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The Rise of the Roman Empire. Lifelong Learning Academy Daniel Stephens. Topics. The Death of Pompey Caesar and Cleopatra Death of Cato Caesar forgives Caesar straightens out Rome Dictator Perpetuus Marcus Junius Brutus The Ides of March Et Tu Brute? Caesar’s Funeral. Mark Antony

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the rise of the roman empire

The Rise of the Roman Empire

Lifelong Learning Academy

Daniel Stephens

  • The Death of Pompey
  • Caesar and Cleopatra
  • Death of Cato
  • Caesar forgives
  • Caesar straightens out Rome
  • Dictator Perpetuus
  • Marcus Junius Brutus
  • The Ides of March
  • Et Tu Brute?
  • Caesar’s Funeral
  • Mark Antony
  • Gaius Octavius
  • The Second Triumvirate
  • Rome’s Second Purge
  • The Death of Cicero
  • The Battle of Philippi
  • The Triumvirate falls apart
  • Anthony and Cleopatra
  • The Second Civil War
  • Actium
  • The Death of Anthony and Cleopatra
  • Augustus Julius Caesar, Imperator
pompey flees to egypt
Pompey Flees to Egypt
  • After Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus, he would flee to Egypt seeking refuge amongst the Ptolemys who were sympathetic to Rome.
  • Upon his arrival Pompey would be denied entrance while Ptolemy the XIII would consider his options.
  • Ptolemy would choose Caesars side and hoping to win his favor sent his two Greek ministers, Pothinus and Achillas to murder him.
  • Pompey was given word that he would be able to land and get asylum in Egypt.
  • Upon his landing Pothinus and Achillas would stab Pompey and decapitate him.
  • Ptolemy would then await Caesar’s arrival to present him with a gift.
caesar sorts out egypt
Caesar Sorts out Egypt
  • Upon his arrival Caesar is presented with Pompey’s head, which was the last thing he wanted to happen.
  • Caesar had hoped to reconcile with Pompey and restore power to the Republic.
  • Caesar ordered Pompey’s murders killed and he would then depose Ptolemy XIII from his throne in favor of his younger brother Ptolemy XIV.
  • Ptolemy XIII would send and army against Caesars small garrison force and is drowned in the Nile during his attack.
  • Now the child Ptolemy XIV would rule Egypt but in reality his older Sister/Wife Cleopatra VII would hold the reigns of power.
cleopatra offers herself to caesar
Cleopatra offers herself to Caesar
  • When Caesar arrived in Egypt, the country was involved in a huge civil dispute.
  • Ptolemy XIII with his Greek counselors wanted sole rule, but Cleopatra who was older wanted the power for herself.
  • One nigh several servants delivered a rug to Caesars quarters, inside was a very naked Cleopatra, who offered herself to Caesar if he made her Queen of Egypt.
  • Reluctant at first to get involved with a civil war Caesar refused, but then eventually gave into Cleopatra’s charms.
  • With the death of Ptolemy XIII and her marriage to Ptolemy XIV, Cleopatra set herself as undisputed ruler of Egypt.
  • Also having a child by Caesar cemented Rome’s support for anything she did.
veni vidi vici
Veni, Vidi, Vici
  • After a time in Egypt Caesar would head east to sort out a issue with Pharnaces the son of Mithridates of Pontus.
  • Pharnaces had sided with Pompey and went into open revolt against Rome.
  • Caesar moved his legions quickly into Pontus and in a five day war quickly crushed the forces of Pharnaces.
  • He would later write the words Veni, Vidi Vici to sum up the entire campaign.
thapsus and the death of cato
Thapsus and the death of Cato
  • Caesar not finished would then turn and march into North Africa and assault the stronghold of Pompey supporters at Thapsus.
  • A brutal battle would ensue and the force would eventually surrender.
  • Caesars most die-hard enemy Marcus Porcius Cato would kill himself rather than be pardoned and ruled by Caesar.
