After Actium: Two Caesars Are Not Enough

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Velasco, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Of Christ and Lucifer: After Actium - Two Caesars Are Not Enough

    Background:


    It was hoped that the ascension of Ptolemy XII Auletes and Cleopatra V Tryphaena to the Egyptian throne in 81BC would put an end to the dynastic strife and constant civil warfare that had ravaged the nation in the previous generations. The new Queen was both her husband's niece and first cousin; together they re-united and re-combined the competing claims of the branches of the royal house.

    The union produced the hoped-for legitimate royal heirs, but by 69 BC Auletes sought to demote Tryphaena and removed her from the throne. Perhaps he was jealous of Tryphaena's superior right to the crown, she being an impeccably legitimate heiress whilst he was generally derided for being a bastard*. Perhaps he had tired of Tryphaena, perhaps he wished to elevate his other wife Mithradatis, a Pontian princess he had married in exile. Whatever his reasons, he was effective in removing Tryphaena from the scene until 58BC, when she was able to oust him from the throne. Her rule was brief, as her eldest daughter and co-ruler Berenice IV soon sought to be rid of her. ​


    Thought she intended to rule alone, Berenice, in turn, was forced by her subjects to take a husband and co-ruler, lest the dynasty die out. She married in turn her uncle Seleceus VII and then a more distant cousin, Archelaus of Comana, nephew of her father's consort Mithradatis. Both unions were brief - Seleceus strangled for his foul smell and manners, Archelaus slain fighting his returning father-in-law. Auletes returned, threw Berenice into prison and associated his next oldest daughter, Cleopatra VII, on the throne with him. Cleopatra succeeded him in 51 BC, but spent the next ten years disputing the throne with her younger (half-)siblings Ptolemy XIII, Ptolemy XIV and Arsinoe IV. Emerging as sole, undisputed, heiress in 41BC, she was yet compelled to associate her son Ptolemy XIV Caesarion with her on the throne, so averse were the Egyptians to the solitary rule of a woman.

    The events of the following decade are well documented and widely commented, up unto the Battle of Actium in 31BC, where Cleopatra and her consort, the deposed Roman triumvir Mark Anthony were soundly defeated by their mutual rival Octavian. It is in the aftermath of Actium that our story has its inception.

    [​IMG]
    Cleopatra VII Tryphaena

    * For the sake of clarification, let it not be thought that his mother was a mere concubine, but rather, that the union of his father the crown prince and his mother, later Queen of Syria had not been officially recognised and was eventually cancelled by the Queen-Mother Cleopatra III, who married her elder daughter abroad and forced the crown prince to take to wife a more maleable, younger daughter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  2. Cuāuhtemōc Twitter fiend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    2012 is going to be a good year for AH. I am following with interest
     
  3. Basilisk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    I love Elizabeth Taylor.
     
  4. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Chapter I: The Aftermath of Actium

    [​IMG]


    Following his victory at Actium and the defection of Mark Anthony's legions and provinces, Octavian was left as sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Taking his time, he stayed first in Rhodes, ​
    thereafter travelling through Anatolia and Syria receiving the allegiance of those princes previously aligned with Anthony. Amongst those he received were the Kings of Pontus, Commagene, Comana, Judaea and Antropatene, as well as the exceedingly wealthy Pythodoros of Tralles, recently wed to a daughter of Anthony's. These Kings he pardoned; - some, such as Herod the Idumean, were not only confirmed in their kingdoms (Judaea) but received additional grants of territory (Samaria, Gaza, Jericho, &c), whilst others, such as Pythodorus and Lycomedes of Comana, were made to pay hefty tributes for their survival.
    In the mean time, Mark Anthony hurriedly sued for peace, sending an embassy under his son Antyllus to Octavian, offering up vast sums of money in return for an honourable retirement as a private citizen to Athens. As Anthony had refused Octavian's requests for a conference prior to Actium, so now Octavian ignored his pleas for mercy; taking the gold, Octavian sent the boy Antyllus back to his father. Cleopatra, for her part, put to death her prisoner Artasvades II of Armenia, whose head she dispatched alongside many other gifts to his former enemy Artasvades I of Media Antropatene; from this King, already in alliance with Octavian and facing the onslaught of Parthian invasion, she received nothing but his stone cold silence.

