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Lecture 17

Lecture 17 Octavian and the Second Triumvirate

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Glenn Wilkinson

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Lecture 17 (October 25) Octavian and the Second Triumvirate 1. Caesar’s will and the rise of Octavian (later Augustus) a. Lepidus (magister equitum; pontifex maximus) b. Mark Antony (co-consul with Caesar in 44 A.D.) c. Octavian 2. Conflict between Mark Antony and Octavian (44-43 A.D.) a. Antony’s annoyance and his siege of Mutina (Modena) b. Cicero’s Philippics c. Octavian and the two consuls attack Antony at Mutina 3. Formation of the Second Triumvirate (Antony, Octavian, Lepidus( in 43 A.D. 4. The fate of Brutus and Cassius (44-42 A.D.); Battle of Philippi 5. More conflit between Antony and Octavian (41-40 A.D.) 6. Pompey Jr. (defeated 36 A.D.) Caesar's will and the rise of Octavian - Caesar was more of a symptom than a cause for the crumbling of the Republic - Lepidus (magister equitum; pontifex maximus) • His closest associates were in the strongest position (since they were for the people); one was Lepidus, son of Lepidus who made the failed march on Rome in 77BC • He was the magister equituum – master of the horse/cavalry; second in command to a dictator • He went to fill the role of pontifex maximus once Caesar died; a life-long office held by one Senator, held by Caesar before • He took command of the legions in Gaul and Spain • Positioning himself to take a leading role in what was to come next - Mark Antony (co-consul with Caesar in 44 A.D.) • Long-time supporter of Caesar; right hand man in the battle of Farsalus; was magister equituum before Lepidus, and co-consul with Caesar when he was assassinated • He had the best chance of taking over for Caesar • But he faced an immediate obstacle; before Caesar died he made a will and gave it to the Vestal Virgins • It was produced and read aloud after his death; it provided detailed instructions about his heir and his property: he left private land, and a large amount of money to the people of Rome, every Roman citizen would get a chunk of money, made him even more popular; he bequeathed gifts to leading members of the society, including some of his assassins (increasing the ill will against his assassins by the people) • He adopted his grand-nephew Octavian and made him his heir (testamentary adoption – adopting them in his will), because he did not have a male heir of his own (only Caesarian, with Cleopatra) • This was a great annoyance to Mark Antony since he was going to take on after Caesar, but now a young nobody was going to take over • Octavian would also be the one to give out the money, since he was heir - Octavian • His mother was Caesar's niece, and his father had been a New Man • Father died while still an infant • At 17 he served under Caesar in the civil war, in Spain • At the time of his assassination, Octavian was only 18 and not fully educated • When he heard of his death he abandoned his studying in Greece and went to Rome (not aware of Caesar's will) • He could have rejected the will, but he accepted and changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus • The very fact that he accepted this role (many were trying to dissuade him) made note that he was ambitious since a very young age Conflict between Mark Antony and Octavian (44-43BC) - Antony's annoyance and his siege of Mutina (Modena) • Undermined Antony's position; he originally refused to give Octavian the land of Caesar; Octavian in a press move genius sold all his land and gave the appropriate money to the people • Further increasing his love with the people • Made Antony look petty • The soldiers were immensely loyal to Caesar, so they moved their loyalty to his heir; he started raising his own personal army (without the approval of the Senate) • Octavian was also winning the support of many of the Senators; since he was a pleasant person • Antony was not very welcomed with the optimates since they saw him as an enemy of the Republic • Cicero was considered the conscious of the Republic • Antony was so annoyed that he left (44 A.D.), arranged for himself to get command in Gaul) • Governor of Gaul refused to give up control though – a relative of Brutus (Caesar's assassin) – therefore a natural enemy of Antony • Mark attacked him, laying siege to where the governor was held up; the city of Mutina in Cisalpine Gaul • Gave the proRepublic Senators as a revolutionist, trying to start another civil war; led by Cicero who gave speaches against him the Philippics - Cicero's Philippics • 14, given 2 per month by Cicero; from Sept. 44 A.D. to April 43 A.D. • Page after page of verbal abuse against Antony (his drunkenness, his violence) • He was also praising Octavian at the same time • He was urging the Senate to recognize Octavian's new status, since he is the most influential person even though having no offices • Possible that Cicero was trying to use Octavian's influence; his dream was to get rid of Antony and restore the old Republic • He was seriously mistaken to think he could control Octavian, more like Octavian was using Cicero more than the other way • Cicero succeed in making the Senate declare Mark Antony a public enemy and give Octavian imperium, sending him with both consuls to attack Antony in Mutina - Octavian and the two consuls attack Antony at Mutina • They defeat him in April 4 A.D. • Antony escapes, and flees to Gaul – where Lepidus was (forming an alliance
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