Battle of Actium
The painting illustrates the Battle of Actium off the coast of Greece in 31 BCE. The battle was fought between Octavian and Mark Antony. Octavian was victorious defeating the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. This allowed him to form the principate in 27 BCE which marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. Read more about Octavian and Mark Antony.