Why Antony Lost Against Octavian Essay
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March 7, 2012
Why did Mark Antony lose to his rival, Octavian? Antony lost because of his failure to view Octavian’s political and military success as a serious threat, his lack of political favoritism and support with the Senate in Rome, and finally abandoning his loyal army at the battle of Actium.
Antony was well known throughout the political world in Rome and among his military colleagues as a virtuous, trailblazing commander. After all, he was in fact the great Julius Caesar’s second in command. Through much of the internal conflict of his time, he did astoundingly maintain at least some support in Rome. However, his failing to acknowledge Octavian’s military …show more content…
Another major reason for losing was his lack of political support from Rome. Generally many viewed him as a brilliant general. He had a reputation of fighting alongside his own comrades at the front line, right in the heat of battle. This fact curried the favor of his legions from the ground up. Conversely, others viewed his personal life as detrimental to his reputation and by extension his ability to be a successful leader. Even prior to the assassination of Julius Caesar, he was slowly digging his own political grave. Plutarch reports that he was lazy, had a bad temper, and cavorted other men’s wives. His personal lifestyle later led to his lack of support from the general populace and the senate.
It is reported that Cicero, an oratory enemy, stated that general members of society who are upright and moral “intensely disliked him, and were disgusted” by his drunkenness, making a showy display of his extravagances, and frolicking other men’s women. Cicero's speeches and publication of propaganda against Antony deeply impacted the Senate's view of him. In fact, an army was sent to defeat him for bullying Lepidus in Cisalpine Gaul, whom Rome viewed as the rightful governor. It was largely Cicero’s oratory speeches that shifted the public opinion to such an extent that the Senate was moved to declare him