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Only son of Caesar

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Caesarion was the only child of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII. After the death of his father, he remained at the side of his mother, who, together with her lover, suffered a defeat in the civil war with Gaius Octavian. Seventeen-year-old Caesarion, after invasion of Roman army on Alexandria, was sent by his mother, Cleopatra, to the south, where Cleopatra’s ships stood by the bay of the Red Sea.

They were to take the young man to India. The young Caesarion was accompanied by his grammars – Rhodon and a carefully selected crew of Rhodian sailors. During a trip to the south, Rhodon most likely made a plan to give his ward to the Romans, expecting a noble reward for it. Both the grammar and the crew managed to persuade Caesarion to go to Pelusium, where they would rent a ship and sail to Media, which was favoring Egypt. Caesarion agreed.

Barely everyone reached Pelusium, once Rhodon handed over a youth to the Romans. Octavian was to ask the philosopher Arejos if he had the right to kill Caesarion. The philosopher, paraphrasing Homer1, said: “Too many Caesars is not good” On August 29th, 30 BCE the son of Caesar and Cleopatra was strangled in the Alexandrian prison on the orders of Octavian.

  1. "The government of many is not good" [Homer, Iliad, II.198]
  • Cassius Dio, Roman history 47.31
  • Plutarch, Caesar 49
  • Plutarch, Marc Antony 54, 71, 81-82
  • Suetonius, Julius Caesar 52

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