Contents I. The Setting 3 II. Heir 12 III. Lieutenant 27 IV. Across the Rubicon 42 V. Henchman to the Dictator 63 VI. Caesar's Successor 81 VII. Challenged by Octavian 93 VIII. Avenger of Caesar 111 IX. Relinquishing the West 129 X. Reorganizing Eastern Provinces and Allies 148 XI. Parthia Invicta 169 XII. Breaking with Octavian 185 XIII. The Lion at Bay 209 Genealogy of the Antonii following p. 214 XIV. "My Fame is Shrewdly Gored" 233 Political Sympathies of the Primary Antony Sources 240 XV. Marcus Antonius, Vir Vitalissimus 253 Chronology 258 Abbreviations Used in Notes and Selected Bibliography 265 Notes 273 Selected Bibliography of Secondary Works 304 Glossary 319 Dramatis Personae 327 Index 337 List of Maps The Roman Empire, 40 B.C. endpapers Gaul during Antony's Campaigns 34 Italy, 50-30 B.C. 44 The Eastern States under Antony's Control 150 The Parthian Campaigns 170 The Greece of Antony's Campaigns 210 ix.
I The Setting Mark Antony's life (83- or 82-30 B.C.) spanned the fatal last fifty years of the Roman Republic. Born into a Rome beset with stresses of expansion and change, Antony acted as lieutenant to the lead- ers, then captured briefly the absolute command of the disinte- grating government. His domination was challenged: by those who accused him of destroying the state and by those who judged him moving too slowly against the state. When Antony lay dead, so too did the Roman Republic.
II Heir For Antony, born into a family of ancient lineage and high distinc- tion, a political and military life was a foregone conclusion. The Roman aristocrat honored his distinguished ancestors in prescribed religious and public rites, and voted with the political faction engi- neered by generations of political favors and calculated marriage ties. Aristocracy existed for political power. Though individuals could vary in commitment and distinction, every Roman noble re- ceived his most significant inheritance in widely known family and political ties. Mark Antony's branch of the Antonii was of plebe- ian nobility. His plebeian ancestors had ennobled the family in per- petuity by winning high political office and sitting in the Senate.
Ill Lieutenant Antony's career, like those of his leading contemporaries, was al- ways to include political and military aspects. Until 58 B.C. his life at Rome had led him to political involvements based more on loy- alties to family and friends than on convictions and planned poli- cies. Now at age twenty-five, rather later than most young men of his class, he began the military career that would bring out his best qualities of courage, responsibility, and comaraderie and that would give him preeminence as the best of lieutenants.
IV Across the Rubicon Caesar's plans and Antony's ambitions brought Antony to Rome in 50 B.C. as a candidate for two posts: the civil rank of tribune for 49 B.C. and the lifelong religious office of augur. The augural selection came first. The regular election of tribunes was held in late July; Antony was required to announce his candidacy at least seventeen days earlier.1 The vacancy in the augurate which Antony hoped to fill was due to the death of the augur and orator Quintus Hortensius. Once before, probably in March, 53 B.C., Antony had tried for this post, but Cicero, supported powerfully by Pompey and Hortensius, had won.2 Now Caesar backed Antony's candidacy; for the augur's right to declare the will of the gods from reading omens held such political and legal powers that the augur could force the abdication of officials, set aside a capital court conviction, adjourn an assem- bly, or cancel a law. As for the other priestly colleges of Rome, suitability for the augurate was judged not by religious faith but by political power and family prestige. Indeed, Antony claimed some hereditary right to the office which his grandfather had held. His chief competitor was the former consul Lucius Domitius Aheno- barbus. Related by marriage to Cato, Ahenobarbus was firmly anti- Caesarian. But he was already a pontifex, and it was unprecedented to seek a second major priesthood.3 42.