    The writing was on the wall and Cleopatra knew it - overtures of friendship were secretly exchanged between herself and Octavian, who promised to treat her well. A final defeat on August 1st, 31 BC, saw Egypt fall at Octavian's feet; in despair, Mark Anthony flung himself upon his own sword before the Romans entered the capitol. Discovering that his Queen yet lived, Anthony was carried to her mausoleum (where she hid) by his men; there he died, shortly before the Romans came upon them. The Romans allowed the Queen to oversee a suitable burial for their hitherto honoured general; thereafter she was kept under constant guard and brought out from the mausoleum.


    Taking up residence in the Palace of Alexandria (which he did not pillage, much to his credit), Octavian received his step-brother Lucius Marcius Philippus come from the Senate, which had approved his plan for the abolition of the Ptolemaic monarchy and the direct annexation of Egyp to the Republic, with the province being placed under his own direct control. Additionally, Philippus presented him with two new honours bestowed upon him by the Senate - the religious Augustus, "the illustrious one", and the senatorial Princeps, "the first", the first and most distinguished name on the Senatorial roster and by extension, the first citizen of the Republic. Octavian was now Imperator Caesar divi filius, "Commander Caesar son of the deified one", boasting not only his heirship to the deified Julius Caesar, but also a permanent link to the Roman tradition of victory.

    The following day Octavian was to welcome certain notables from among the people, wise men and princes, by whose counsel he might determine positively the future of Egypt. He had Imhotep-Pedubast, prophet of Pharaoh & high priest of Memphis, brought to him; the priest's pleas that Octavian spare the Egyptian populace the loss of their beloved monarchy were cut short when the sudden onset of a strong fever led Octavian to end their audience. Though Octavian wished greatly to receive him, he was taken to his bed for hte rest of the day and forced to send away[1] Arius Didymus, a sage and philosopher held in high regard by all the Greeks of the place; together with his two sons, Arius was commanded to return in two days time, when Octavian would be well rested and able to receive him fittingly*.

    Intrigued by the glimmer of hope, Cleopatra ceased conspiring to take her own life; better to await and see what her Gods were contriving.


    Meanwhile in Berenice...

    [​IMG]
    Ptolemy XIV Caesarion


    As the Romans approached, Cleopatra had dispatched her eldest son Caesarion and his younger siblings Alexander Helios, Selene and Philadelphus to Berenice, a strong city and rich port on the Red Sea, in the far south of her kingdom. From here they might escape to Himyar[2], or beyond to Parthia, or some other enemy of Rome, or to India, forever outside of Roman reach. They were there when Alexandria fell to Octavian, and they were still there when messengers arrived from Octavian, with words of peace and pledges of friendship. All the while Caesarion's tutor Rhodon impressed upon him to return to Alexandria - though the kingdom might be lost to him, surely his life would be spared. At length Caesarion was convinced and, taking together his two brothers and sister, the great treasures that were with them and those of the Egyptian court that had accompanied them, got ready for the journey north; the preparations were almost finished when word arrived of the malaria which now spread among the legions and laid low Octavian himself.

    Notes:


    [1] As such, Octavian is spared Arius historical counsel "too many Caesars is not a good thing".

    [2] Kingdom around modern-day Yemen who had strong trading links with Ptolemaic Egypt.
     
    Oceano likes this.
  5. Cuāuhtemōc Twitter fiend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    This is going to be VERY good. I want more.
     
  6. SavoyTruffle Memeber

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    Luxendarc
    Ooh, maybe this can also be titled "How Malaria saved the Ptolemies". :D
     
  7. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Chapter II: A Night With Paibast-Herasankh

    [​IMG]
    Having sacrificed to the divine mother-son pairs Horus & Isis and Hathor & Harsomtus, Caesarion was greeted by the Great Wife of Ptah, who he followed through the long corridors and many chambers into the womb of the Temple. Stripped and bathed, the naked Caesarion was tended to by the priestesses of the place, who sang holy hymns as they painted, drew and wrote secret mysteries all over his nude physique. At last he was ready. He was taken again to the Great Wife of Ptah, who he found in the final throes of divine ecstasy, dancing to the sound of drums as she sacrificed to Ptah-Seker-Osiris, the god who called the very world into being, god also of the underworld and of rebirth. Associated with the regeneration of the sun at night, Caesarion instinctively turned to him, consort of his holy mother Isis, for the rebirth of the Kingdom and his own regeneration from certain destruction to the bright, splendid Pharaonic sun.

