Marcus Antonius Creticus

Marcus Antonius Creticus (flourished 1st century BC) was a Roman politician, member of the Antonius family. Creticus was son of Marcus Antonius and, by his marriage to Julia Antonia, he had three sons: Triumvir Marcus Antonius, Gaius Antonius and Lucius Antonius.

He was elected praetor in 74 BC and received an extraordinary commission, similar to that bestowed upon triumvir Pompey by the Gabinian law 7 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 operations against King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Creticus not only failed in the task, but plundered the provinces he was supposed to protect from robbery.[1] He attacked the Cretans, who had made an alliance with the pirates, but was totally defeated, most of his ships being sunk.[2] Diodorus Siculus states that he only saved himself by a disgraceful treaty.[3] As a result of this defeat he was mockingly given the byname Creticus, which means "conqueror of Crete", and also "man made of chalk", when translated from Latin. He died soon afterwards (72 BC -71 BC) in Crete. Most authorities are agreed as to his avarice and incompetence,[2] but the biographer Plutarch describes him as a friendly, honest and generous man.[4]


  1. Sallust, Histories iii, fragments ed. B. Maurenbrecher, p. 108; Marcus Velleius Paterculus ii.31.3; Cicero, In Verrem, iii.91
  2. 1 2 Chisholm 1911.
  3. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica xl.1
  4. Plutarch, Antony 1


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