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Lepidus

Imperator c. 46 - 42 B. C.

After the murder of Julius Caesar, there were several powerful men in Rome who were either friends of the slain dictator or were part of the party which had opposed him. Several of these men were at the head of armies and it looked like Rome would be once again ravaged by civil war. Marc Antony immediately tried to assume Caesar's powers and called for the support of the army and people. A short time later, Octavian, who was soon to become Antony's arch rival, returned to Italy and immediately asserted his claims as the rightful heir of the dead Caesar. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was Julius Caesar's Master of the Horse (at that time, a military officer in charge of cavalry units). He had one legion under his command at the time of Caesar's murder. Part of the agreement made between the factions at this time was that Brutus and Cassius not be condemned for Caesar's murder and that Lepidus should be made PONTIFEX MAXIMVS (chief Priest). Meanwhile, the Senate was regaining much of the power it lost under Caesar's dictatorship. Once again, the powerful Cicero delivered his condemning speeches against Antony, and provided a powerful focal point for all opposiition to the activities of the Antony, Octavian, and the other Caesarians. Antony and Octavian decided to resolve their differences and work together for a time. Octavian marched North from Rome while Antony marched South. Lepidus, with several legions behind him, joined up with Antony's forces. On an island in the middle of th


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