| children =
* Antonia Prima
* Marcus Antonius Antyllus
* Iullus Antonius
* Antonia Major
* Antonia Minor
* Alexander Helios
* Cleopatra Selene II
* Ptolemy Philadelphus (Cleopatra)
| birth_date = 14 January 83 BC
| birth_place = Rome, Roman Republic
| death_date = 1 August 30 BC (aged 53)
| death_place = Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt
| religion = Roman Paganism
| allegiance = 25px Roman Republic
| branch = Roman Army
| serviceyears = 54–30 BC
| rank = Proconsul
| commands =
| battles =
* Gallic Wars
* Caesar's Civil War
* Post-Caesarian Civil War
* Liberators' civil war
* Battle of Philippi
* Roman–Parthian Wars
* Final Roman Civil War
* Battle of Actium
Marcus Antonius (Latin: ; January 14, August 1, 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark or Marc Antony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.
Relations among the Triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Defeated, Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.
With Antony dead, Octavian was the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, he was granted the title of ''Augustus,'' marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.
A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on January 14, 83 BC.〔Plutarch, ''Life of Antony'' (86.5. )〕〔Suerbaum 1980, 327–334.〕 His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the same name who had been murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC.〔Huzar 1978, p. 14〕 His mother was Julia Antonia, a distant cousin of Julius Caesar. Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla's march on Rome in 82 BC.〔Goldsworthy, 2010, pg 39〕
According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antony's father was incompetent and corrupt, and was only given power because he was incapable of using or abusing it effectively.〔Huzar 1978, p. 15〕 In 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress.〔〔〔Scullard 1980, p. 154〕 The elder Antony's death left Antony and his brothers, Lucius and Gaius, in the care of their mother, Julia, who later married Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, an eminent member of the old Patrician nobility.〔Huzar 1978, p. 17〕 Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was constantly in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle. He was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement.〔Huzar 1978, p. 17〕 His death resulted in a feud between the Antonia and the famous orator.
Antony's early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling, drinking, and becoming involved in scandalous love affairs.〔 According to Cicero, he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio.〔Eyben 1993, p. 236〕 There is little reliable information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher and his street gang.〔Eyben 1993, p. 58〕 He may also have been involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order later in life.〔Huzar 1978, p. 25〕 By age twenty, Antony had amassed an enormous debt. Hoping to escape his creditors, Antony fled to Greece in 58 BC, where he studied philosophy and rhetoric at Athens.
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