V Henchman to the Dictator Pompey, his two sons, and many of the Pompeian leaders had fled Pharsalus. Their fleet still sailed unchallenged. Caesar's task, there- fore, remained pursuit and final conquest. The government of It- aly, however, could no longer be neglected. As the two vast camps were broken up, Caesar sent Antony with the bulk of the Pompe- ian and many of the Caesarian legions back to Italy. In a troubled time, Antony was to settle the veterans on allotments of land and with bonuses and to secure, for twelve months, Caesar's post as dictator and his own as magister equitum (Master of the Horse).1 For over a year Caesar's military campaigns abroad left Antony as the ruling official in Rome. Pompey had fled from Pharsalus to Egypt, there to be treacherously slain. Caesar, following, received the dead Pompey's signet ring and sent it to Rome with the report of Pompey's death. But Caesar then attempted to arbitrate the family struggle being waged for the Egyptian throne. His motives were practical. He wanted to dominate and keep passive the stra- tegically important country, and he wanted to claim a share of its fabled wealth. Soon he was also committed militarily and emo- tionally to Cleopatra's faction; for in the young queen he recog- nized the ability and determination to hold Egypt as an indepen- dent but cooperative ally of Rome. A prolonged and desperate struggle ensued until the few troops that Caesar had brought with 63.
VI Caesar's Successor Within hours after Caesar's murder Antony grasped the control of power and thus determined the next stage of Rome's history. On Pompey's porch the initiative had lain with the assassins. With oth- er Caesarian and neutral senators, Antony had fled, disguised in the dress of a commoner, and had barricaded himself in his home in the Cannae district. The troubled populace watched bewildered, shattered by the death of their established leader, uncertain wheth- er to commit themselves to the Liberty which the conspirators now proclaimed.1 The assassins raised their bloody daggers and called on Cicero who, although not privy to the plot, was now the leading consular to sanction it. To symbolize saving the state, the liberators marched to the Capitoline to dedicate their weapons. Marcus Brutus spoke to the crowds, but in the face of their chill response, the Capitoline seemed the assassins' haven. With this appeal to republican tradi- tion, the conspirators' program of action was exhausted. Incred- ibly, they had not laid plans even for a temporary seizure of power.
VII Challenged by Octavian The challenge to Antony's security and dominance appeared from an unanticipated source. Caesar's grandnephew and heir, the eigh- teen-year-old Gaius Octavius, arrived in Rome in mid-May, 44 B.C., to claim his inheritance. Antony must have known him previously through Caesar, for the boy had been in Caesar's entourage for sev- eral months and had been given a role in Caesar's triumphal proces- sions. Although Octavius was the grandson of Caesar's sister, his father's family was equestrian; so that Antony later taunted him that his grandfathers were a provincial baker and a money changer.
VIII Avenger of Caesar Antony's active strength when he reached Transalpine Gaul had been badly battered, yet his prompt success in building legions and negotiating strategic alliances meant that he remained a command- ing power in the state. His original legions, reinforced with one le- gion composed of all possible recruits, even slaves, were joined, in a swift march, by the three legions under Ventidius, Caesar's for- mer quartermaster. Decimus Brutus had ordered Octavian to block Ventidius, but Octavian had not acted, perhaps was not strong enough to act. Antony now commanded eight legions.1 In Narbonese Gaul Caesar's former Master of the Horse, Lepidus, commanded seven legions, and Antony began negotiating for an al- liance with his old comrade. In Comata Gaul the former Caesarian Lucius Munatius Plancus had three legions; in Spain Gaius Asinius Pollio had two. Among them, the experienced generals could well win over Antony's hastily assembled army. Cicero and other re- publicans wrote asking for their support, and they replied with as- surances of loyalty to the republic. Plancus did, indeed, send 4,000 cavalry against Lucius Antonius who led Antony's advance troops into Gaul, though Lepidus had already assured Plancus that he needed no help to defeat Antony. Pollio also came from Spain at the command of the Senate to help Decimus Brutus; so Antony's forces were threatened with attacks from front and rear. Antony, 111.
IX Relinquishing the West A pattern ominous for the future emerged at once in the distribu- tion of responsibilities and powers after the battle of Philippi. Ig- noring Lepidus, Antony and Octavian divided forces and looked for ways of increasing their real strength vis-a-vis each other. Noth- ing was said of the eastern provinces; but probably they had been unquestioningly assigned to Antony, who foresaw their usefulness.