October 23 is the approximate birthdate of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Roman statesman and general. Lifelong friend and lieutenant of Octavian, who became Emperor Caesar Augustus, he was the commander who won the naval Battle of Actium against the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII of Egypt. This victory enabled Octavian to consolidate his power over Rome and its dominions, effectively starting the end of the Roman Republic. Agrippa was elected an aedile (public official) of Rome in 33 BCE and focused on embellishing the city with improvements and magnificent buildings. He commissioned what is now the Pantheon (pictured) as a temple to all of Rome’s gods (later rebuilt by Hadrian). Partly because of Agrippa, Augustus could later boast that "he had found the city of brick but left it of marble."