A quintessentially unfortunate figure, Caesarion was a son of Cleopatra VII, allegedly by Julius Caesar; his ancestry could thus have hardly been more illustrious. His destiny was to be trapped between the ambitions of his mother and the power of Rome. Cleopatra's lover, Marcus Antonius, had proclaimed Caesarion and his brother kings; Caesarion was crowned king of Egypt as Ptolemy XV in 44 BC. After Antony's defeat by the forces of Caesar's official heir Augustus Caesar (Octavianus) in 31 BC, Caesarion, who might have served as a rallying point for those in Rome who were loyal to Caesar's memory as well as to the Egyptians (especially the Alexandrians with whom he seems to have been popular), was murdered by Augustus' order in 30 BC.
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Last Updated: June 20th, 2011
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