  • Cato like his namesake was a die-hard stoic and champion of Roman virtue and staunch optimates.
caesar restores order
Caesar restores order
  • Caesar’s victory over the forces of Pompey were now complete he had put out several rebellions and quelled most of the opposition in the provinces.
  • Now Caesar would return to Rome.
  • Upon his return he made it clear that he was not Marius or Sulla and that there would be no purges.
  • He gave clemency to all those who had supported Pompey and pardoned all that Pompey had exiled.
  • Caesar even pardoned Cicero and allowed to return to Rome.
caesar s reforms
Caesar’s reforms
  • He would go on to cut the grain dole in half eliminating the idle troublemakers, then he shipped those who no longer qualified to colonies overseas.
  • He would confiscate land from cities that were loyal to Pompey and dole out property overseas for his veterans.
  • He established Roman colonies in Gaul and Iberia , as well as Corinth.
  • He would give full Latin status to allies, soldiers and cities that supported him overseas.
  • He would admit Italians and Gauls into the Senate.
  • He would improve the roads and start a project to improve the appearance of Rome.
  • He would cut taxes and reform tax laws in the provinces.
  • He would host games and Triumphs and won over the people of Rome
  • He would re-organize the Roman calendar and add in the month of July named after him.
caesar s triumph
Caesar’s Triumph
  • Caesar would now organize and finally receive his Triumphal march through Rome.
  • The Triumph would harken back to the days of the early republic when conquering Consuls would parade down Rome’s main avenue.
  • The Triumph would display the riches that the conqueror would have won or plundered.
  • The prisoners, usually the most fierce warriors and leaders would be paraded in chains through the streets.
  • Also on parade would be any unusual animals taken from the conquered province.
  • Then would come the victorious legions .
  • Finally the General or Consul would come in a chariot pulled by exotic animals or pure-bread stallions with a slave who would hold a laurel over their heads whispering “Remember thou art mortal.”
  • The Triumph would end at the Forum, were the Conqueror would enter the temple of Jupiter and Mars and pay their homage.
  • All of the Prisoners would be taken and strangled to death as a sacrifice to the gods.
the people hail a king
The People Hail a King
  • Caesars popularity would continue to grow and the senate would first grant him the status of Dictator for ten years.
  • Later as Caesar continue to rise in power the tribune of the Plebs Mark Anthony would push and make Caesar Dictator Perpetuus.
  • These moves would incense a growing opposition against Caesar’s rule.
  • The leaders of this opposition would be headed by Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus, and would move to expose Caesar’s weaknesses and his possible desire to be King!
  • This would further continue to fester and turn into a plot to murder Caesar.
caesars maladies
Caesars Maladies
  • Julius Caesar was Perhapse one of the most famous people in history.
  • He ended the Republic and laid the foundations of the Roman Empire.
  • …but, Caesar was still human and still had all the frailties and weaknesses that everyone possesses.
  • By the end of Caesars life (54) he was not in good health. He suffered primarily from epilepsy and had stomach issues.
  • Caesar was not prone to grand mal seizures, but more than likely suffered petite mal epilepsy. These seizures were becoming more and more frequent.
  • He would also suffer from frequent stomach issues, unable to eat, bouts of diarrhea. One attack happened while he was accepting accolades from the Senate at the temple of Venus and could not stand. This was viewed by his enemies as a severe slight.
  • Caesars main weakness would be women. He would take on many mistresses in his life, many of them were either married or related to most of his chief rivals.
marcus junius brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus
  • Descended from Lucius Brutus, it was rumored that Brutus could have been the illegitimate child of Caesar.
  • Brutus would side with Pompey during the civil war, believing Pompey had the best interest of the Republic, even though Pompey had killed Brutus’s father.
  • After Pharsalus Caesar forgave Brutus and gave him money power and position within the Roman Senate.
  • Gaius Crassus, another survivor of Pharsalus convinced Brutus that Caesar desired to be king.
  • Several portents and omens began pointing to this in Brutus’s mind and a plot to kill Caesar was hatched.
roman omens
Roman Omens
  • Roman’s believed that omens were portents that the gods sent us to foretell future events.
  • Caesar parading a statue of himself through the forum and the temples foretold his desire to be king.
