The Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was a battle that took place during the time of the Roman civil war (32-30 B.C.) between Marc Antony and Octavian. This was fought on the day of September 2, 31BC in the Ionian Sea, more specifically in the Gulf of Ambracia. After the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Rome was in need of a leader. Octavian was named the heir in his will, but Marc Antony was the one who took over and handled all of his papers and legions. Neither of these two men were capable, so they joined the Second Triumvirate with Lepidus, a respectable general. On individual terms, they were persuading senators and generals to join their side. One thing led to another, eventually leaving control of the Western provinces to Octavian, and the East to Marc Antony. Shortly after this, Antony marries the sister of Octavian, Octavia. This begins an uneasy truce between the two even though they once worked as a team in defeating Brutus and Cassius at the battle of Philippi in 42 BC. Once Marc took over the Western provinces he began his relationship with Cleopatra VII, Queen of Ptolemaic. He openly lived with her/married her while he was still married to his Roman wife, Octavia. Antony didn’t divorce her immediately either. The Romans resented his actions, causing his overall support to decrease. Octavian decides to get involved by reading an alleged copy of Antony’s will which supposedly gave the majority of his power to Cleopatra’s children. Whether this will was authentic or not is something we still don’t know. Still, the senate had no other choice but to declare war on to Marc Antony and Cleopatra.
Before the battle, Marc Antony took his fleet along with Cleopatra’s to the West coast of Ambracia (west coast of Greece) to guard it. Octavian, on the other hand, was situated on the shore of the Gulf across the Actium Promontory (hence, battle of Actium). A few battles were fought here and there along the coast....
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