The protagonists

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Octavian

His full name was Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. He came to power after Julius Caesar’s assassination, as his son and heir. His exceptional leadership and military skills helped him dissolve the few remaining democratic institutions and rule as Rome’s first emperor, between 27 BC until his death in AD 14.

Mark Antony

Marcus Antonius, commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman general and a member of the three-man triumvirate formed after Julius Caesar’s assassination. His dispute with Octavian led to civil war. Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, was a key figure in his life. According to sources, he was so entranced by the queen that he lost his sound judgment and his admittedly formidable strategic skills. Following his defeat at the Battle of Actium, he fled to Egypt where he committed suicide in 30 BC.

Cleopatra

Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last queen of Egypt, a descendant of Ptolemy I Soter, a general of Alexander the Great. A formidable woman, she acceded to the throne with the help of Julius Caesar, with whom she had a son, Caesarion. Following Caesar’s assassination, she entered into a political and private affair with Mark Antony, which culminated in the disastrous defeat at Actium. One year later, she committed suicide in Alexandria, the popular belief being that she was bitten by a snake.  Her three children fathered by Mark Antony came under the guardianship of Octavia, his legal – and rejected—spouse.

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