    Dismissing her priestesses, the Great Wife instructed Caesarion to annoint her, which he did, whereafter she did the same, and then she gave to him from her table consecrated meat and drink. Thusly reinvogorated, they proceeded to carry out the lengthy rituals which to them pertained and in whom resided their own only hope in such desperate times.

    As the smell of incense filled the air, Caesarion sat upon the hard, cold floor of marble, his eyes closed, his body motionless save for the subtle in-coming and out-going of air in his nostrils. Seated on her throne, the Great Wife spoke words of mystery and caution, giving the young prince what instructed he had need of in such a time;

    "...The secret of the craft, by which one may control the natural world, is the manipulation of emotion. Emotion is aroused without conscious effort and is either positive or negative; it is the response of the individual's soul to the significant aspects of any given event. The good master of the craft studies the behaviour of all beings, whereby knowledge of the subject's behaviour - by which I mean their very all, going beyond their actions into their very workings of their minds - empowers the master to manipulate events so as to illicit the desired emotional response. The master may, a we had just demonstrated, employ various magical tools to assist in the control of his subject. The craft is a science of language, whereby one must always be careful of what one says, for to declare something without any knowledge of what it entails, you may one day wake up finding that is exactly what you are.

    The craft, or the art, is literally so. Magic is art, and all art is literally magic. You see this in the sculptures and temples, tombs and monuments of your predecessors. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, that is, words and images, to achieve changes in consciousness, in the emotion of the intended subject or subjects. The very language of magic appears to be talking as much about as writing or art as it is about supernatural events. Indeed, to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words so as to positively alter the emotions of the intended subject."
    Caesarion shifted, but said nothing, his mind absorbing every word she spoke.

    "Your conquest may be achieved by your pain and humiliation; denying your Godship, you shall enthrone yourself as the greatest prince that ever reigned. Do not go onto the Romans as mighty pharaoh or conquering King, but, divesting yourself of all that is rightfully yours and emptying yourself of your own divinity, present yourself to them as their humble countryman, son of their beloved dictator and trusty younger brother to their current prince, desirous for forgiveness and instruction in their ways. When Horus lay with Set, demeaning himself in the role of the woman, he operated far greater a work than Set, for in this passing moment of apparent weakness he deprived his uncle of his virile power, whereafter he dominated him once and for all, ruling forevermore. Repeat the feat and operate so powerful a spell as this, sparing not only your life, but gaining the whole world."​


    The Great Wife stood, indicating she was finished. Caesarion remained sitting a while longer, meditating on her words; as he rose, she ushered him into the holy sanctuary, where she would share his final night before he departed for the north.
     
    Oceano likes this.
  8. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Chapter III: Augustus Caesar & Caesarion Aquillae


    Arius Didymus returned on the set day, but Octavian - now Augustus Caesar - was still unable to receive him. Three days later Augustus' fever had subsided, and his vomiting ceased, allowing him to receive certain select visitations. Arius Didymus found Augustus reclined on his couch, attended to by his sister Octavia Minor, who had hastened from Epheseus, where she had been staying.


    A loud rumble from Augustus' stomach cut the obligatory exchange of pleasantries; as the stench of diarrhea filled the air, Arius and his sons were hurriedly ushered out.
    [​IMG]
    As he entered Alexandria, Caesarion stripped himself of his Egyptian dress, before the Roman legions and the guard that Agrippa had sent forth to take custody of him. Impressed by the spectacle, the guards did not immediately take possession of the boy, allowing him to don a toga - pure white, as befitting any Roman boy of his age - and sacrifice to the Roman Gods, primarily to Jupiter (whose high priest his father had once been), to Venus Geretrix (counted ancestress of the gens Julii) and to his own deified father. This accomplished, he removed the toga, once again exposing himself before the populace and soldiers. Donning the attire of a Roman soldier, he asked his guards to take him to Agrippa and his lieutenants, begging them to take him home with them, so that he might serve the Republic as faithfuly as his father had done. As he rode, an eagle perched on his shoulder, to the astonishment of onlookers.