  • Caesar would wave away crowns presented to him. When the crowd would call for him to be king Caesar would reply “I do not need a crown, I am Caesar.”
  • Caesar would then begin to receive his own omens of impending doom.
  • He went to sacrifice an animal in March, which turned out to have no heart. He then visited a soothsayer who told him to “beware the ides of March.”
the plot to kill caesar
The Plot to Kill Caesar
  • The conspirators had to act quickly.
  • Caesar had planned a military expedition to Parthia and leave on March the 18th.
  • He had dismissed his bodyguards, because he started to believe he was invincible.
  • Caesar supporters then cast the final straw when the circulated the prophecy that only a Roman king could defeat Parthia.
  • The conspirators gathered together and picked March 15th the day Caesar would address the Senate.
  • Crassus wanted to also kill Mark Antony, but Brutus refused.
the ides of march
The Ides of March
  • On the morning of March 15th Caesar, disturbed by a dream, reluctantly headed to the Forum.
  • Along the way a Greek slave passed Caesar a note, which informed him of the plot, but he did not read it.
  • As he made his way through the Forum and into the Senate several Senators that were his supporters stopped him, they were part of the plot.
  • Caesar would be attacked by the Senators then more would run in and stab him. Supposedly Caesar would look up and see Brutus and say Kai su tekon later Shakespeare would change it to Et tu Brute.
  • The attack was so viscous that many of the Senators had stab wounds including Brutus who had been slashed across the wrist.
  • When Caesars body was found the note that warned him of his death was still clutched in his hands un-opened.
caesar s funeral
Caesar’s Funeral
  • Mark Anthony immediately fled the Forum and sought refuge in the temple district.
  • The conspirators led by Brutus found him and assured him that if he obeyed them he would be spared.
  • The following evening Mark Antony with the permission of the conspirators brought Caesars body to the Forum for public viewing.
  • Brutus and Crassus gave speeches about how Caesar had desired to be king and that they killed him to preserve the Republic.
  • Afterwards they left feeling they had accomplished what they set to do.
  • Mark Anthony would then read Caesar’s will and remind the crowd that Caesar only had their interest at heart.
  • Caesar had set in his will great allotments to be given to the people.
  • The Mob riled into a frenzy went out to hunt down the conspirators.
  • Crassus and Brutus fled the city for the provinces.
mark anthony takes over
Mark Anthony Takes Over
  • Mark Anthony to ease the tensions in Rome allows the Conspirators to escape.
  • He even grants Crassus and Brutus governorship of the provinces.
  • He abolished the dictatorship and gives land Caesar’s veterans, to keep them from marching on Rome.
  • Brutus and Crassus took exception to Anthony’s rule , but Anthony would threaten them and they fled east.
  • They would seize the assets that Caesar had put in place for his invasion of Parthia and prepare for the eventuality of Anthony’s reprisal.
  • Octavian, Caesar’s heir was in Spain at the time of the assassination. He would make his way back to Rome to claim his inheritance that Caesar left for him in his will.
mark antony
Mark Antony
  • 83-30BC, Mark Antony was born into the strife of the Marius/Sulla war, Mark Antony’s grandfather , a noted orator was killed during the Marian purges.
  • Antony’s father was a incompetent and corruptible politician, who Cicero described as someone who was give power because he was incapable of using it or abusing it effectively.
  • Antony would be sent to Greece then Syria were he would prove himself a effective leader of cavalry.
  • He would join Caesar in Gaul and become his friend and most able commander.
  • Antony would gain positions of authority, but usually rack up heavy gambling debts.
  • Once a magister he resulted to thug tactics to get what he wanted and Caesar would send him away for two years.
  • He would gain Cicero as a lifelong enemy, who would oppose him constantly in the Senate.
  • On the 15th of March 44BC, Antony had learned of the conspiracy and was on his way to warn Caesar when Caesar was assassinated.
  • After the turmoil of Caesar’s death Antony would ally himself with Octavian and a fellow powerful senator Lepidus to raise and army and bring down Brutus and Cassius.
gaius octavian
Gaius Octavian
  • 63BC-14AD, Gaius Octavian was the son of Atia a niece of Caesar’s.
