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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY

From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS

VIII. THE GREAT AGE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, 264-31 B.C.

Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe
Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe


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Page 34

ANTONY AND OCTAVIAN

ANTONY BECOMES CAESAR'S SUCCESSOR

The murderers of Caesar called themselves the "liberators" of the republic. They thought that all Rome would applaud their deed, but the contrary was true. The senatorial order remained lukewarm. The people, instead of flocking to their support, mourned the loss of a friend and benefactor. Soon the conspirators found themselves in great peril. Caesar's friend and lieutenant, Antony, who became sole consul after Caesar's death, quickly made himself master of the situation. Brutus and Cassius were forced to withdraw to the provinces which had been previously assigned to them by Caesar, leaving Antony to rule Rome as his successor.

A RIVAL IN THE YOUNG OCTAVIAN

Antony's hope of reigning supreme was soon disturbed by the appearance of a new rival. Caesar, in his will, had made his grandnephew, Octavian, [28] his heir. He now came to Rome to claim the inheritance. In that sickly, studious youth people did not at first recognize the masterful personality he was soon to exhibit. They rather reëchoed Cicero's sentiment that "the young man was to be praised, complimented, and got rid of." [29] But Octavian easily made himself a power, winning the populace by paying Caesar's legacies to them and conciliating the senatorial party by siding with it against Antony. Men now began to talk of Octavian as the destined restorer of the republic.

[28] His name was Octavius, but after his adoption by Caesar he called himself Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.

[29] Cicero, Letters, xix, 20.

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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY: Table of Contents

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Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy

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