Marcus Antonius (orator)
Marcus Antonius (died 87 BC) was a Roman politician of the Antonius family and one of the most distinguished Roman orators of his time. He was also the grandfather of the famous general and triumvir, Mark Antony.
He started his cursus honorum as quaestor in 113 BC and in 102 BC he was elected praetor with proconsular powers for the Roman province of Cilicia. During his term, Antonius fought the pirates with such success that the Senate voted a naval triumph in his honor. He was then elected consul in 99 BC, together with Aulus Postumius Albinus, and in 97 BC, he was elected censor. He held a command in the Social War in 90 BC. During the civil war between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Antonius supported the latter. This cost him his life; Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Cinna executed him when they obtained possession of Rome in 87 BC.
Throughout his political career, he continued to appear as a mediative defender or an accuser in Roman courts of law. Antonius' modern reputation for eloquence derives from the authority of Cicero, since none of his speeches survive. He is one of the chief speakers in Cicero's De Oratore.
His father was named Gaius Antonius.
In 100 BC, Marcus Antonius obtained a triumph, because he had fought successfully against the Cilician pirates. Some time later his daughter Antonia was kidnapped by pirates from his villa near Misenum and was only released after the payment of a large ransom.
- Marcus Velleius Paterculus ii. 22
- Appian, Bell. Civ. i. 72
- Dio Cassius xlv. 47
- Plutarch, Marius, 44
- Cicero, Orator, 5, Brutus, 37
- Quintilian, Instit. iii. 1, 19
- O. Enderlein, De M. Antonio oratore (Leipzig, 1882)
- Details of the paternal ancestors of Antonius can be found in the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Volume 1, pages 213 and 214.
Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Gaius Marius
|Consul of the Roman Republic
with Aulus Postumius Albinus
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos and Titus Didius