Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. changed the world

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Washington, March 31 : The Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. between Mark Antony and Cleopatra against spurned former ally Octavian, led to the eventual end of the Roman Republic, thus changing the world.

According to a report in the Red Orbit, when Octavian eventually reigned supreme in battle, it meant the end of the Roman Republic for good and the beginning of the Roman Empire, whose influences were ultimately felt throughout the world.

Rome had been a republic for more than 450 years when things started to dissolve.

De facto leader Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 B.C., escalating a messy civil war and creating a power vacuum that would be filled by two equally power-hungry politicians and militarists - Mark Antony and Octavian, Caesar's adopted son.

Power sharing between the two was tenuous, but a truce was formed when Antony was betrothed to Octavian's sister. It didn't last long, however, because Cleopatra, a beautiful and shrewd queen who was the Pharaoh of Egypt when Rome started to implode, seduced Antony.

This led to Octavian angering over the disregard of his sister, which eventually led to the battle of Actium in 31 B.C.

The Battle of Actium was fought in the waters off Greece - a Roman territory, at the time - and ended in the complete obliteration of Antony and Cleopatra's forces. When it was over, the waters were choked with the naval wreckage, as well as the bodies of 5,000 sailors.

But, Antony and Cleopatra did not go down with their navy. Recognizing their impeding defeat, the lovers fled in their separate ships and were chased down by Octavian. They both committed suicide instead of being captured.

To seal his victory and eliminate competition, Octavian went to Egypt and executed Cleopatra's children by Antony as well as Julius Caesar's one and only son.

The Battle of Actium had important consequences.

Octavian, for his part, remained standing as the sole ruler of Rome in a time when the Republic was hanging on by a thread.

Just a few years later, he was renamed Augustus and declared divine head of the new Roman Empire, a system that would last a further 400 years and engulf much of Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East and Africa under its rule.

Rome's influence over the language, religion and architecture of the 2.2 million square miles it once controlled lasts until this day.

By killing Julius Caesar and Cleopatra's son Caesarion, Octavian also effectively ended a 4,000-year tradition in Egypt. There would not be another true pharaoh in that country, which was absorbed under the banner of the Roman empire.

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