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Antony now had become so controlled by Cleopatra that, although he was far stronger on land, he wanted to win his victory at sea, all for the sake of Cleopatra;

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Presentation on theme: "Antony now had become so controlled by Cleopatra that, although he was far stronger on land, he wanted to win his victory at sea, all for the sake of Cleopatra;"— Presentation transcript:

1 Antony now had become so controlled by Cleopatra that, although he was far stronger on land, he wanted to win his victory at sea, all for the sake of Cleopatra; even though he saw that his captains had not enough men to crew the ships and were forcing travellers, mule-drivers, harvesters, and young men from Greece, already suffering much. Even doing this the ships were still short of men, and so were undermanned and badly crewed. On the other hand, Octavians ships were properly equipped, built to show of their height or their size, but easy to steer, fast and fully-manned. Plutarch Life of Antony 62 The Battle of Actium 1.How far does this description agree with other accounts of the forces on both sides? 2.Read Velleius Paterculus 2.84; Virgil Aeneid ; Propertius Antony chose to fight Octavian at sea as his generals were suggesting (see Antony 64 for story of the centurion &Antony.

2 Agrippa, Octavians general, had gradually gained control of the sea, capturing Methone, Patras and Corinth, cutting off supplies to Antony. Instead of controlling the situation, Antony was now the one in trouble. There were attempts to break through the blockade and attack Octavians camp on land. Despite some success Antony was unable to break through. (Plutarch 62-63, Velleius 2.84). With disease spreading and supplies low, morale in Antonys camp was getting low. He had problems with desertions and harsh punishments did not help. The longer he waited the worse it would get. Something had to be done. Cleopatra argued for a sea battle (Plutarch Life of Antony 62), while Canidius wanted to force a land battle. At this point, it was clear that the battle of Actium was unlikely to be the end of the war. Antony needed a place and time to recover and collect his forces. To escape from Actium to Egypt was an option, while his army marched overland to Egypt. In passage 64, Plutarch tells that Antony told the captains to put the sails on board, explaining that it indicated Antony had little hope of success and intended escape. TASK 1.Velleius Paterculus 2.85 and Plutarch Antony describe the battle: how are Antony and Octavian compared as generals and leaders? 2.What does Cleopatra do during and after the battle (passage 67)? 3.What personal connection had Plutarch with the events around Actium?

3 Battle of Actium 1.Velleius Paterculus 2.85 and Plutarch Antony describe the battle: how are Antony and Octavian compared as generals and leaders? 2.What does Cleopatra do during and after the battle (passage 67)? 3.What personal connection had Plutarch with the events around Actium? 1.How far does this description agree with other accounts of the forces on both sides? 2.Read Velleius Paterculus 2.84; Virgil Aeneid ; Propertius Play clip –

4 Homework Either TASK 1 or TASK 2. Be prepared to talk to the rest of the class next lesson. TASK 1 for more detail about the battle of Actium. TASK 2 for a discussion of Antony and Octavians battle tactics.


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