    Needless to say, the response of Agrippa was less rapturous than that of the legions, but the sudden abatament, starting that very day, of the malaria among the legions in the city gave much credence to the paternity of the quasi-divine Caesarion, now present as entirely Roman, devoid of the despicable native ways of his mother and Mark Anthony, and marked by the very Gods with the very sign of the Roman military, the Aquila.

    Omens such as these were not easily ignored by the superstitious Romans, who promptly interceded with Agrippa on behalf of the young Caesarion, now surnamed Aquillae.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  9. Cuāuhtemōc Twitter fiend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I am so excited. :D
     
  10. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Glad you like it :D Any thoughts so far?
     
  11. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Chapter IV: Agrippa's Report to the Senate



    On the 1st of the month we entered into Alexandria, crushing with ease what remained of Anthony's forces and entering unmolested into the capitol, the harbour and the other chief places of the City. Anthony we found already deceased, in the arms of the courtesan Queen in her mausoleum. It seemed as if she would likewise put herself to end, whereby Octavian had her brought out of the mausoleum, depriving her of her ladies and putting the Queen under constant watch - this because Octavian desired greatly to bring her to Rome and make of her a spectacle, so that the whole world might see the author of so many great crimes accordingly punished and humbled by the might of Rome. He permitted that she mourn Anthony, though her requests to bury him as King and Dionysus were rejected, for there was neither money nor time for such, nor would Octavian thusly concede any legitimacy to their adulterous union; instead he was buried as befitting a Roman general, nothing more, nothing less.

    The fatigue of the troops and the spread of malaria among some of the legions put a stop to any advance down the Nile into the desert, though having a firm hold on Alexandria and the Queen and the support of the nobles and priests made our possession of the entire country almost entirely secuired. The most pressing issue to us all was the absence of the person of the Queen's son Ptolemy, called Caesar or Caesarion after his father, who is associated with her on the throne and acts as consort in the absence of Anthony. Prior to our arrival the courtesan Queen sent him south, to the port they called Veronica, on the Red Sea, from where her son - and with him Antyllus and the Queen's children by Anthony, and the princess Iotape of Antropatene, who is wife of the Queen's son Alexander, those of the family of the King of Armenia who the courtesan Queen had in her custody hitherto, and some other notables of the realm - might mke haste to the lands of Saba or Indus, or perhaps Parthia, and in this way find an abode outside of our reach, among our enemies. No doubt they hoped that such arrangements would in time allow the return of Caesarion, by the reverse trajectory, with foreign troops, to expell Roman contigents from Egypt and restore the monarchy.

    A few coins wisely spent obtained the connivance of the youth's tutor, a vile Greek by the name of Rhodon, who prevented the expedition abroad and brought the boy and all his company to us in Alexandria. At the city gate the boy showed himself the true son of his father, shunning the empty glories of Egypt and begging for instruction in the ways of his father. Of his sacrifices, attire and of the eagle you will have aleady heard from L.M. Philippus, whose testimony I can attest to, adding only that he showed such civility and grace in manner as would befit a son of Rome. The legions and lieutenants were all much impressed by the youth and all the omens about him, not least the sudden end to the malaria which come over us. There was fear that the legions, primarily those of Caesar, might be motivated to some action on the youth's behalf, which fear I saw could only be brought to an end by the well treatment of the youth. The boy acted as benefactor for Antyllus, who would otherwise have been put to an end, interceding on his behalf and imploring Octavian show his great and abundant mercy with their young kinsman, who had no part in the follies of his father. Octavian Augustus heard of this, and was greatly impressed by it, as we all were, and with great benevolence granted the boy his request.

    As for the courtesan Queen, she was kept confined to her chambers, and as far as can be ascertained, there was no communication between her and her son. The illness of Augustus Octavian pacified her greatly, she wishing greatly that he be taken away and her throne thus spared. I was compelled to chastise her on three separate times, for her inconvenient manner and constant questions.

