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CLST 201 Lecture Notes - Ambracian Gulf, Octavians, Pontifex Maximus

Classical Studies
Course Code
CLST 201

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Sextus is an ass, doesn’t end the naval blockade, despite agreement.
37 Treaty of Terentum. Renewal of Triumvirate.
Octavian got all of West, Antony got the East. Their rivalry was getting intense, despite Antony
marrying Octavia, sister of Octavian. This tension finally culminated in 31.
37 Antony gets back together with Cleo (they had been together in 41, in 40, Cleo bore twins
for Antony). Antony publically went through a ceremony with Cleo in Antioch, sort of a
marriage. Octavian disapproves.
36 Ptolemy Philadelphus, son of Antony and Cleo born.
36 Naval battle off Naulochus, Agrippa defeated Sextus. Sextus fled to Asia Minor, killed in
Lepidus stripped of power, only kept Pontifex Maximus. Died in 12.
36 Octavian given tribunal sacrosanctity. Began building up his support up, got lots of
followers, ingratiating himself in general.
Antony headed to Syria, tried to invade Parthia against the advice of Cleopatra. Tried to march
through Armenia, but the disloyal Armenian King, ARTAVASDES withdrew his support at a
critical juncture, allowing the Parthians to destroy the Roman siege engines and food supplies.
Antony was forced to retreat, but 20,000 men still died. His reputation was severely damaged.
His dignitas (prestige) was somewhat restored in 34 when he occupied Armenia and took
Artavasdes to Egypt, where he celebrated a triumph.
Antony refused Octavia permission to accompany him in the east. Basically just openly refused
Octavian’s loyalty. Cleo was way richer. In return, Cleo planned to extend her empire. Antony
and Cleopatra pretended to be DIONYSUS and APHRODITE for the Greeks, OSIRIS and ISIS
for the Egyptians.
Antony was increasingly replying on Cleopatra for financial resources.
34 In a ceremony, “Donations of Alexandria,” Antony declared Cleopatra the “Queen of
Kings.” She was ruler of Egypt, Cyprus, Crete, and part of Syria.
He formally recognized Ptolemy Caesarion as true heir of Caesar, basically disacknowledging
Octavian. Named him King of Kings, ruler with Cleo.
Alexander Helios (6 yo) King of Armenia, Media, and Parthia.
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Ptolemy Philadelphus (2 yo) King of Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia.
Cleopatra Selene (6 yo) Queen of Cyrene.
Octavian pissed: unpatriotic donation of the Eastern provinces to a foreign Queen.
Triumvirate formally ended in 33. Antony had support of both 32 consuls, and was tribune elect
in 31. Wrote to consuls in 32, asking for approval of all his grants of the Kingdoms to the East.
They were afraid of public outcry, did not reveal contents of letter.
Consuls spoke against Octavian; Octavian appeared in Senate with an armed body guard. Both
consuls and over 300 senators fled to Antony, who was in Ephesus, Asia minor. He and Cleo had
wintered there in fall 33 - 32.
Late 32: Cleo’s power at its zenith. Antony publically divorced Octavia; basically a declaration
of war against Octavian. Octavian then published what he claimed was Antony’s will, which
included lots of stuff to his Egyptian family. All the western provinces and Italy allied with
Octavian, angry at Antony’s lack of Rome-ness.
Octavian stripped Antony of his imperium, reassigned consulship of 31 so Antony wouldn’t get
32 - Octavian declares BELLUM IUSTUM, a justified war, against Cleopatra. Focuses on how
he is attacking Cleo, a foreign enemy, downplays how he is attacking Antony/causing a civil
32 Ant and Cleo mobilize their 90,000 soldiers and fleet of warships, sail to Greece. Set up
camp in ACTIUM on the Ambracian Gulf. Antony has a really nice position, fortress on each
side of a small inlet, protected gulf for his fleet.
Soldiers annoyed Cleo was present in person, but couldn’t really do anything about it because
she was financing the whole thing.
31 Octavian and general Agrippa sail east with their navy, roughly equal number of soldiers.
31 Battle of Actium one of the most famous battles in Roman history.
Agrippa, Rome’s greatest naval tactician, responsible for defeating Pompey off Sicily in 36.
Now, in 31, successfully blockaded Antony’s fleet at Actium. Octavian’s army cut off Antony’s
supplies by setting up locations at strategic places on land (blockade on land). That’s basically
the problem with Antony’s location.
Antony’s troops suffered severe famine and an outbreak of plague in summer of 31. Things are
looking pretty shitty for him. Cleo’s presence also lowered morale. Increasing number of
desertions to Octavian. Antony had to break the blockade and retreat to Asia Minor, or stand and
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