OTD in 47BC: Son of Cleopatra and Julias Caesar is born

Ptolemy Caesar Philopator Cleopatra

On this day in 47BC, Caesarion, the son of Cleopatra and Caesar and the last pharaoh of Egypt, was born.

He was formally known as Ptolemy Caesar Philopator – Philometor, meaning (‘Ptolemy Caesar, Beloved of his Father, Beloved of his Mother’), was never formally acknowledged by Caesar.

In 34 BC, Caesarion was proclaimed to be a god, a son of a god, and “King of Kings” by Mark Antony.

OTD in 47BC: Son of Cleopatra and Julias Caesar is born 1
Mid-1st century BC Roman wall painting in Pompeii, Italy, shows Venus holding a cupid, most likely a depiction of Cleopatra VII of Ptolemaic Egypt as Venus Genetrix, with her son Caesarion as the cupid.

Octavian (Augustus) is supposed to have had Pharaoh Caesarion executed in Alexandria in 30BC, following the advice of Arius Didymus, who said “Too many Caesars is not good,” a pun on a line from Homer.

Caesarion was the eldest son of Cleopatra and the only biological son of Julius Caesar, after whom he was named, and the last sovereign member of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.

Ptolemaic rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC.

Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes (bodyguards) of Macedon who served as Alexander the Great’s generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander’s death in 323 BC.

In 305 BC, he declared himself Ptolemy I, later known as Sōter “Saviour”.

The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy’s family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

Few images of Caesarion survive.

OTD in 47BC: Son of Cleopatra and Julias Caesar is born 2
Reliefs of Cleopatra and Caesarion at the Temple of Dendera.

He is thought to be depicted in a partial statue found in the harbor of Alexandria in 1997 and is also portrayed twice in relief, as an adult pharaoh, with his mother on the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.

His infant image appears on some bronze coins of Cleopatra.

Caesarion spent two of his infant years, from 46 to 44 BC, in Rome, where he and his mother were Caesar’s guests at his villa, Horti Caesaris.

Cleopatra hoped that her son would eventually succeed his father as the head of the Roman Republic, as well as of Egypt.

After Caesar’s assassination on 15 March 44 BC, Cleopatra and Caesarion returned to Egypt.

Caesarion was named co-ruler by his mother on 2 September 44 BC at the age of three, although he was pharaoh in name only, with Cleopatra keeping actual authority.

Cleopatra compared her relationship to her son with that of the Egyptian goddess Isis and her divine child Horus.

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