By David J. Califf Ph.d.
Recounts occasions top as much as and surrounding the 31 B.C. conflict of Actium through the Roman Civil warfare, in addition to its long-lasting outcomes.
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Additional resources for Battle of Actium (Great Battles Through the Ages)
In return, Sextus would protect the grain supply and keep out of Italy. This “alliance” was both uneasy and short-lived. Pompey did not receive control of the Peloponesus and therefore did not restore the grain supply. Then, in 38, Menas, the governor of Sardinia, turned that province over to Octavian, who, on January 17, had just divorced his wife, Scribonia, the aunt of Sextus Pompeius’s wife (also called Scribonia), to marry Livia Drusilla. This marriage seems to have been motivated by genuine love, with the added benefit of Livia’s powerful family and political connections, but the divorce of Scribonia deepened the animosity between Sextus Pompeius and Octavian, who soon found themselves in a state of open warfare.
At Caesar’s funeral, Antony gave an eloquent speech recorded by the ancient historian Plutarch and immortalized by Shakespeare. In the speech, Antony managed to turn public sentiment against the conspirators, and an angry mob drove Brutus and Cassius from Rome. With two of the chief murderers gone, Antony was able to amass considerable power. He gave his ally Lepidus the prestigious office of Pontifex Maximus, or “Chief Priest,” and formed an important alliance with Sextus Pompeius (the son of Pompey the Great), who was in command of six The Second Triumvirate legions in Spain.
When scouts discovered a large portion of Sextus Pompeius’s fleet near Mylae, Octavian devised a new plan. He assumed that Sextus was present at Mylae and that Tauromenium was therefore vulnerable. Leaving Agrippa to deal with the fleet, Octavian sailed with three legions to meet Statilius Taurus and prepared to invade Tauromenium. He arrived with his infantry under the command of Cornificus and demanded that the town surrender. Sextus Pompeius must have figured out Octavian’s strategy, for he arrived with a large fleet just as Octavian’s men were beginning to set up camp.
Battle of Actium (Great Battles Through the Ages) by David J. Califf Ph.d.