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Lecture 17

Lecture 17: Octavian and the Second Triumvirate

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Glenn Wilkinson

Octavian and the Second Triumvirate Caesar’s will and the Rise of Octavian  Caesar’s death unleashed 15 years of civil turmoil  Lepidus o Caesar’s closest associates were the populares o One of his associates was Lepidus, Caesar had named him master of the horse – magister equitum, effectively his deputy in dictatorship o Lepidus, after Caesar’s death, took Caesar’s position of pontifex maximus  Mark Antony (Co-consul with Caesar in 44 BCE) o Caesar’s right-hand man, Mark Antony was co-consul during Caesar’s death o Antony seemed the most likely to take Caesar’s position but faced opposition immediately o Caesar wrote his will before his death  Gave land and money to the people  Gave gifts to officials, even his assassins  Adopted his great grandnephew Octavian as his heir and son o The will and its contents were of great annoyance to Antony o Octavian was to execute Caesar’s will with the popularity attached to it  Octavian o Octavian’s mother was Caesar’s niece o Octavian at 17 served in Spain under Caesar o At 18, Octavian went to Rome following Caesar’s death, unaware of the contents of Caesar’s will o People advised Octavian not to take up the position as Caesar’s heir but he did so nonetheless, showing his ambition Conflict Between Mark Antony and Octavian (44-43 BCE)  Antony’s Annoyance and his Siege of Mutina o Antony refused to release Caesar’s property to Octavian and Octavian had sold all of his property, making Antony look petty o Octavian was popular with the military and raise his own personal army o Octavian was also popular with the senators while Antony was disliked for being Caesar’s right-hand man o In 44, Antony decided to leave Rome on a campaign but the governor of Gaul refused him imperium o Antony then began to besiege the governor at Mutina o This painted Antony as a revolutionary  Cicero’s Philippics o Cicero’s Philippics were speeches that attacked Antony and praised Octavian o What Cicero wanted most was to get rid of Antony and use Octavian and restore the republic o Cicero succeeded and the senate the declared Antony a public enemy and gave Octavian imperium  Octavian and the Two Consuls attack Antony at Mutina o Octavian and two consuls of that year attacked Antony at Mutina and Antony was defeated but Antony fled and escaped o During the battle the two consuls died and Octavian wanted to fill the position of consul o The senate refused but Octavian
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