Battle of Actium

Battle of Actium 31 BC

AI visualization of Gaius Octavius


  • It seems that the adventurers who assassinated Julius Caesar were not as politically astute as the military prowess they displayed in assassinating Caesar.
  • After the assassination of Julius Caesar, a civil war began between his supporters on one side and the republicans who assassinated Julius Caesar on the other.
  • Within hours of his burial, there was unrest in Rome, a great city of more than a million people, a number that would have been enormous two thousand years ago.
  • After the assassination of Julius Caesar, who was stabbed 60 times leading to his death at the hands of members of the Senate led by Brutus and Cassius, the conspirators were unable to restore the Roman Republic, However, Julius Caesar's aides Gaius Octavius Thurinus ( Julius Caesar's nephew ), Marcus Lepidus, and Mark Antony succeeded in avenging the killers and rising to rule Rome.
  • There are about 400 senators among about 900 members and two thousand landowners along the length and breadth of Rome who can be considered enemies of the empire and involved in secret with Brutus and Cassius.
  • Marcus Antonius and Gaius Octavius ​​led an army of several thousand soldiers to fight the killers of Julius Caesar They already had a formidable military force, but the Roman duo alliance decided the battle in the Battle of Philippi on the outskirts of Rome and Brutus and Cassius were killed.
  • Most of the conspirators who assassinated Caesar were killed, and Octavius and his associates were able to take control of the Roman state and establish a triumvirate.
  • Octavius soon got rid of Marcus Lepidus by exiling him out of the country and Rome remained ruled by the two friends Octavius and Mark Antony.

Mark Antony and Cleopatra

AI visualization of Mark Antony
  • When Mark Antony reached that high position in ruling Rome, it became incumbent upon Cleopatra to work to win his satisfaction for her interests, the interests of her son, and her ambitions.
  • Antony and Cleopatra were not strangers to each other as they had met in Rome where Cleopatra was a queen without a throne living in a house overlooking the Tiber, Antony visited her often in that house as one of Caesar's friends. Therefore, when Antony reached the height of greatness, Cleopatra knew well the man she was dealing with, No doubt, she was pleased that she would deal with Mark Antony as she knew that it was easy for him to fall prey to her and her beauty.
  • The real character of Mark Antony was not as Shakespeare portrayed it in his play "Julius Caesar". Rather, Antony was more like a student, as Rabian said about him: "He is like a great boy who is destined to open the world, but he is unable to resist the weakest woman." He was handsome, strong-bodied, envied by his enemies, and loved by women. He was also simple, straightforward, kind-hearted, so Cleopatra knew how to affect his emotions.
  • The next day, Cleopatra was able to get everything she wanted from Mark Antony, and she finished the political agreements she wanted to make with Rome, and returned to Egypt carrying a promise from Antony that he would visit her in Egypt, and Antony fulfilled his promise and visited her in Egypt in 41 BC. He was aware of the price he would pay for this visit, he became a prisoner in the grip of a beautiful woman, just as Julius Caesar had been before him.
  • Cleopatra pinned on Antony those hopes that she had previously placed in Julius, and all her hope became that Antony would become the emperor of the world and she his partner, to be followed by their son Caesarion ruling the empire after them.
  • The worst thing Antony faced after the anger of his wife Fulvia, who was informed of what was associated with her husband's name and Cleopatra's name from talk of love and passion, then Fulvia died of grief for what her husband had done to her, but Antony rested from the evil of her jealousy.
  • While Antony was a prisoner of his passion in Alexandria, matters were complicated in Rome, as the princes of Syria and Antioch rebelled against Roman rule, and in February of 40 BC, Antony was forced to leave his lover, so he left her regretfully in March and left her burdened with sorrows, pregnant with twins to be born in the coming fall and four years passed before she saw him again.
  • During this period, Antony married Octavia, who is the sister of his friend and enemy Octavius, and thus he was able to reach a friendly agreement with Octavius, which is summarized in that Antony would rule the eastern half of the Roman Empire, while Octavius would rule the western half, and Antony's wife Octavia gave birth to a small girl who later became the grandmother of the tyrant Emperor Nero.