    Still, though we did not wish to speak of it so brazenly as the courtesan Queen, the illness of Augustus Octavian was a great matter, making urgent the resolution of both his personal and state affairs. Yet in Asia Augustus had set about re-organizing the East after the chaos of Anthony's final days, setting up Didius as governor in Syria and confirming Herod as King in Judaea, expanding his dominion to Samaria and other territories Anthony had taken for his son. On the 12th of Sextilis we removed both the courtesan Queen and Caesarion of the crown, at the same time depriving her other children of the kingdoms Anthony had given to them. In all this Caesarion was complacent, doing what was required of him without protest, as well as giving up to us a great store of royal treasures which had been concealed to us.

    For the sake of Augustus Octavian, we were all of a like mind to affect an immediate organization of Egypt in such a way as would assure the Republic of further expenditure and bloodshed over the country. It was the mind of Augustus Octavian to appoint a prefect and be removed with haste back to Italy, but so eloquently did their priests and nobles speak against the appointment of a prefect, extolling the many great benefits that might be obtained from the rule of a friend and associate of the Republic as King, that Augustus appointed me to look into the matter.

    The people hold only the Queen and her children to be legitimate princes, attributing a divine nature to her adulteries. Indeed, as they hold all the Ptolemies to be gods and godessess, they accept only the issue of the direct line as legitimate inheritors to the crown. The children of native women, concubines and slave girls are entirely disregarded; by the laws of the Greeks they are not even citizens of Alexandria, where citizenship is inherited from both mother and father. Naturally the children of the palace are granted some special privilege by the power of their father, but it is almost unimaginable to them that one could exercise any power. Only the children of the Queens are shown in public and spoken of abroad, so that the people know and think only of them. Generally it seems the illegitimate children of Kings are given over to priesthood, or else they are given away with their mother outside the Palace. The High priest and his clan are children of a princess, aunt of the Queen, but they are so entirely barbarian that one could never suppose the slightest hint of Greek blood in their veins. As King, young Caesarion had but one concubine by the name Charmion, lately given to his mother for handmaiden, serving under the courtesan Queen's chief lady Iras. She has no child and as far as can be ascertained carries none in her womb.

    Indeed the chambers of the women of the palace were largely empty, for in the rule of a woman there is no need for multiplicity of concubines. There remained however some old women of the King Auletes, who attend on the lady Mithridatis, a princess of Pontus given to Auletes in his exile. Contrary to the foul customs of the Ptolemies, who are prone to putting each other all to death, the courtesan Queen keeps the lady well, housing her in the Palace and allowing her these servant women, in reverence for her great age and for the many great pains and tortures she has incurred in the past. This same lady is aunt of the Archelaus who ruled during Auletes' exile and who Auletes slew on his return. Caesarion showed her great reverence, and spoke of her wisdom and honour, which she amply demonstrated in the times she entertained myself, Plancus, Arruntius, Marcus Lurius, Cornelius Gallus and others, including the King Archelaus of Kappadokia, grandson of a sister of hers, at whose sight she cried copiously. This lady informed us of two daughters of hers who yet lived, priestesses in the dynastic cult, kept under close watch by the courtesan Queen and confined to the limits of the temple. She confirmed the kinship of the High Priests, and spoke also of the children of the late King of Cyprus, though she had no knowledge whether they yet lived or not. The King Auletes, she said, ravaged a great many maidens, and every other noble claims him as father, but this cannot be known in the case of those whose mothers were married. Yet living she knew only of one bastard of Auletes, who is a scribe in the palace, called Numidian for the people of his mother, and also of another bastard born in the palace who is secretary to the noble Archibios.

    Out of these perhaps one might be appointed to the throne and rule as a friend of Rome, - the great lady's daughters, by name Lysandra and Statira, the Numidian and the secretary Ptolemy - we bring with us to Rome, in the mean time appointing Gallus to rule as prefect, with command of three legions we shall leave behind. This promise greatly appeases the natives, who are much attached to the Ptolemies, and I should think difficulties shall arise if a king is not presented to them soon.

