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The Second Triumvirate
43BC-36BC

MAIN POINTS:

1. Octavian attempts to secure his inheritance
2. Octavian’s Temporary Collaboration with the republicans 3. Octavian’s first consulship
4. Octavian and Anthony join forces
5. Creation of the Second Triumvirate
6. Formation of a body to run the state
7. Beat the liberators
8. Then, divided the empire, Anthony the West and Octavian the East 9. However, tensions quickly arising

Octavian attempts to secure his inheritance

* Octavian was in Macedonia at the time of Caesar’s assassination and did not learn of his inheritance till his return to Rome. * Despite his parents’ opposition, Octavian decided to agree to the inheritance and also took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. * He now had two aims:

* Avenge his father’s death
* Prove worthy of such a father and even surpass his achievements. * As he moved through Italy to Rome, Caesar’s friends and legions welcomed the young man. * Octavian did not expect the hostile reception from his father’s best friend, Marc Antony. This was shown in two ways: * Antony attempted to block his adoption

* Refused to hand over Caesar’s money
* Octavian was obliged to honour Caesar’s will and borrowed and sold his property to ensure he could pay 75 denarii to each person as instructed by Caesar. This won him great popularity. * He followed this up with games at his won expense. During these games a comet was seen and the common people believed that this according to Octavian’s memoirs ‘signified the soul of Caesar being received into the divinities of the immortal gods.’ His name was now connected to Caesar and added to his prestige.

Octavian’s Temporary Collaboration with the republicans

The political situation in Rome at this time was extremely unstable

* Antony threatened the state due to his attack of Decimus Brutus at Mutina, and Cicero urged active support of Brutus. * The senate had NO legions in Italy
* But Octavian at his own expense and with Caesar’s veterans had collected a number of legions. In fact, two of Antony’s legions in Macedonia had gone over to Octavian. * Cicero who had indicated a lack of trust for Octavian when original returned to Rome now praised him. * He urged the senate to give Octavian propraetorian powers in order to assist the two consul Hiritius and Pansa against Antony. * Cicero attempts to use Octavian to keep the traditions of the republic, even overlooking Octavian’s illegal actions. * Brutus was upset by Cicero’s actions even though they were in the interests of the republic. As Octavian would later comment in his Res Gestae, he announced that the imperium he would get by Cicero would change his life, as he was to never give it up till his death. * The senate ordered Antony to give up the Cisalpine Gaul, when he refused the consuls and Octavian marched against him. Antony was soundly defeated and fled to Transalpine Gaul. Both consuls were killed which left Octavian as sole commander.

Octavian’s first consulship

* The senate and Cicero had made a huge mistake!
* They were free of the immediate threat of Antony, whom they declared a public enemy; they now attempted to discard Octavian. * They awarded Decimus Brutus a triumph and appointed him commander of the forces against Antony. * Plus, they gave supreme command of the eastern provinces to M. Brutus and Crassus, Caesar’s murderers. * Antony’s position had been strengthened by the support of Lepidus, the commander from Spain and Gaul. * Realising that if he supported the republicans he would not be able to gain revenge for his father’s death, he refused to surrender his legions. * He wanted to be consul. An outrageous claim, as he was only 20! Thus Cicero vigorous argued against him. * The senate and Cicero continued to refuse Octavian’s demand. So he sent 400 troops to demand...
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