The Magnificent Marc AntonyA Roman Politician and General

Marc Antony's statue at the Vatican Museum
Marc Antony's statue at the Vatican Museum

Childhood and Career
Born in Rome to an important family in 83 B.C., Marc Antony enjoyed his youth, which was filled with many affairs and scandals. Through his roles in the military, leadership positions in Rome, and many scandals, he achieved everlasting fame.
In 54 B.C., he achieved his first military position as a cavalry officer, serving Julius Caesar in Gaul. He remained faithful to Caesar, proving his loyalty time and again. For instance, in 49 BC, he was ejected from Rome after vetoing the idea of Caesar disbanding his army. He returned to Caesar's army, where he was honored and given important roles. Later on, he ruled with him as consul. It is not known whether or not he had a hand in Caesar's death; most likely he did not, as Caesar was a friend and colleague. After Caesar's death, he was the sole consul for a very short time, before ruling as part of the Second Triumvirate. After much trouble, the Second Triumvirate finally ended (officially) in 33 B.C.
Marc Antony
Marc Antony

Marriages, Family, and Scandals
Marc Antony had at least four wives. Another woman, named Fadia, is said to have been his first wife, but this is not proven.

In 63 B.C., Marc Antony married his cousin, Antonia. At the time, he was in his late twenties. They had a daughter, but after about eight years, Antony divorced her, believing that she had been unfaithful to him. However, he himself was not a model of fidelity, which he proved later on in his life.

In 47 BC, Antony married Fulvia, who helped him in making important political decisions. With her, he had two sons. He never divorced her, like he did with many of his other wives; she died in 40 B.C., leaving him a widower.

Shortly after Fulvia's death, Antony married Octavia, who was Octavian's sister, in 39 B.C. She acted as a diplomat, keeping things civil between her husband and her brother. With Octavia, Antony fathered two daughters, both named Antonia. Both were mothers and grandmothers of important Roman politicians. The first Antonia, born in 38 B.C., was the grandmother of Nero, Rome's most hated emperor. The second daughter, born in 36 B.C., gave birth to Claudius and was a grandmother to Caligula. The marriage lasted until 32 B.C., when Antony divorced her. By that time, he had already been cheating on her with Cleopatra VII. Consequently, he divorced Octavia so he could be with Cleopatra, and seeing a war about to born between him and Octavian, Antony decided it was time for separation.

Marc Antony wasn't interested in Cleopatra at first because he was in love; he wanted money. Soon after, they fell in love. Cleopatra had an affair with Marc Antony while he was married to Octavia. The affair resulted in the birth of Marc Antony's twins in 40 B.C.. When they finally married in Syria in 36 B.C., they had their third child. However, Antony's divorce from Octavian's sister made Octavian extremely angry. It didn't help that in 34 B.C., Antony gave his new wife and children some of Rome's properties. War was inevitable; it was only a matter of time before...

Marc Antony and Cleopatra coins
Marc Antony and Cleopatra coins

Marc Antony's Death and the Battle of Actium
After the Second Triumvirate ended in 33 B.C., Octavian declared war on Marc Antony. His divorce from Octavia - while she was pregnant - in addition to the lands given to Cleopatra, had proved to be more than Octavian could put up with. He attacked with warships in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Alexandria. When Octavian reached them, it was a scene straight from Romeo and Juliet. A rumor had spread that Cleopatra commit suicide. Upon hearing this, Marc Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra was captured by Octavian soon after, and preferred to end her life on her own terms rather than being humiliated by becoming a Roman war prize.

Fun Facts
* Over the course of his life, Marc Antony had over seven children
* Julius Caesar was a distant relative of him, through Antony's mother, Julia Causarius
* He often let his wives control the relationship
* By the time he married Octavia, she had already been married to two of his friends.
* He committed suicide by falling on his sword

Works Cited
Asimov, Isaac. The Roman Republic. New York: Mifflin, 1996. Print.

Gill, N.S. "Who Were Antony's Wives, and How Many of Them Were There?" The New York Times Company, n.d. Web. 16 May 2011.

Guanadu. "Mark Anthony Marco Antonio cleopatra." n.d. Coppermone Photo Gallery. JPEG file.

Louperivois. "Marcus Antonius." 2007. JPEG file.

"Marcus Anonius." Spartacus n.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2011.

"Marc Antony Timeline." The Romans - Timelines. n.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2011."Marcus Antonius." n.p., 2003. 9 May 2011.

Tataryn 77. "Mark Antony1.JPG." 2010. Vatican Mueseum. JPEG file.

William and Sinigan. "Marc Antony." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2002 ed. 2002. Print.

Zahi Hawass - The Search for Antony and Cleopatra. By Laboratoriorosso. DrHawass, 18 May, 2009. Heritage Key Image. 18 May 2011.