The New Student's Reference Work/Actium
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Actium (ak′ shĭ-ŭm), in Acarnania, the scene of the naval battle in which Octavius, afterward called Augustus Caesar, conquered Mark Antony and Cleopatra and became, in consequence, emperor of Rome. The number of ships on each side was about the same, but the battle was lost by the cowardice of Cleopatra, who fled with her triremes (ships propelled by oars) as soon as attacked, followed by Antony, who would not be separated from her even to win an empire. The Actian games, occurring every four years, were established here by Augustus in honor of his victory.