  • Noted to have been plagued by several maladies in his youth like, irritable bowels, headaches, and skin rashes.
  • Octavian was elected to the college of Pontiffs when he was 16.
  • Several years later he asked to serve on Caesar’s staff in Africa but fell severely ill.
  • He would later he would travel to Iberia to join Caesar, but was shipwrecked.
  • He would cross enemy territory and Join Caesar. This impressed his uncle and Caesar would later name Octavian as his heir.
  • Upon Caesar’s death Octavian would change his name to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian.
  • He would begin to assume power as Antony’s actions would make him unpopular.
  • Octavian would first amass an army of Caesar’s veterans, then convince Cicero to back as he was elected Senator and a military tribuneship.
  • With Octavian’s new power he would force Antony into a Triumvirate whose purpose would be to hunt down Caesar’s killers.
the second triumvirate
The Second Triumvirate
  • The Triumvirate Marc Antony, Octavian and Lepidus would first send out a proscription of 300 senators and 2000 equites.
  • Those who did not flee were killed. All of their lands were taken and the assets liquidated to fund 28 legions to fight Brutus and Cassius.
  • Octavian would then move and have Julius Caesar made a God by the Senate and would take the title Divi Filius.
  • 42BC, Antony and Octavian will sail their Legions to Greece to face the armies of Caesars murders.
the death of cicero
The Death of Cicero
  • One of those that were proscribed would be Cicero.
  • Octavian would oppose Cicero’s name being added to the list but was overruled by the others.
  • Antony whose personal hatred of Cicero took over, had Cicero hunted all throughout Italy.
  • The public in large was sympathetic to Cicero and would hide him or lead his hunters astray.
  • He would be caught at Formia hoping to escape to Macedonia.
  • He would tell the soldiers "There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.“
  • The soldiers would cut off his head and hands and send them back to Rome.
  • Fulvia, the wife of Antony and the widow of Clodius Pulcher was said to have taken Cicero’s head and pulled out the tongue were she would stab it repeatedly with a hair pin.
the battle of phillippi
The Battle of Phillippi
  • The Triumvirate had 230,000 men while the Republic army had 170,000.
  • Octavian and Antony split their armies and were to attack Brutus and Cassius in turn.
  • On October 3, 42BC, Antony’s legions pressed across the marshes and engaged Cassius’s men in close combat and defeated them. Cassius believing Brutus was defeated as well committed suicide.
  • Brutus’s legions surprised Octavian (who was hiding in the marshes) and sent his legions to flight.
  • Both sides rallied what was left and again would face off against each other.
  • On October 23rd Antony in control, attacked Brutus’s forces and through brutal close quarter hand to hand fighting, broke Brutus’s legions and Brutus would commit suicide.
  • The Triumvirate was successful all opposition was defeated.
  • Antony would not let Octavian’s absence from the battle go unnoticed. This would start to widen the rift between them.
the triumvirate falls a part
The Triumvirate falls Apart
  • After the fall of Brutus and Cassius, there would be no real reason for the Triumvirate to continue.
  • Quickly Antony and Octavian would push Lepidus out of the pact.
  • Octavian would begin to harbor a resentment towards Antony.
  • Octavian would try to settle his veterans in in Italy, but were stymied by Antony’s relatives.
  • Antony tried to re-enter Italy, but was barred by Octavian’s forces. Antony would then block the port of Brundisium.
  • Lepidus would then step up and renew the Triumvirate to stop Sextus, Pompey's son from taking Gaul.
  • This time Octavian would again push out Lepidus and Move his armies into Greece to chase Antony out of Italy.
anthony goes to egypt
Anthony goes to Egypt
  • Antony had traveled east to possibly invade Parthia, but stopped in Egypt to find out why Cleopatra had back Cassius in the rebellion.
  • She would come to Antony on a great barge dressed as Venus. Antony was completely taken by her.
  • This was a problem from the start because Antony had married Octavia, Octavian’s sister in 40 BC.
