Caesarion

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Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος ΙΕʹ Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλομήτωρ Καῖσαρ, Ptolemaios IEʹ Philopatōr Philomētōr Kaisar; Latin: Ptolemaeus XV Philipator Philomētor Caesar; June 23, 47 BC – August 23, 30 BC), better known by the nicknames Caesarion (pronounced /səˈzæriən/; Greek: Καισαρίων, Kaisariōn, literally "little Caesar"; Latin: Caesariō) and Ptolemy Caesar (pronounced /ˈtɒləmi ˈsiːzər/; Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Καῖσαρ, Ptolemaios Kaisar; Latin: Ptolemaeus Caesar), 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 nominally the 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.

Contents

Life

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.[1] 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.[1]

Caesarion spent two of his early years, from 46 to 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.

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