History of the Battle of Actium in Ancient Greece
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It’s true that the Battle of Actium is usually considered from a Roman perspective, especially since many view it as one of the most important battles in Roman history. Ultimately, it resulted in a Roman victory. However, what about the other side? In this case, the “other side” represented the Ancient Greeks since Actium was part of Greece at the time. In other words, Ancient Greece lost the battle and the aftermath is that Ancient Greece officially fell under Roman control. Here’s more information:
Background of the Battle
After Julias Ceasar was assassinated in 44 BC, this left Rome in chaos because of the power struggle his assassination created. The feeling of chaos was made worse because Ceasar’s death managed to spark a revolution that ultimately led to the suicide of the two leaders who orchestrated Ceasar’s death, Brutus and Cassius. Eventually, this lead to several Roman forces occupying in various parts of the world. Mark Antony and his forces occupying Greece, Marcus Lepidus had forces in Egypt, and Octavian maintained power in Rome. The three had an alliance known as the Second Triumvirate.
Marc Antony Thought to Be a Separatist Leader
Over time, the alliance began to break down, especially since Octavian began to view certain things as threats to his power. Marc Antony ultimately fell in love with Cleopatra and he abandoned his life to be with her. He moved to Egypt permanently. Octavian became suspicious of the pair, especially since Marc Antony abandoned his wife Octavian Minor, who was also Octavian’s sister. Marc Antony began to be perceived as a separatist leader who didn’t want to keep the Kingdom of Rome intact.
Octavian and Antony’s Relationship Breaks Down
This was an unacceptable collaboration for Octavian, as Cleopatra was also mother to Caesar’s only direct lineage son who could ascend to power in both Rome and Egypt. He was assigned a certain amount of power by Cleopatra in 34 B.C. shortly before Antony’s consul appointment rejection. Octavian had assumed power over Rome in 44 B.C. as the only known son of Julius Caesar, even though he technically was a nephew. In addition,
Octavian also inherited all of Caesar’s massive wealth, which was a cache that Caesarion could also potentially claim as well. While the future of Rome was at stake, also was Octavian’s grip on power and wealth.
Marc Antony Lost the Battle
The Battle of Actium is generally considered the point where the Roman Republic began its changeover to the Roman Empire, as Octavian was promoted to the rank of Augustus and made Emperor of Rome after defeating all opposing factions. It also marks the end of Greek control over the region. Octavian had assumed power following the death of Caesar, claiming to be the “first citizen” of Rome and declaring that it would remain a republic responsible to the will of the people and the longevity of the Roman civilization. He ascended to emperor in 27 B.C. shortly after the Battle of Actium with the Common Era being established less than thirty years later after Roman conquering of both Egypt and Greece.
Sure, this battle is considered to be important from a Roman perspective because it officially changed them from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. The unfortunate repercussion of this is that Ancient Greece was now under Roman control.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston