Course: Introduction to Roman History Instructor: Michel Cottier
13. Second Triumvirate and last days of the Republic
Cf. CHAPTER XVII
SOURCES TO READ:
- No. 78 (pp. 55-58; on Augustus's behaviour) = Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars: Augustus 62-63 and 69.
PLACES NAMES AND OTHER GEOGRAPHICAL DETAILS TO BE ABLE TO LOCALIZE ON A MAP:
IMAGE 1 (= map on p. 89 of your textbook): Misenum (city of Campania near Naples); Brundisium (city in
Calabria); Philippi (city of Macedonia); Tarsos/Tarsus (city in Cilicia).
A. THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS:
1. [IMAGE 2] MARK ANTONY (Marcus Antonius; 83-30 BC), eldest son of Julia (a second cousin of CAESAR),
and Marcus Antonius, who fought successfully against the Cilician pirates between 102 and 100 and became consul
in 99 BC.
[IMAGE 3] One of CAESAR's lieutenants in Gaul from 54 to 50, he was quaestor in 51 and tribune of the people in
49. He took part in the fighting in Italy and was left in charge of the peninsula during CAESAR's Spanish campaign.
In 48 he commanded CAESAR's left wing at Pharsalos/Pharsalus and became CAESAR's 'magister equitum' ('master
of the horse/cavalry' = the dictator's deputy) from that year to 47 BC. In 44 BC he was CAESAR's consular colleague
and would have held the governorship of Macedonia after his consulship.
2. [IMAGE 4] OCTAVIAN (Gaius Octavius => Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus in 44 BC => Imperator Caesar
Augustus in 27 BC; September 23, 63 BC - August 19, AD 14), son of Gaius Octavius, a member of the equestrian
order who became praetor in 61, but unfortunately died in 59 BC. His mother Atia was the daughter of CAESAR's
sister, Julia. When the dictator drew up his will in 45 BC, he adopted the 17-year old OCTAVIAN and made him his
[IMAGE 5] At the time of the death of CAESAR, OCTAVIAN was with the army in Epirus, waiting for the dictator
to arrive to launch his campaign against Parthia.
B. SUPPORTING PARTS (in order of appearance):
1. [IMAGE 6] BRUTUS (Marcus Iunius Brutus; c. 85-42 BC), son of Marcus Iunius Brutus who fought with
Sertorius in Spain, and was executed by Pompey in 77 BC. His mother, Servilia, had been CAESAR's lover for many
He became quaestor in 53 and, re-concilied with Pompey, joined the Republican cause in 49 BC. After
Pharsalos/Pharsalus he successfully begged CAESAR for pardon and, no doubt through Servilia's influence, became
one of his 'protégés'.
[IMAGE 7] Urban praetor in 44, he had been designated consul for 41 BC, and was supposed to take the
governorship of the island of Crete at the end of his praetorship.
2. [IMAGE 9] CASSIUS (Gaius Cassius Longinus; ?-42 BC). Quaestor in 54 and proquaestor under Crassus in 53
BC. He escaped from Carrhae and, after having gathered the remnants of the Roman army, successfully defended the
province of Syria against the Parthians and stayed in that province as proquaestor until 51 BC. Tribune of the people
in 49, he supported Pompey, but obtained his pardon after Pharsalos/Pharsalus. He was praetor in 44 BC, and was
supposed to take the governorship of Cyrenaica after his praetorship.
3. LEPIDUS (Marcus Aemilius Lepidus; ?-13 or 12 BC). As praetor in 49 he supported CAESAR, then governed
Hither (= 'Citerior') Spain from 48 to 47 BC. He was consul in 46 and CAESAR's 'magister equitum' from 46 to 44 BC. He replaced CAESAR as 'pontifex maximus' a few days after the death of the dictator, securing this position with
the help of MARK ANTONY. Then moved out of Rome to take his governorship of Gallia Narbonensis and
4. SEXTUS POMPEY (Sextus Pompeius Magnus; c. 67-36 BC), younger son of Pompey the Great. He accompanied
his father to Egypt in 48 and after his murder went to Africa. After Thapsos/Thapsus in 46 BC he joined his brother
Gnaius Pompeius Magnus in Spain, and won successes against CAESAR's governors in Further Spain.
5. AGRIPPA (Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; 64/63/62(?)-12 BC). Of obscure but probably well-to-do family, he was
the lifelong friend and right-hand man of OCTAVIAN, and probably also his best general.
6. [IMAGE 10] CLEOPATRA (Cleopatra VII; 69-30 BC), daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes ('the Flute-Player'). She
became queen in 51 BC on the death of her father, alone at first and subsequently with her younger brothers, first
Ptolemy XIII (who opposed CAESAR) and then, from 47 to 45 BC, with Ptolemy XIV. From 45 BC she reigned
jointly with her son, Ptolemy XV Caesar (nicknamed 'CAESARION', reputedly CAESAR's son).
CHRONOLOGY (*dates to remember; **events to remember**):
*43 BC: - [IMAGE 11] Battle of Mutina (21 April); both consuls (Aulus HIRTIUS and Gaius Vibius PANSA) are
- OCTAVIAN formerly accepts CAESAR's legacy (8 May).
- OCTAVIAN seizes the consulship by force together with his uncle, Quintus Pedius (19 August).
- **Meeting of MARK ANTONY, LEPIDUS and OCTAVIAN near Bononia (modern Bologna) in October and
beginning of the Second Triumvirate aimed at 'the restoration of the Roman state'**; this aim/goal is confirmed by a
plebiscite, the 'lex Titia', on November 27.
- OCTAVIAN marries Claudia, daughter of Publius CLODIUS and FULVIA (widow of, first, CLODIUS [who died
in 52], and then Gaius Scribonius CURIO [who died in 49]; since 47 or 46 she has been the wife of LUCIUS
ANTONIUS, brother of MARK ANTONY).
- Proscriptions at Rome (130 senators and 2,000 knights are executed) => murder of CICERO (7 Dece