Marcus Antonius (January 14, 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Marc Antony was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar. He was a boss encountered in the circle of Lust.
Marcus Antonius was born in Rome as a member of the Antonia family. His father died on a campaign when Antony was still young, and his stepfather was executed on the orders of the rhetorician Cicero, whom Antony would regard as his lifelong enemy. As such Antony had a very wild, licentious youth, becoming a member of the plebeian gang-armies of Publius Clodius Pulcher (Pulcher's wife at the time, Fulvia, would later become Antony's third wife).
His military career began in 57 B.C. when he, at last, joined the Roman militia under the Syrian proconsul, Aulus Gabinius. During a military campaign to restore the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes to his throne after it was seized by his elder daughters, Antony was said to have first met the pharaoh's third daughter: the future Queen Cleopatra VII Philopater. Although considered to be a grown woman by the standards of the time at age 14, she and Antony were no more than acquaintances at this time, as Cleopatra's father arranged for her to marry her own younger brother, Ptolemy XIII.
Antony became a supporter of Julius Caesar through Clodius Pulcher, with whom he participated in the Gallic Wars. Caesar had such confidence in Antony that he became Caesar's unofficial representative in Rome, and the protector of the future Dictator's interests therein.
Caesar's assassination on March 15, 44 B.C. dramatically altered the political atmosphere of Rome forever. Antony benefited greatly from the death of the Dictator. Despite Octavian being named Caesar's official heir, with the aid of Caesar's widow Calpurnia, Antony and his wife established themselves as the absolute power in Rome. They manipulated the remnants of the Senate into giving them power over the law-making process of the Republic, essentially making them the most powerful citizens of Rome.
Antony became a member of the second Triumvirate ruling Rome and its territories. In this capacity, he was finally able to avenge himself on Cicero, who continued to harass Antony and Fulvia for years. Antony added Cicero to the list of proscriptions, which called for the execution of those who were seen as enemies of Rome. Cicero was hunted down and beheaded. Fulvia stabbed the dead man's tongue with her golden hairpins for all of the abusive words that Cicero used against her and Antony. The general was later given governorship of Syria and the Eastern territories, but he needed military aid to secure his claim. As such Antony petitioned Cleopatra for help. Upon their reunion, Antony replaced Caesar as the Egyptian queen's lover.
After Fulvia instigated a war in Rome and later died in exile without her husband, in light of their personal quarrels Octavian and Antony formally made peace. The alliance was cemented by Antony's marriage to Octavian's sister. However, the general's passion for Cleopatra proved stronger than peace treaties and he abandoned his wife to return to the Egyptian queen (Cleopatra might have even become his fifth wife). The furious Octavian declared war on the lovers for what he deemed a betrayal of Rome.
The couple met Octavian's forces in 31 B.C. at the Battle of Actium. The campaign proved to be a disaster for Antony and Cleopatra, who were separated during the fight; their navy was obliterated by the Romans. Having destroyed all opposition, Octavian invaded Egypt. Antony waited to receive news about his lover and was devastated when he was told that she had died. In despair Antony fatally stabbed himself with his own sword, minutes before he was told the news that Cleopatra was actually alive. He was brought to the side of his beloved Egyptian queen, where he died from his wounds. His children by Cleopatra were later adopted by his former fourth wife.
Dante's Inferno Edit
Antony resided in the second circle for his sins of Lust inside his lover, Cleopatra. He carried a sword and shield and wore armor made of golden hands and fingers that were grafted to his skin. Parts of the armor formed claws that pulled on his lips and eyelids, forcing them open. He wore a belt with phallus-shaped tendrils dangling from it and had a large scarab shaped belt codpiece. He asked Cleopatra to give him Dante as an opponent and she let him fight. Sometimes she aided him whenever he was low on health. After Antony was defeated he said to Cleopatra that she said that they would be together for all eternity. After he dies, Cleopatra attempted to seduce Dante, only to end up impaled by Dante's scythe.
- In "The Inferno", Dante places Marc Antony's soul, along with Cleopatra's, in the second circle of Hell, for their sins of lust.
- Antony's shield resembles a scutum and bears the symbol of the Roman Republic, and his sword is an oversized Gladius, weapons famous for equipping the ancient Roman military. In the point of view of Dante, an Italian crusader of the Middle Ages, these weapons are already considered obsolete and outdated.
- Antony's former wife Fulvia is also in Hell as a Damned Soul.
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