Marcus Antonius Creticus

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Marcus Antonius Creticus
Born2nd century BC
Died72-71 BC
Mark Antony
Gaius Antonius
Lucius Antonius

Marcus Antonius Creticus (flourished 1st century BC), a member of the Antonius family, was a Roman politician during the Late Roman Republic. He is best known for his failed pirate hunting career and being the father of the general Mark Antony.


Early life[edit]

Creticus was the son of Marcus Antonius (famous for his oratory). He had a sister named Antonia and a younger brother named Gaius Antonius Hybrida.


He was elected praetor in 74 BC and received an extraordinary commission, similar to that bestowed upon triumvir Pompey by the Gabinian law 7 years later in 67 BC, and that conveyed on his father three decades before in 102 BC, to clear the Mediterranean Sea of the threat of piracy, and thereby assist the operations against King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Creticus not only failed in the task, but plundered the provinces he was supposed to protect from robbery.[1] He attacked the Cretans, who had made an alliance with the pirates, but was totally defeated, most of his ships being sunk.[2] Diodorus Siculus states that he only saved himself by a disgraceful treaty.[3] As a result of this defeat he was mockingly given the cognomen Creticus, which means "conqueror of Crete", and also "man made of chalk", when translated from Latin. He died soon afterwards (72 BC -71 BC) in Crete. Most authorities are agreed as to his avarice and incompetence,[2] but the biographer Plutarch describes him as a friendly, honest and generous man.[4]


Antonius was married to a woman named Numitoria, a daughter of Quintus Numitorius Pullus, they had no known children. Afterwards he married Julia with whom he had three sons: Marcus Antonius (the Triumvir), Gaius Antonius and Lucius Antonius, as well as a daughter named Antonia.


  1. ^ Sallust, Histories iii, fragments ed. B. Maurenbrecher, p. 108; Marcus Velleius Paterculus ii.31.3; Cicero, In Verrem, iii.91
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica xl.1
  4. ^ Plutarch, Life of Antony, 1


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antonius". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.