Second triumvirate

The conspirators had well organized the murder of Caesar, but had not decided what to do next . Marco Antonio plays an ambiguous role , because he knows of the conspiracy . In fact, about six months before the Caesar’s murderers, Brutus and Cassius, had proposed to join. He refused , but he had warned Caesar, although according to some historians, he was going to do it right March 15, 44, combined a bit ‘ too late. Caesar was a tyrant who had the right to kill to restore freedom as stated in Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar, or an acute and far-sighted politician and a benefactor? The Romans certainly took sides with Caesar when the will was read , which assigned 300 gold of his legacy at every Roman citizen and , above all, his appointment the eighteen year old adopted son Gaius Octavius.

In addition, the conspirators did not defending freedom, but the privileges of the senatorial class.

Marc Antony initially hiding , perhaps escapes an assassination attempt of statesmen , but then takes advantage of the situation by exposing the tortured body of Caesar and reading the Testament. Octavius was in Illyricum , and it decided to go immediately to Rome , against the advice of those who were with him . At eighteen he knew very well what to do. He became immediately rename Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian, Caesar’s true heir , was allied with the Senate against Antony , who defeated in Modena in 43 BC , but do not put down the army command , and then teams up with Antonio and the magister equitum Lepidus , in a second triumvirate , no more private agreement as the first, but extraordinary public judiciary to reform the republic . Antony and Octavian rout the army of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi in 42 BC and compile a list of proscription Antonio does kill Cicero.


Reading The death of Cicero”:

His assassins came to the villa, Herennius a centurion, and Popillius a tribune, and they had helpers. After they had broken in the door, which they found closed, Cicero was not to be seen, and the inmates said they knew not where he was.

A youth told the tribune that the orator  (the litter of Cicero) was being carried through the wooded and shady walks towards the sea. The tribune, accordingly, taking a few helpers with him, ran round towards the exit, but Herennius hastened on the run through the walks, and Cicero, perceiving him, ordered the servants to set the litter down where they were.

Then he himself, clasping his chin with his left hand, as was his wont, looked steadfastly at his slayers, his head all squalid and unkempt, and his face wasted with anxiety, so that most of those that stood by covered their faces while Herennius was slaying him.

Cicero was murdered on the seventh of December, 43 B.C., in his sixty-fourth year.” by Plutarch

In 42 B.C. Antony and Octavian divide the empire. Octavian took the West , then conquered Africa , depriving Lepidus , Lucius Antonius defeated in Italy , Sextus Pompey , son of Pompey the Great, who had occupied Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia. Antonio the East , he married Cleopatra , the lover of Caesar, defeated the Parthians , but celebrated the triumph in Alexandria, Egypt . Octavian convinced the Senate that Antony wanted to be king of a kingdom with capital Alexandria, not Rome.

In 32 B.C. expires triumvirate , Octavian proclaims himself Consul, and obtains the command of the Roman army , which turns against Antonio . The fleet commanded by Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra at Actium , in Epirus, in 31 BC

In 30 B.C. Octavian occupies Alexandria , Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide.

The ‘ Egypt became a Roman province , the domain of Octavian. So begins the Roman empire.

Reading The death of Cleopatra”:

“Having lamented such things (the death of Mark Anthony), and having garlanded and embraced the urn, she ordered a bath to be prepared for herself. Having bathed and having reclined, she had a splendid dinner. And someone came from the countryside carrying a certain basket; when the guards enquired (lit. the guards enquiring) what he was bringing, having opened (the basket) and having removed the leaves, he showed that the dish (inside was) full of figs. (The guards) marvelling at their beauty and their size, smiling, he invited (them) to take (some); trusting (him) they bade (him) to bring (them) in. After her dinner, Cleopatra, taking a writing-tablet already written upon and sealed, sent (it) to Caesar, and, sending away (all) the others except her faithful women, she closed the doors. And Caesar opening the tablet, when he found prayers and lamentations, (she) asking that she should be buried with Antony, he quickly understood what had been done. To begin with he set out himself to bring assistance, but then he sent men in order to investigate as quickly as possible. But swift suffering had occurred. For, coming at a run and finding that the guards had perceived nothing, opening the doors, they found her lying dead on a golden couch arrayed as a queen. Of her women, one was trying to adjust the diadem around her head. When someone said (lit. someone saying) to her in anger, “(This is) a fine thing” she said, “It is indeed a very fine thing and befitting the descendant of so many kings.” She said nothing more but fell there by the side of the couch. It is said that the asp was brought in with those figs and was hidden by the leaves above (them).” by Plutarch