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Ptolemy Caesarion becomes Emperor

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Colossus of Julius Caesar

Ptolemy Caesarion


Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, June 23, 47 BC - July 23, 35 AD), better known by his nickname Caesarion (literally "little Caesar") was a king of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the first Emperor of the Roman Empire.

He ruled jointly with his mother Cleopatra VII, from September 2, 44 BC, until going in exile in August, 30 BC when Octavianus conquered the Ptolemaic Kingdom during his Civil War with Marcus Antonius, who was Ptolemy's step-father.

He returned from exile with an army in 29 BC and fought a three year war with Octavianus to not only regain his kingdom, but conquer the Roman Republic which his father, Julius Caesar, had been the dictator of.

Early Life and Exile

Caesarion was born in Alexandria in 47 BC. He was the son of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar and his lover, Queen Cleopatra of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Caesarion inherited Caesar's looks and manner, but Caesar did not officially acknowledge him.

Caesarion spent two of his early years, from 46 to 44 BC, in Rome, where he and his mother were Caesar's guests. Cleopatra hoped that her son would eventually succeed his father as the head of the Roman Republic as well as Egypt. After Caesar's assassination on March 15, 44 BC, Cleopatra and Caesarion returned to Alexandria. Caesarion was named co-ruler by his mother on September 2, 44 BC at the age of three, although he was King in name only, with Cleopatra keeping actual authority all to herself.

After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, Octavianus invaded Egypt in 30 BC, Cleopatra sent Caesarion, at the time 17 years old, to the Red Sea port of Berenice for safety, were he escaped to Barbaricum, India. Octavianus captured the city of Alexandria on August 1, 30 BC. Antonius and Cleopatra committing suicide.

Return from Exile and War with Octavianus

In India, Ptolemy forged an alliance with Phraates IV, the king of Parthia. He moved to Seleucia, were he was given command of a small army of 500 cataphacts and 5,000 horse archers. He began his military career by attacking Roman garrisons in Rome's eastern provinces and gathering support from among the local population. Finally, in 28 BC, he had gathered a large army of 50,000 Infantrty, 10,000 Cavalry and 12 Elephants. He first invaded Roman Syria and secured Asia minor before launching an invasion of Greece were he met and defeated Octavianus in the Battle of Corinth.

After his victory in Greece, Ptolemy returned to Alexandria to be crowned king again. Octavianus had fled to Italy to regroup and would take over a year to gather another army. Meanwhile Ptolemy married a Parthian princess and inherited the kingdom of Parthia when Phraates IV died of a sudden illness. Ptolemy now claimed the title of Lord of Asia and gathered a huge army in Greece to invade and conquer Italy.

To Be Continued ...

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