Battle of Actium

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Battle of Actium
Part of The Final War of the Roman Republic
The Battle of Actium, by Lorenzo A. Castro, painted 1672.
The battle of Actium, by Lorenzo A. Castro, 1672.
Date 2 September 31 BC
Location Ionian sea, near the Roman colony of Actium, Greece
Result Decisive Octavian victory;
Mark Antony lost his fleet, and his army deserted in large numbers;
Octavian had uncontested control of the sea around Italy and Greece, and became "Augustus Caesar".
Participants
Octavian's supporters and forces Ptolemaic Egypt,
Mark Antony's supporters
Commanders and leaders
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Mark Antony
Strength
250 warships, mostly small liburnian vessels and Hexeres with 16,000 Legionary Marines and 3,000 archers. 230 warships, mostly quinqueremes with some larger Deceres, 30/50 Transports and 60 Egyptian warships. 2,000 Archers and 20,000 Legionary Marines.
Casualties and losses
About 2,500 killed Over 5,000 killed;
200 ships sunk/captured

The Battle of Actium decided the final war of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the Roman colony of Actium in Greece. Octavian's fleet was commanded by Agrippa, while Antony's fleet was supported by the ships of his lover, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.

Octavian's victory enabled him to consolidate his power over Rome and its dominions. To that end, he adopted the title of Princeps ("first citizen"). As a result of the victory he was awarded the title of Augustus by the Roman Senate.

As Augustus, he would keep the trappings of a restored Republican leader. However, historians view this as the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.[1]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Paul K. Davis 1999. 100 Decisive Battles from ancient times to the present: the World’s major battles and how they shaped history Oxford: Oxford University Press. p63