30 BC – The Death of Mark Antony

Thorns of Time

A bitter defeat in a decisive naval battle in Egypt, on 1 August 30 BC, Mark Antony escaped to Alexandria while his rival Octavian (later Roman Emperor Augustus) invaded the country.  Having received false word that his lover, Cleopatra VII of Egypt, had already done so, Antony committed suicide by falling on his own sword.  He lingered on in agony just long enough to die in Cleopatra’s arms, and moments later, she was taken prisoner by Octavian.  With Antony’s death, Octavian became uncontested ruler of Rome with only the Queen of Egypt and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion (literally “little Caesar”), standing in his way.  When twelve days later, the captive queen committed suicide, traditionally by allowing a poisonous snake to bite her, Octavian had the seventeen-year-old Caesarion murdered and Egypt at last fell under the full control of the Roman Empire, thus ending the Age of the Pharaohs…

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