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A map showing Actium.

Actium (modern name: Punta) was the ancient name of a promontory of western Greece in northwestern Acarnania, at the mouth of the Sinus Ambracius (Gulf of Arta) opposite Nicopolis, built by Augustus on the north side of the strait.[1]

On the promontory was an ancient temple of Apollo Actius, which was enlarged by Augustus, who, to memorialize the Battle of Actium, instituted or renewed the quinquennial games known as Actia or Ludi Actiaci. Actiaca Aera was a computation of time from the battle. There was on the promontory a small town, or rather village, also called Actium.

Contents

History

Actium belonged originally to the Corinthian colonists of Anactorium, who probably founded the worship of Apollo Actius and the Actia games; in the 3rd century BC it fell to the Acarnanians, who subsequently held their synods there. Actium is chiefly famous as the site of Octavian's decisive victory over Mark Antony (September 2, 31 BC). This battle ended a long series of ineffectual operations. The final conflict was provoked by Antony, who is said to have been persuaded by his lover, the queen Cleopatra of Egypt, to retire to her land and give battle to mask his retreat; but lack of provisions and the growing demoralization of his army would eventually account for this decision[2]. An ancient Roman festival, Actia, was named after Actium.

References

See also

Coordinates: 38°57′11″N 20°46′05″E / 38.953°N 20.768°E / 38.953; 20.768

External links

Wikisource-logo.svg "Actium". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.  

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ACTIUM (mod. Punta), the ancient name of a promontory in the north of Acarnania (Greece) at the mouth of the Sinus Ambracius (Gulf of Arta) opposite Nicopolis, built by Augustus on the north side of the strait. On the promontory was an ancient temple of Apollo Actius, which was enlarged by Augustus, who also, in memory of the battle, instituted or renewed the quinquennial games called Actia or Ludi Actiaci. Actiaca Aera was a computation of time from the battle of Actium. There was on the promontory a small town, or rather village, also called Actium. History. - Actium belonged originally to the Corinthian colonists of Anactorium, who probably founded the worship of Apollo Actius and the Actia games; in the 3rd century it fell to the Acarnanians, who subsequently held their synods there. Actium is chiefly famous as the site of Octavian's decisive victory over Mark Antony (2nd of September 31 B.e.). This battle ended a long series of ineffectual operations. The final conflict was provoked by Antony, who is said to have been persuaded by Cleopatra to retire to Egypt and give battle to mask his retreat; but lack of provisions and the growing demoralization of his army would sufficiently account for his decision. The fleets met outside the gulf, each over 200 strong (the totals given by ancient authorities are very conflicting). Antony's heavy battleships endeavoured to close and crush the enemy with their artillery; Octavian's light and mobile craft made skilful use of skirmishing tactics. During the engagement Cleopatra suddenly withdrew her squadron and Antony slipped away behind her. His flight escaped notice, and the conflict remained undecided, until Antony's fleet was set on fire and thus annihilated.

Authorities

D10 Cassius, 50.12-51.3; Plutarch, Antonius, 62-68; Velleius Paterculus, ii. 84-85. C. Merivale, History of the Romans under the Empire, iii. pp. 313-325 (London, 1851); V. Gardthausen, Augustus and seine Zeit, i. pp. 369-386, ii. pp. 189-201 (Leipzig, 1891); G. Ferrero in the Revue de Paris, Mar. 15, 1906, pp. 22 52 43; J. Kromayer, in Hermes, xxxiv. (1899), pp. 1 -54. (M. O. B. C.)


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