    On the morning of the 14th day it seemed as if all was lost and the vital strength gone from Augustus, at which point he gave me his signet ring and called to amend his will, though he has not revealed the contents thereof publicly. On the 15th and 16th it was certain he had not long to live, but this morning he was revived enough to eat and drink. Octavia tends to him night and day, and all pray and call on the Gods for a speedy recovery, which I know is also the prayer of all in Rome. It is my hope that we shall already be on our regress by the time this missive reaches it's destination.

    MARCVS VIPSANIVS AGRIPPA
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  12. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Any thoughts or feedback would be insanely appreciated.
     
  13. The Empire of AltHistory The Lover of History

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    This timeline is doing good so far...This period of history is not my primary interest, but I do pay some attention to it. I believe something should happen to Augustus though...since it is a alternate timeline, and perhaps Cleopatra re-emerges.
     
  14. Cuāuhtemōc Twitter fiend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    It's well researched. I know little of the time period but I like it. :D
     
  15. Superwes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    I know a fair amount about the time period and I really like this, please continue!
     
  16. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Thanks so much guys, it's reassuring to know somebody's reading.

    Have altered the title, reasons will become apparent in due time ;)
     
  17. Jammy Grand Duke of Abingdon

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I like it, well written and thought out.

    I've always wondered what could happen with Caesarion surviving.
     
  18. Velasco As High as Honour

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Chapter V: After Augustus


    [​IMG]
    Statue erected of the Imperator Augustus, paid for by his brother Caesarion

    The death of Augustus Octavian was to be Caesarion's saving grace. The very same reasons that made Augustus desire the boy removed from the scene now made his survival of the utmost expediency. Augustus, great-nephew and adopted son (which meant a whole lot in Roman society) of Julius Caesar, was little at ease with Julius' only surviving heir of his body, especially when the boy's mother was the richest woman in the known world. By the Donations of Alexandria, amongst the distribution of various Roman territories among Cleopatra's children, Mark Anthony had proclaimed Caesarion his kinsman Julius Caesar's one true heir. Though this declaration had no legality, it presented a formidable challenge to Augustus Octavian's authority - a challenge made very real by the war with Caesarion's step-father Mark Anthony. The defeat of Anthony and the treachery of Rhodon put Caesarion to Augustus' hands, who would have promptly done away with him were it not for his sudden bout of illness and the alacrity of the legions to acclaim the boy as a Caesar.

    In his will Augustus relegated to secondary positions both his nephew Marcellus [1] and step-son Tiberius [2] due to their young age, adopting as his legal heir his right hand man Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who became thereafter Caius Iulius Caesar Vipsanianus. Now known as Vipsanian, he was thirty-three, recently widowed, the father of one daughter, with a distinguished career of military service - most recently playing a decisive part in the grand victory at Actium - a feat which, in a roundabout way, restored the unity and peace of the Empire. For all this, his popularity paled in comparison to that enjoyed by Julius Caesar, his chief general Mark Anthony, even Octavian and perhaps above all Caesarion, so eagerly welcomed by the Roman legions as some kind of long awaited saviour, a long lost and highly beloved son.


    News of a conspiracy back home, lead by Lepidus the Younger[3], and the stirring of Parthia in the east, impressed upon Vipsanian the need to urgently return home, eliminate any potential rivals and make good his claim to power. The assasination or elimination of Caesarion was no longer an option; that window of opportunity had closed. But in closing, it opened another: by associating with and making Caesarion his puppet, even his tentative heir, Vipsanian was guaranteed in his control of Rome's legions, without which he could not hope to be master of the Empire.

    With Gallus in power as Prefect of Egypt and the Egyptians pacified with the promise that the Senate would shortly provide them with a monarch, the problem remained of what to do with the deposed regina meretrix Cleopatra VII and her younger children. Vipsanian could not reasonably put her to death, for fear of alienating Caesarion. Bring her to Rome was also out of the question - Caesarion earnestly beseeched Vipsanian and the other generals on the grounds of her having been the ruin of both his father and Mark Anthony and - if brought to Rome - his certain ruin also. Such talk pandered greatly to the sensibilities of his Roman audience, which fact Caesarion knew well.


