscapes: badlands, groves of Carrasco pine trees in the precoastal mountain ranges and, towards the south, a semi-steppe region. A large natural park, the Parque Regional de Carrascoy y el Valle, lies just to the south of the city, it is believed that Murcia's name is derived from the Latin words of Myrtea or Murtea, meaning land of myrtle, although it may be a derivation of the word Murtia, which would mean Murtius Village. Other research suggests that it may owe its name to the Latin Murtae, which covered the regional landscape for many centuries; the Latin name changed into the Arabic Mursiya, Murcia. The city in its present location was founded with the name Madinat Mursiyah in AD 825 by Abd ar-Rahman II, the emir of Córdoba.
Umayyad planners, taking advantage of the course of the river Segura, created a complex network of irrigation channels that made the town's agricultural existence prosperous. In the 12th century the traveler and writer Muhammad al-Idrisi described the city of Murcia as populous and fortified. After the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031, Murcia passed under the successive rules of the powers seated variously at Almería and Toledo, but became capital of its own kingdom with Ibn Tahir. After the fall of the Almoravide empire, Muhammad Ibn Mardanis made Murcia the capital of a new independent kingdom. At this time, Murcia was a prosperous city, famous for its ceramics, exported to Italian towns, as well as for silk and paper industries, the first in Europe; the coinage of Murcia was considered as model in all the continent. The mystic Ibn Arabi and the poet Ibn al-Jinan were born in Murcia during this period. In 1172 Murcia was conquered by the north African based Almohades, the last Muslim empire to rule southern Spain, as the forces of the Christian Reconquista gained the upper hand, was the capital of a small Muslim emirate from 1223 to 1243.
By the treaty of Alcaraz, in 1243, the Christian king Ferdinand III of Castile made Murcia a protectorate, getting access to the Mediterranean sea while Murcia was protected against Granada and Aragon. The Christian population of the town became the majority as immigrants poured in from all parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Christian immigration was encouraged with the goal of establishing a loyal Christian base; these measures led to the Muslim popular revolt in 1264, quelled by James I of Aragon in 1266, conquering Murcia and bringing Aragonese and Catalan immigrants with him. After this, during the reign of Alfonso X of Castile, Murcia was one of his capitals with Toledo and Seville; the Murcian duality: Catalan population in a Castillian territory, brought the subsequent conquest of the city by James II of Aragon in 1296. In 1304, Murcia was incorporated into Castile under the Treaty of Torrellas. Murcia's prosperity declined as the Mediterranean lost trade to the ocean routes and from the wars between the Christians and the Ottoman Empire.
The old prosperity of Murcia became crises during 14th century because of its border location with the neighbouring Muslim kingdom of Granada, but flourished after its conquest in 1492 and again in the 18th century, benefiting from a boom in the silk industry. Most of the modern city's landmark churches and old architecture date from this period. In this century, Murcia lived an important role in Bourbon victory in the War of the Spanish Succession, thanks to Cardinal Belluga. In 1810, Murcia was looted by Napoleonic troops. According to contemporaneous accounts, an estimated 6,000 people died from the disaster's effects across the province. Plague and cholera followed; the town and surrounding area suffered badly from floods in 1651, 1879, 1907, though the construction of a levee helped to stave off the repeated floods from the Segura. A popular pedestrian walkway, the Malecon, runs along the top of the levee. Murcia has been the capital of the province of Murcia since 1833 and, with its creation by the central government in 1982, capital of th