Love, reproach, and defeat

AI visualization of Queen Cleopatra
  • Cleopatra, of course, heard all that happened in Rome, and she was overcome with the same feelings of jealousy, anger, despair, and the sense of being rejected as a woman and deceived as a queen and politician that any other woman in her position would feel. Moreover, she knew very well that Antony's new wife, Octavia, was young and beautiful.
  • If she were any woman other than Cleopatra, everything would have ended, but she was Cleopatra, the queen who incites intellectual rebellion.
  • Antony had to quell the revolutions in Syria and Antioch, so he had to rely on the strongest naval fleet in the world, which is the Egyptian fleet owned by his lover, Cleopatra.
  • Antony wanted this meeting to be purely political, as if he believed that Cleopatra had forgotten the emotional past.
  • The meeting between Antony and Cleopatra did indeed take place in Antioch, but the years that had passed made her more rational than she had been before She reproached him in great anger, and Antony kept apologizing to her and swearing that he loved her and that his marriage to Octavia was just a political marriage for the purpose of reconciliation with Octavius.
  • They lived together and Antony took his soldiers to fight the rebels, but he was defeated and Cleopatra brought him back to Alexandria once again.

Antonio's danger

AI visualization of Julius Caesar
  • Octavius could not tolerate the alliance between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, as it posed a huge threat to his empire, This was in addition to his sister Octavia, who was consumed with jealousy after hearing what people around the world were saying about the love story between Antony and Cleopatra.
  • The famous English historian Edward Gibbon, author of 'The Decline of the Roman Empire,' says that Octavius launched the first and largest psychological and media campaign in history to tarnish the image of Antony and Egypt alike.
  • Octavius used Antony's alliance with Cleopatra to amplify fears in the heart of Rome about Egypt and the Egyptians, and sought to remove the support that Antony enjoyed in the Roman Senate, Half of the Senate was already supporting Antony, as many had not forgotten that he was a Roman general, a strong fighter, and a kind-hearted man, in addition to being one of the most loyal to the treacherously murdered Caesar Julius.
  • Octavius ​​amplified fears of Egypt, promoted lies about it being a land of black magic and evil spiritual powers, and broadcasted fictitious stories about the Egyptians offering human sacrifices to their gods.
  • Octavius ​​enlisted writers and poets to crystallize an image of Marcus Antony as if he were a warrior humiliated by a crushing defeat, deprived of his humanity, and surrendered his mind and heart to a mentally deviant woman who controlled him as she pleased.
  • Octavius ​​succeeded in inciting the Roman Senate to call for war against Antony, but his military and political intelligence led him to ensure that the military confrontation was outside the territories of the Roman Empire.
  • Therefore, it was necessary to determine a location and position for the battle that would guarantee superiority and victory, The battle was decisive for him once and for all, so the area of Actium near Athens was chosen.