    At length it was decided to hand Cleopatra over to Artasvades I of Media Antropatene, who had been ill-served by his ally Mark Anthony, resulting in the loss of his kingdom to the Parthians. Cleopatra was rich bounty; her fame and reputation bolstered Artasvades' prestige. Her Seleucid blood also legitimised his rule in Lesser Armenia (Sophene), which kingdom Vipsanian granted to him. His daughter Iotapa - who had been sent to grow up at the royal court in Alexandria - and her young husband Alexander Helios (Cleopatra's second son) were also handed over into his custody. It was decided Cleopatra's other children, Cleopatra Selene and Ptolemy Philadelphos, would be taken to Rome to receive a Roman education in the household of Octavia.

    Acclaimed Imperator by the legions and welcomed by the Senate with full honours, Vipsanian was able to move decisively against his enemies, putting both Lepidus the Elder and the Younger to death. Having been received in Rome Caesarion and Antyllus were sent, as Octavian and Agrippa before them, to Apollonia, to be trained by the legions. That same year Augustus was deified, receiving worship in conjunction with his father.
    [1] Marcus Claudius Marcellus, at this point aged twelve, son of Augustus Octavian's sister Octavia Minor. Augustus liked the boy and was already pushing him into the public eye at this point in time.

    [2] Tiberius Claudius Nero, also aged twelve, son of Augustus Octavian's wife Livia.

    [3] Son of the Pontifex Maximus Lepidus, the ineffective triumvir colleague of Mark Anthony and Octavian.
     
  19. Archdevil Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Augustus' death will cause interesting times in Rome! For all his achievements, I regard Augustus more as a manipulator than a real great man like Caesar himself was, so I'm not shedding any tears for him.

    And now the fun really starts. Does the title imply there will be more Caesars at the same time besides Agrippa and Caesarion?
     
  20. High Plains Drifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Location:
    Washington DC Metropolitan Area
    As mentioned above, Agrippa has a daughter, 6 year old Vipsania.

    Another piece on the dynastic chessboard, not yet mentioned, is Caesar Augustus' 9 year old daughter Julia. IOTL Agrippa himself married her in 21 BC when she was 18; after she had already been married to the afore mentioned Marcellus - her 1st cousin.

    What is Agrippa to do?

    1) Decide what sort of dynasty he would like to start. Agrippa comes from the Knights class himself, which is not going to sit well with the Senatorial class in Rome (or what's left of it by this point).

    1a) Marry Augustus' widow Livia or get her the hell out of Rome. Livia was very smart, very ambitious, and if "I Claudius" is to be believed VERY deadly. This match could well improve his political legitimacy by marrying Augustus' widow. But coming from a Senator family, would Livia be too prejudiced to lower herself to even marry Agrippa if given an offer? Or would she marry him to increase the chance her son Tiberius becoming the next Emperor? She would be a great tool to assist him in ruling. Personally, I avoid this match, but how is he to know what is in Livia's mind.

    1B) Marry Augustus' sister Octavia the Younger. She's around 39 or 40 and single after divorcing from Anthony. That would increase his political legitimacy and make him step father to Marcellus. Likely due to her age no more children could come from this marriage. But would put him in an excellent position to arrange for the marriage of his daughter Vipsania to Marcellus, thus double binding his dynasty with the same bloodline as Caesar Augustus.

    1C) Regardless of whether he marries anyone or not, arrange for the marriage of his daughter Vipsania to either Marcellus or Tiberius. Personally, I avoid connections with Livia and go with Marcellus.

    1D) See if he can wait on his own marriage until Julia is 15 or 16, then marry Caesar Augustus' daughter himself.

    1E) See if he can wait a couple years and then marry one of the older, non-Anthony related daughters of Octavia the Younger. This would be the full sisters of Marcellus. They would be 2 - 4 years older than Julia, so he might only have to wait 1 - 3 or so years before he could marry one of the them. Not as long a wait as for Julia.


    2) marry off or arrange for the marriages of all Anthony's children to either foreign potentates (which IOTL is what was done with his daughters by Cleopatra) or to Roman's in the Knights class. Keep those offspring away from marrying into Senatorial Families and becoming future rivals. (Except for Octavia the Younger's children by Anthony if he opts for #1B above)