Ptolemy XV Caesar, nicknamed Caesarion (little Caesar) (lived June 23, 47 - August, 30 BC, reigned September 2, 44 BC - August, 30 BC) was the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII of Egypt and the last Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.

Cleopatra and Caesarion

He was nominated co-ruler by his mother on September 2, 44 BC at the age of three. Although he was probably king in name only with Cleopatra keeping actual authority to herself, he was intended by her to be the successor of his father. When Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus invaded Egypt in 30 BC, Cleopatra tried to send Caesarion to India for safety, but the Romans intercepted and captured him. His mother's consort Marcus Antonius committed suicide prior to Octavian's entry in Alexandria. Octavian captured the city on August 1, 30 BC which marks the official annexation of Egypt to the Roman Republic. Caesarion's mother followed Antonius in committing suicide on August 12, 30 BC. Octavianus now had to deal with the fate of the remaining captured Pharaoh. Octavianus was a grand-nephew and adoptive son of Caesarion's father. Octavianus feared that "too many Caesars", as he put it, would threaten his claim to being the sole successor of his adoptive father and reached the decision to execute this adoptive brother of his. Octavianus then assumed 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 Octavianus himself appears as a Pharaoh and the successor to Caesarion. Caesarion is the subject of a poem written in 1918 by Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis.

External link

copyright 2004