  • Upon his return to Rome and his falling out with Octavian, Antony would leave Octavia and their children and go to Egypt in 37 BC to be with Cleopatra and have children.
  • After almost losing it all in Parthia, Antony would go to Cleopatra and become dependent upon her.
  • He would divorce Octavia in 35 BC severing all ties with Octavian.
anthony and cleopatra
Anthony and Cleopatra
  • Antony would now agree to marry Cleopatra in 33 BC, the year before he divorce was finalized with Octavia.
  • In 34 BC Antony held a Triumphal march in Alexandria, declaring it his new Rome.
  • He would then declare Cleopatra’s son Caesarian the true heir to Caesar.
  • In 32 BC Antony and Cleopatra would issue coins with their faces on it and the motto stamped Cleopatra Queen of Kings.
  • He would then make moves to have their children installed as monarchs all over the east, weakening Rome.
octavian makes war against egypt
Octavian Makes War Against Egypt
  • Octavian was furious.
  • He would assume total control over Rome and push out the 300 consul’s and senators who had criticized him and backed Antony.
  • He would publish Antony’s will that stated that Antony would make Caesarian Caesar’s true heir and king of Rome.Then Octavian would circulate the Rumor that Antony planned to Rule Rome from Egypt.
  • The western part of the Empire then joined Octavian and he would declare war on Antony and Egypt in 31 BC
  • Octavian would land his army in Greece to attack Antony.
  • Octavian’s friend and admiral Agrippa would use the Roman fleet to block Antony’s escape.
  • Antony outnumbered the Romans but his ships were slower and lightly manned.
  • Antony would set fire to those ships he could not man fully.
  • Before the battle Antony’s general Quintus Dellius defected and took his battle plans to Agrippa.
  • The ships would move in and the Roman’s lighter ships firing flaming pitch would set Antony’s ships on fire.
  • Cleopatra would abandon the fight early , followed quickly by Antony.
  • Octavian’s ground forces would wear down Antony’s and Octavian’s victory would be complete.
octavian marches on alexandria
Octavian Marches on Alexandria
  • Octavian would then follow Antony and Cleopatra to Alexandria.
  • He would quickly invade the city and set the lighthouse and library of Alexandria on fire.
  • Cleopatra would try to appeal to Octavian for mercy. Octavian would tell her she would come to no harm.
  • Antony would try to send gold to Octavian to possibly escape and live as a private citizen in Athens.
  • Both would come to the realization that Octavian wanted them alive so he could parade them in Rome at his Triumph and have them publicly executed.
the death of anthony and cleopatra
The Death of Anthony and Cleopatra
  • Antony defeated and hopeless would attempt suicide but fail. He would be brought to Cleopatra were he would die in her arms in her temple.
  • Cleopatra would then return to her palace were it was said that she would commit Suicide by attaching an asp to her breast.
  • Octavian would spare Antony’s children, but would have Caesarian killed making him the only heir to Julius Caesar.
  • Octavian would then declare Egypt no longer a Roman province, but now his own personal property.
octavian marches to rome
Octavian Marches to Rome
  • Triumphant, Octavian would return to Rome as its’ undisputed master.
  • He would begin to operate under the guise that he would eventually return Rome to a Republic.
  • He would restore the powers of the senate and the Council of the Plebs, but only allow them to operate under his direct control.
  • He would not disband his army (which was the entire Roman army) for to do so would open Rome up again to civil war.
  • He would place the day to day operation s of Rome under the control of the senate and the equestrians.
  • He would then expel out of the senate any senator he found unsuitable, and create a defined career path for new senators.
rise of the emperors
Rise of the Emperors
  • Octavian would rule Rome as Consul with out equal until 27 BC.
  • He would then give up all his powers and provinces to the people and the senate, who promptly gave it back to him.
  • Now he would rule Rome legally. He would be careful not to take the title of king, but Imperator.
  • This would begin a 450 year tradition of Roman emperors, who would all strive and most fail to live up to the mold that Augustus Octavian Caesar would create.
  • … But that is another story.