People - Ancient Greece: Caesarion
Born Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, he was
the last king of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.
Caesarion in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
（Καισάριον). The son of Cleopatra , said to be hers by Iulius Caesar. Plutarch calls him the son of Caesar, but Dio Cassius and Suetonius doubt the assertion. He was put to death by Augustus Caesar. See Dio Cass. xlvii. 31; Iul. 52; Aug. 17.
Caesarion in Wikipedia
Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar (June 23, 47 BC – August 23, 30 BC), nicknamed Caesarion (little Caesar) Greek: Πτολεμαῖος ΙΕʹ Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλομήτωρ Καῖσαρ, Καισαρίων, Ptolemaĩos Philopátōr Philomḗtōr Kaĩsar, Kaisaríōn was the last king of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, who reigned jointly with his mother Cleopatra VII of Egypt, from September 2, 44 BC. For eighteen days, up to August, 30 BC he was sole pharaoh, when he was killed on orders of Octavian, who would become the Roman emperor Augustus. He was the eldest son of Cleopatra VII, and possibly the only son of Julius Caesar, for whom he was named.
Ptolemy XV, sometimes referred to as "Ptolemy Caesar", most commonly known by his nickname Caesarion, was born in Egypt in 47 BC. His mother insisted that he was the son of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar. Caesarion was said to have inherited Caesar's looks and manner, but Caesar apparently did not officially acknowledge him. Nevertheless he may have allowed him to use his name. The matter became contentious when Caesar's adopted son Octavian came into conflict with Cleopatra. His supporter Gaius Oppius wrote a pamphlet which attempted to prove that Caesar could not have fathered Caesarion. Cleopatra also compared her relationship to her son with the Egyptian goddess Isis and her miraculous child Horus.
Caesarion spent two of his early years, from 46–44 BC, in Rome, where he and his mother were Caesar's guests. Cleopatra hoped that her son would eventually succeed his father as the head of the Roman Republic as well as Egypt. After Caesar's assassination on March 15, 44 BC, Cleopatra and Caesarion returned to Egypt. Caesarion was named co-ruler by his mother on September 2, 44 BC at the age of three, although he was King in name only, with Cleopatra keeping actual authority all to herself.
During the tense period of time leading up to the final conflict between Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) and Octavian (future Emperor Augustus), Antony shared control of the Republic in a triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus, but Lepidus was forced into retirement by Octavian in 36BC, leaving Antony and Octavian as rivals. Two years later, in 34BC, Antony granted various eastern lands and titles to Caesarion and to his own three children with Cleopatra. Caesarion was proclaimed a god, son of god[disputed – discuss] and "King of Kings". This grandiose title was "unprecedented in the management of Roman client-king relationships" and could be seen as "threatening the 'greatness' of the Roman people". Most threatening to Octavian (whose claim to power was based on his status as Julius Caesar's grandnephew and adopted son), Antony declared Caesarion to be Caesar's true son and heir. These proclamations, known as the Donations of Alexandria, caused a fatal breach in Antony's relations with Octavian, who used Roman resentment over the Donations to gain support for war against Antony and Cleopatra.
After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, Cleopatra seems to have groomed Caesarion to take over as "sole ruler without his mother." She may have intended to go into exile, perhaps with Antony, who was hoping he would be allowed to retire, as Lepidus had. When Octavian invaded Egypt in 30 BC, Cleopatra sent Caesarion, at the time 17 years old, to the Red Sea port of Berenice for safety, with possible plans of an escape to India. Octavian captured the city of Alexandria on August 1, 30 BC, the date that marks the official annexation of Egypt to the Roman Republic. Mark Antony had committed suicide prior to Octavian's entry into the capital; Cleopatra followed his example by committing suicide on August 12, 30 BC. Caesarion's guardians, including his tutor, either were themselves lured by false promises of mercy into returning the boy to Alexandria or perhaps even betrayed him; the records are unclear. Plutarch says that Caesarion had actually escaped to India, but was falsely promised the kingdom of Egypt,
Caesarion, who was said to be Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, was sent by his mother, with much treasure, into India, by way of Ethiopia. There Rhodon, another tutor like Theodorus, persuaded him to go back, on the ground that [Octavian] Caesar invited him to take the kingdom.
Octavian is supposed to have had Caesarion executed in Alexandria, following the advice of Arius Didymus, who said "Too many Caesars is not good" (a pun on a line in Homer). The exact circumstances of his death have not been documented; it is popularly thought that he was strangled.
Octavian then assumed absolute control of Egypt. The year 30 BC was considered the first year of the new ruler's reign according to the traditional chronological system of Egypt. In lists of the time Octavian himself appears as a Pharaoh and the successor to Caesarion.
Few images of Caesarion survive. He is thought to be depicted in a partial statue found in the harbor of Alexandria by Franck Goddio in 1997. He is also portrayed twice in relief, as an adult pharaoh, with his mother on the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.
In addition to his Greek name and nicknames, Caesarion also had a full set of royal names in the Egyptian language:
* Iwapanetjer entynehem
These are usually translated as:
* "Heir of the God who saves"
* "Chosen of Ptah"
* "Carrying out the rule of Ra" or "Sun of Righteousness"
* "Living Image of Amun"
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