LIVING THE INIMITABLE LIFE
The death of Caesar was not only a personal loss for Cleopatra and a threat to her son's future but also a political nightmare. Caesar's murderers, Cassius and Brutus, came east. Octavian had a rightful claim as Caesar's adoptive son. Mark Antony believed that Caesar had wronged him when he chose Octavian as his heir. Even Cleopatra's half-sister, Arsinoe IV, appeared hostile and would have been happy to replace her sister as Egypt's queen. Fortunately, Caesar's supporters and his assassins were at odds with one another. The former officially joined forces by creating the Second Triumvirate, comprising Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus. Concurrently (on January 1, 42 B.C), Caesar was proclaimed a god at Rome, which immediately conferred on Octavian the powerful status of divi filius—son of a god. Octavian's godlike standing made him a more formidable rival, but Caesar's divinization also conferred a godly aura on Caesarion.
Cleopatra had to choose, and it is not at all surprising that, despite her mistrust of Octavian, she opted to side with him and Antony rather than the murderous Cassius and Brutus. She was apparently so galvanized at the thought of warring with the two assassins that she herself commanded the first ship of her fleet. Inclement weather and seasickness prevented her, however, from making a dramatic stand against Caesar's foes, and she returned to Alexandria just before the Battle of Philippi. At least she had adeptly chosen to side with the winners. Antony proved to be a
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Publication information: Book title: Cleopatra and Rome. Contributors: Diana E. E. Kleiner - Author. Publisher: Belknap Press. Place of publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 102.
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