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Caesar’s testament

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Caesar’s death in 44 BCE was a huge shock for the entire Roman society. The dictator, as if sensing his fate, decided to write down his will earlier, probably trying to prevent fights for supporters, property, power and heritage. The act of his last will was deposited in the temple of Vesta and it was publicly read by last father-in-law of Caesar – Lucius Calpurnius.

In his last will, Caesar offered 300 Roman sesterces to every Roman citizen, which gave a total of around 150 million silver coins. In addition, the extensive gardens of Trastevere were transferred to the public domain.

The most important part of the will, however, concerned the adoption of Octavius, who in this way gained a proper social position and influence. It is worth mentioning that Octavian was the son of Caesar’s niece – Atia the Elder. Gaius Oktavian becoming the son of Caesar, inherited all his clientele – tens of thousands of citizens of well-known families and soldiers who were associated with Caesar as patron / client. In this way, Octavian became a legal heir to the legacy of Caesar and, with a big step, entered the political scene of Rome.

Sources
  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Cesarz August, Warszawa 1973
  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Gajusz Juliusz Cezar, Warszawa 1972

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