Marcus Antonius Creticus (fl. 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 for being the father of the general Mark Antony.
Marcus Antonius Creticus
|Born||2nd century BC|
Early life Edit
He was elected praetor in 74 BC and received an extraordinary commission, similar to that bestowed upon triumvir Pompey by the Gabinian law seven 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 ongoing operations against King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Creticus not only failed in the task, but plundered the very provinces he was supposed to protect from robbery. He attacked the Cretans, who had made an alliance with the pirates, but was totally defeated, most of his ships being sunk.Diodorus Siculus states that he only saved himself by a disgraceful treaty. 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 (72–71 BC) in Crete. Most authorities are agreed as to his avarice and incompetence, but the biographer Plutarch describes him as a friendly, honest and generous man.
Antonius was married to a woman named Numitoria, a daughter of Quintus Numitorius Pullus, but 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.