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Marc Antony and Cleopatra Marriage Profile

Doomed Lovers

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Photo: Public domain. Antony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1885.

Antony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1885.

Photo: Public domain. Antony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1885.
The marriage of Cleopatra and Marc Antony was not considered legal in Rome, but was legal in Egypt. Here is more information about the relationship of Cleopatra and Marc Antony including information about their previous marriages.

Born:

Cleopatra: 69 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt. In literature and history Cleopatra is also known as Cleopatra VII and Cleopatra VII Philopater.

Marc Antony: 83 BCE in Rome. Other spellings for Antony's name include Marcus Antonius, Mark Antony.

Died:

Marc Antony: August 1, 30 BCE at the age of 53. Antony committed suicide in Alexandria.

Cleopatra: August 12, 30 BCE at the age of 39. It is believed that Cleopatra took her own life by allowing a poisonous snake to bite her. Cleopatra may have been buried in a cemetery at the Taposiris Magna temple just west of Alexandria, Egypt.
Archaeologists hunt for Cleopatra's tomb

"Thus, on August 12, 30, the last queen of Egypt put an end to her life, no doubt by poisoning herself, in the company of her two servants, Iras and Charmion. Secretly relieved, Octavian accorded her a royal funeral and had her remains placed next to those of Antony."
Source: Michel Chauveau. Cleopatra: Beyond the Myth. Cornell University Press. 2004. pg. 75.

How Antony and Cleopatra Met:

Plutarch described the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra in Tarsus in 41 BCE as "momentous." While in Alexandria, Cleopatra and Antony "lived life to the hilt, as if each day were their last ..."
Source: Diana E. E. Kleiner. Cleopatra and Rome. Harvard University Press. 2005. pg. 106.
"... he [Plutarch] knew that before it became tragedy their [Cleopatra and Antony's] love-making began with high policy on her part and high foolishness on his."
Source: Michael Foss. The Search for Cleopatra. Arcade Publishing. 1999. pg 120.

Wedding Date:

Since Egyptian law allowed polygamy, Cleopatra and Antony were married in 36 BCE in an Egyptian ceremony in Antioch.

Occupations:

Cleopatra: Pharaoh of Egypt.

Marc Antony: General, Roman politician.

Cleopatra's Previous Marriages:

Cleopatra's first two marriages were politcally arranged to her younger half brothers.
  • First Marriage -- Ptolemy XIII: Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII were married when they were both quite young. Cleopatra was eleven years old at the time of their wedding ceremony. Ptolemy XIII died while fighting in a battle against Julius Caesar's army in end of March in 47 B.C. Some historians believe that he drowned in the Nile.
  • Second Marriage -- Ptolemy XIV: Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIV were married when he was 10 years old. Ptolemy XIV was dead by 44 BCE, rumored poisoned by Cleopatra. Some historians believe Ptolemy XIV died of disease.
  • Third Relationship -- Julius Caesar: Although Cleopatra considered herself married to Julius Caesar, he did not recognize their relationship as valid.

Marc Antony's Previous Marriages:

Marc Antony had several previous marriages prior to his union with Cleopatra.
  • First Marriage -- Fadia: Little is known about Antony's first marriage to Fadia or their children. Their marriage probably ended in divorce.
  • Second Marriage -- Antonia Hybrida Minor: Mark Antony and Antonia, his cousin, were married for around 8 years and had one daughter. The marriage ended in divorce in 47 BCE after Antonia was unfaithful.
  • Third Marriage -- Fulvia Flacca Bambula: Fulvia and Antony were married in 47 or 46 BCE. Having been widowed twice, her marriage to Antony was her third marriage. Fulvia and Antony had two sons. Their marriage ended in 40 BCE when Fulvia died.
  • Plutarch: "Cleopatra was indebted to Fulvia for the lessons she had given Antony in obedience to women. He was thoroughly tamed when the queen took him over."
    Source: Michael Foss. The Search for Cleopatra. Arcade Publishing. 1999. pg 122.

  • Fourth Marriage -- Octavia Minor: His political marriage to Octavia was in 40 BCE. They had two daughters. Octavia also raised Antony's sons from his marriage to Fluvia. She and Antony divorced in 32 BCE.

Antony and Cleopatra's Children:

Antony had quite a few children with his previous wives. Cleopatra had one child before she met Anthony.
  • Unknown children: Antony had several children with his first wife, Fadia.
  • Antonia: Born abt. 50 BCE, Antonia married a wealthy Greek, Pythodoros of Tralles. Her mother was Antony's second wife, Antonia.
  • Ptolemy Caesarion aka Ptolemy XV Caesarion: Born June 23, 47 BCE. His father, Julius Caesar, was married to Calpurnia although Cleopatra, Caesarion's mother, claimed to be Julius Caesar's wife. Caesarion was put to death.
  • Marcus Antonius Antyllus: Born abt. 47 BCE in Rome, Antyllus was executed in 30 BCE by Octavian. His mother was Antony's third wife, Fulvia.
  • Iullus Antonius: Born in 43 BCE in Rome. Iullus married Claudia Marcella Major. He later was involved in a scandal with Julia the Elder and sentenced to death after being convicted of treason. He committed suicide in 2 BCE. His mother was Antony's third wife, Fulvia.
  • Alexander Helios: Born in 40 BCE. Her mother was Cleopatra. Fate is unknown.
  • Cleopatra Selene: Born in 40 BCE. Her mother was Cleopatra. Married the Numidian prince Juba and became queen of Mauritania. Her son was assassinated by Caligula.
  • Antonia Major: Born in 39 BCE in Athens, Greece. She married Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and had several children. Her mother was Antony's fourth wife, Octavia.
  • Antonia Minor: Born in 36 BCE in Athens, Greece. She married Roman general Nero Claudius Drusus and had several children. Her mother was Antony's fourth wife, Octavia.
  • Ptolemy Philadelphos: Born in 36 BCE. Fate unknown. His mother was Cleopatra.
Additional Resources:
Sarah Fielding, Christopher D. Johnson. The Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia. Bucknell University press. 1994.
Prudence J. Jones. Cleopatra: a sourcebook. University of Oklahoma Press. 2006.

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