Naval Battle of Actium

Battle of Actium
  • The armies are preparing, and Mark Antony arrived with his army to Athens, Cleopatra ruled Athens and the world for a short period of time, She was extremely happy and confident of victory, but the winds came in a way that the ships did not desire.
  • 90,000 fighters with Mark Antony and 230 warships are heading towards the vast sea to meet Octavius's fleet led by Roman general " Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa ".
  • At this critical time, the malaria epidemic strikes half of Mark Antony's soldiers, and the ships become standing in the middle of the sea without men to lead that ships.
  • Many rowers died even before the start of the battle, which made those ships unable to execute the tactic they were designed for The Egyptian ships and Antony's ships were armored with bronze and square-cut tree trunks to be able to ram the enemy ships and destroy it.
  • Octavius was able to include all the infantry groups from Mark Antony's army, and only a few soldiers remained with Antony, He burned all the ships, took his soldiers and Cleopatra, and returned to Alexandria to take refuge there.
  • Cleopatra returned with the miserable Antony to Alexandria, and he was in a very difficult condition, Cleopatra's heart was shocked, but her spirit remained alive, pushing her to work. She began to form alliances to secure the safety of the Egyptian borders, but fate was mocking her. Here is Octavius chasing them and he is now on the outskirts of Alexandria with his huge army.
  • Cleopatra thought she could enchant Octavius with her beauty as she had enchanted Julius Caesar and Antony before him, but to no avail. Octavius was nothing but a stern warrior who did not succumb to his desires.
  • Mark Antony marched with a weak force to resist Octavius, who was then trying to penetrate the walls of Alexandria and Before the battle began, Antony saw his knights fleeing all at once and joining Octavius's army, The infantry had no choice but to flee as well, and he found no alternative but to flee himself to the palace of Alexandria.
  • To ensure the collapse of Mark Antony's morale, Octavius sent a soldier from his soldiers disguised among Mark Antony's soldiers to tell him about Cleopatra's suicide, When Mark Antony heard the news of Cleopatra's suicide, he gave a soldier from his soldiers the sword and ordered him to kill him, The soldier could not bear to kill his commander, so he killed himself. When Mark Antony saw what the soldier had done, he said to him, "You did what I failed to do," and he took the sword from the soldier's body and killed himself with it.

The End of the Conflict

The Death of Cleopatra by Juan Luna
  • Cleopatra was still alive When she heard what had happened to him, she rushed to his side and began calling him the lord, the husband, and the emperor until he breathed his last breath in her arms.
  • The victorious Octavius was still at the gates of Alexandria She realized that the rocky man who was not affected by her beauty would take her captive to Rome to walk in his victory parade, The shock was greater than she could bear, so she decided to commit suicide.
  • After a few days, Cleopatra sent a letter to Octavius asking him to allow her to visit the tomb of Mark Antony, which he granted.
  • Cleopatra prepared herself in royal attire, her royal robe and crown, and this crown was the most valuable thing to Cleopatra She took with her a poisonous snake hidden under her robe as a means of suicide, She had prepared another letter that she sent with one of her guards to Octavius, asking him to bury her next to Mark Antony, When Octavius received this letter, he realized the painful truth, his heart was torn, and he ordered them to be buried together.
  • A tragic end for Queen Cleopatra VII, the last queen of the Ptolemies in Egypt, After it left behind in the history of the world an eternal tragedy, which is the tragedy of love, power, and greed through the death of her husband Antony who stabbed himself after receiving a false report that Cleopatra had died, Then the news of the death of her husband Antony reached her, Cleopatra carefully planned her death on August 10, 30 BC, Cleopatra buried her husband Antony and then committed suicide by using a small poisonous snake that bit her in the arm, Thus ended the journey of Queen Cleopatra, who was 39 years old and had ruled Egypt for about 22 years, She was married to Antony for 11 years and they were buried together according to their wish.
  • Gaius Octavius Thurinus achieved an unprecedented victory, restoring control over both sides of the Roman Empire, the eastern and western, under Rome's control and gave himself the title Augustus.
  • Augustus married three times during his life, and his wives' names were Claudia Pulchra, Scribonia, and Livia Drusilla. He had one daughter from his second marriage named Julia.
  • He exiled his daughter to the rocky island of Ventotene on charges of adultery with many influential men, including the son of Mark Antony.
  • The Battle of Actium marked the end of the Ptolemaic era in Egypt, depriving the Egyptians of gaining independence. After being subject to the Ptolemies, they came under Roman rule.
  • The Battle of Actium was a decisive battle that ended Rome's internal disputes, but other disputes and conflicts would be waiting for Octavius. Another nascent kingdom on the way, emanating from the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen, will displace many of Rome's kingdoms.
  • Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Augustus) died on August 19, 14 AD in Nola after a long illness at the age of 76. The body was returned to Rome amidst a huge funeral procession and was cremated near the Mausoleum of Augustus.
  • The tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony has not been discovered yet, but a temple for Osiris west of Alexandria in Egypt has been found, containing some sculptures showing them embracing.
  • It's fascinating how history and archaeology can bring ancient stories to life, The search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony continues to be one of the great mysteries of the ancient world.

Font Size
lines height