When Octavius was a youth, Caesar took a great interest in his education and made him his heir without the boy's knowledge. Octavius was in Illyricum when Caesar was killed, and he promptly set out for Rome to avenge the dictator's death. Before he reached the city, he heard that he was Caesar's heir. At Rome, Antony was in control, and Octavian was recognized by Cicero and the senate as a leader against him. Antony went north to take Gaul and was defeated (43 B.C.) at Mutina (modern Modena).
Octavian secured the consulship and made an alliance with Antony and Lepidus (d. 13 B.C.) as the Second Triumvirate. Having proscribed the enemies of the triumvirate and the assasins of Caesar, Octavian and Antony went east and defeated (42 B.C.) the army of Marcus Junius Brutus and Caius Cassius Longinus at Philippi. Octavian's forces then attacked Sextus Pompeius, who controlled Sicily and Sardinia; Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa defeated (36 B.C.) Pompeius at Mylae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.