36. Study Questions Copy

Besides the humiliation of the ceremony of the Donations of Alexandria, Plutarch says that Antony threw her and her children out of their house in Athens.

Letters went back and for between them smearing each other’s characters. The charges were likely fabricated (on both sides).

Two of Antony’s supporters defected to Octavian and revealed to him the contents of Antony’s will. Octavian seized the will from the Vestal Virgins (this was illegal) to read the contents. The will revealed Antony’s desire to be buried in Alexandria and the acknowledgement of Caesarion as Caesar’s heir. This probably prompted Octavian to begin the building of his grandiose Mausoleum, to reinforce his patriotic credentials.

You could argue either way. In theory, war was not inevitable as power sharing by two people was a long-standing feature of the republic. However, this had been a temporary year-long office, and both had tasted power for much longer periods, and both had the example of Caesar as dictator. Neither would have voluntarily relinquished power.

Declaring war on Cleopatra was could be claimed to be a war against a foreign power. Declaring war on Antony would have been a declaration of civil war, and tricky to sell to the public.


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